Vodanovic was born in Split, Croatia in 1926. Shortly after he moved to Chile. His first works were light comedies acted by commercial theater companies. In 1959, Vodanović, began to write for the university theaters, leading to a change in style. He adopted a neorealistic style, critically representing diverse aspects of the socio-political reality of his country through drama and comedy. His first such was the social drama Deja que los perros ladren, which analyzed from a social and psychological point of view the phenomenon of corruption in the Chilean middle-class. Viña, subtitled Tres comedias en traje de baño ("Three comedies in a bathing suit"), satirically portrayed the upper class's relationship with other classes of society.
In 1982, he wrote a miniseries for Canal 13 entitled Una familia feliz. It was not until 1984, when his first telenovelaLos títeres aired that he became known as a screenwriter. His television series were commercially successful while also intellectual, carefully disguising references to the Chilean socio-political context of the 1980s.