Lana Wood is an American actress and producer best known for her role as Plenty O’Toole in the 1971 James Bond film, Diamonds Are Forever.
Wood was born Svetlana Nikolaevna Zakharenko to Russian parents, but they grew up far from their homeland: her father lived in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, while her mother grew up in a Chinese province. After her parents were married, they settled in Santa Monica, California, where Lana was born. By this time her parents had legally changed their surname to Gurdin. Her elder sister, Natalie Wood, was named after director Sam Wood when Natalie first launched her child acting career. When Lana made her film debut in The Searchers (1956), their mother was asked under what last name Lana should be credited, and Maria agreed it would be best if she could be credited as “Wood,” like Natalie.
In her early career, Wood usually played bit parts in films Natalie appeared in. Starting in the 1960s, her own career took off. After appearing in the short-lived drama series The Long, Hot Summer, she landed in the role of Sandy Webber in the soap series Peyton Place. She played the role from 1966 to 1967.
In 1970, Wood was approached to pose for Playboy by Hugh Hefner and agreed. The Playboy pictures appeared in the April 1971 issue, along with Wood’s poetry. The publicity was a major reason for her being cast as a Bond girl, Plenty O’Toole, in the 1971 James Bond film, Diamonds Are Forever. Despite having only three minutes of screen time, it remains her best-known role to date.
Wood has more than 20 other films and over 300 television shows to her credit, including The Fugitive, Bonanza, Mission: Impossible, Police Story, Starsky and Hutch, Nero Wolfe, Fantasy Island, and Capitol. After appearing in the horror film Demon Rage (1982), she retired from acting, concentrating on her career as a producer, but has since returned to acting in a number of low-budget films since 2008. Lana is a character in the 2009 Steve Alten book Meg: Hell’s Aquarium. Wood wrote a best-selling memoir, Natalie, A Memoir by Her Sister, in 1984. The book was also an autobiography. Among the tidbits she revealed in the book was an off-the-set affair with Sean Connery during the filming of Diamonds Are Forever.
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