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December 22, 1941|
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Died||March 10, 2007
Sherman Oaks, California, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Lawrence Pressman (1973-2007; her death) (1 child)|
|Children||David Pressman (b. 1965)|
Svetlana Nikolaevna "Lanna" Saunders (December 22, 1941 – March 10, 2007) was an American actress, best known for her role as Marie Horton on the television soap opera Days of Our Lives, on which she appeared from 1979-85. She also played the character Betty Andrews on the daytime soap opera The Young and the Restless.
Saunders came from a prominent Russian-American acting family: her father was actor Nicholas Saunders and her grandfather was actor Nicholas Soussanin, who emigrated from the Ukrainian SSR in the 1920s, and married actress Olga Baclanova.
Saunders first started in acting at age 13, studying under Elia Kazan and later joining his Lincoln Center Company. She met her future husband, actor, Lawrence Pressman, while performing on Broadway, and they were married from 1973 until her death.
Saunders was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1982 and she left Days of our Lives three years later when she became too ill to continue in the role. She died on March 10, 2007. She was survived by her mother, brother (Theo Saunders), and her son, David Pressman.