Lana Wood

Lana Wood

Publicity photo of Wood in the ABC television series Peyton Place, 1966.
Born Svetlana Gurdin
(1946-03-01) March 1, 1946
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Occupation Actress, producer
Years active 1947–present
Spouse(s) Jack Wrather, Jr. (m. 1962; annulled)
Karl Brent (m. 1965–66)
Steve Oliver (m. 1967–71)
Richard Smedley (m. 1973–75)
Children Evan Smedley (b. 1974)[1]
Family Natalie Wood (sister)
Natasha Gregson Wagner (niece)

Lana Wood (born Svetlana Gurdin; March 1, 1946)[2] is an American actress[3] and producer.[4] She is best known for her role as Plenty O'Toole in the 1971 James Bond film, Diamonds Are Forever. Her elder sister was film star Natalie Wood.

Early life

Wood was born Svetlana Gurdin[2] to Russian emigrant parents, Nikolai and Maria Zakharenko, who themselves grew up far from their homeland. Her father lived in Vancouver, British Columbia, while her mother grew up in China. After her parents married, they settled in Santa Monica, California, where Svetlana, known as "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. She has an older half sister, Olga Viripaeff, from their mother's prior marriage.[5]


In her early career, Wood usually played bit parts in films in which Natalie appeared. Starting in the 1960s, her own career took off. After appearing in the short-lived drama series The Long, Hot Summer, she landed the role of Sandy Webber in the soap series Peyton Place. She played the role from 1966–67. 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. She was cast as a Bond girl, "Plenty O'Toole", in the 1971 James Bond film, Diamonds Are Forever.

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 memoir, Natalie, A Memoir by Her Sister, in 1984.

Personal life

Wood has been married five times:

  1. Jack Wrather, Jr. – (1962; annulled when she was 16 years old)
  2. Karl Brent – (1965–1966; divorced)
  3. Stephen Oliver – (1967; divorced)
  4. Richard Smedley – (1973–1975; divorced); 1 child, Evan (born August 11, 1974), by whom she has three grandchildren.
  5. Allan Balter – (1978–1981; divorced)

TV and filmography



  1. Profile,, July 20, 1985.Lana Wood,, retrieved March 21, 2016.
  2. 1 2 Birth name per; accessed June 24, 2015.
  3. Paul, Louis (2008). "Lana Wood". Tales From the Cult Film Trenches; Interviews with 36 Actors from Horror, Science Fiction and Exploitation Cinema. Detroit: Wayne State University Press. pp. 300–306. ISBN 978-0-7864-2994-3.
  4. "Lana Wood". The New York Times.
  5. "EXCLUSIVE: Natalie Wood's Sister Blames Captain Dennis Davern For Her Death". November 2011. Retrieved July 27, 2015.
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