Sunday, December 23, 2012

Lana Wood - The Craps Girl

Lana Wood, James Bond girl with Classic Cleavage

Lana Wood purple dress "DIamonds are Forever" 1971
Lana Wood makes her big entrance
Lana Wood never really got her due in Hollywood. She started out as just Natalie Wood's kid sister, and that's pretty much where she's wound up. She had plenty to offer of her own, of course. Plenty!
Lana Wood leaning forward "DIamonds are Forever" 1971
Now this is what every man needs next to him at the table
The story goes that Lana Wood got the role of Plenty O'Toole in "Diamonds are Forever" (1971) because of the publicity from posing naked for Playboy. She got the Playboy gig because Hugh Hefner saw her on "Peyton Place" and admired her thespian skills. Good thing the man was a soap opera fan! Lana Wood starred in the April 1971 edition, which were peak days for the magazine. Now how did I know that Hef was going to figure into this somehow?
Lana Wood with Sean Connery in white tuxedo "DIamonds are Forever" 1971
They engage in some "witty" banter that sounds painfully awkward
Supposedly, when Lana Wood got to Vegas to film her scenes, her room wasn't ready. Sean Connery found out (what a coincidence!) and invited Lana Wood up to his room (how gallant!). He is an excellent golfer, it certainly would have been an ideal opportunity to show Lana Wood his swing. One wonders if she ever did make it to her room that night. I wonder how much that little spy affair cost the suave Sean Connery in tips: to the doorman, to the concierge, to the maid service....

Sean Connery and Lana Wood "DIamonds are Forever" 1971
But off-screen, they were great friends
They gave Lana Wood's part away to Jill St. John, but crafted a new role just for her. Wasn't that sweet? It involved a lot of leaning over the craps table, I hope she didn't hurt her back. I'm sure an awful lot of thought went into what dress Lana Wood would wear as Plenty O'Toole. The one they chose really emphasized her personality.
Lana Wood autographed photo "DIamonds are Forever" 1971
Lana obviously is proud of the role, as her signature shows
Lana Wood had a lot of issues through the years. She hasn't come right out and said so, but one  may surmise that she thinks that RJ - Robert Wagner - had more to do with her sister's (Natalie Wood) death than he later let on. Lana Wood managed to convince the police to re-open the case thirty years later. That's the power of a huge pair of resumes, hers and Natalie's.
Lana Wood looking thoughtful "DIamonds are Forever" 1971
This is a great shot
Lana Wood had a scare in 2012, when she went into anaphylactic shock after eating some cereal. Fortunately, she is all better now.
Lana Wood leaning back on stairway "DIamonds are Forever" 1971
Lana Wood is a very relaxed lady, that's the way to enjoy life
Her character in "Diamonds are Forever" was not supposed to have that kind of happy ending. Lana Wood was slated to be killed off, and was only saved when the director decided to cut out the offending scenes.
Lana Wood behind the scenes "DIamonds are Forever" 1971
I'm sure this was not the most pleasant night of her life
It must have been awfully cold standing around wet on that set. They really did have her jump in the pool - but it was from a ladder, not a balcony.
Lana Wood in her undies "DIamonds are Forever" 1971
Watch those hands, buddy!
Thus, the scene of her being carried to the window and tossed out like a sack of potatoes was simply movie magic.
Lana Wood in towel "DIamonds are Forever" 1971
"I think I'll do a little snooping around"
In the scenes that were cut, her character is fleshed out a bit more. She returns to the hotel room after the mobsters leave, but someone else is with Bond. She is quite jealous (as shown at dinner) and does a bit of snooping. She's quite an inquisitive girl, as Sean Connery as Bond likely would phrase it.
Lana snooping around "DIamonds are Forever" 1971
One wonders what they were thinking when they filmed this in the first place
She finds what she is looking for - an address, no doubt put there by the prop guy in the earlier picture - and is off and running. Well, she's only wearing a towel, so maybe a stop at her room to put some clothes on might be in order.
Sean Connery holding Lana Wood "DIamonds are Forever" 1971
What an onerous job for Sean
There are many pictures of Sean and Lana filming their scenes. Obviously, there was a lot of interest by the crew. Other pictures show that, yes indeedy, she was quite topless, and you can tell that Sean is fighting like a madman to keep his eyes up and his mind on business.
Sean Conner Lana Wood seduction "DIamonds are Forever" 1971
That shot is so artfully framed
This is the earlier, famous scene, where Sean Connery masterfully unzips her dress and it magically disappears.
Lana Wood elegantly attired "DIamonds are Forever" 1971
She's not a shy girl, that's for sure
Lana was a good sport about the whole thing. One imagines that she was a lot of fun behind the scenes, with that casual '70s attitude that could find the humor in just about anything.
Lana Wood by the pool
Lana lounging by the pool
Lana Wood is a fierce lady, hanging out with a cheetah. You don't want to cross this vixen!

Lana Wood
Lana Wood, all woman!
Below is the famous dinner scene with Lana that was cut from the film. Notice how it foreshadows her later jealousy, and below it is the best line in the Bond franchise after Goldfinger's "I expect you to die, Mr. Bond."



  1. That is NOT Lana holding a gun towards the end here, just before the two videos

    1. Thank you for the heads up, replaced. :)

  2. Lana Wood is scheduled to appear at the 2014 Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention, Sept. 18-20, in Hunt Valley, Md., at the Hunt Valley Wyndham Hotel. Also scheduled to appear are Piper Laurie, Veronica Cartwright, Angela Cartwright, Lee Meredith, George Lazenby, and more. More information is at


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