Lana Wooden was decided to make her mark as a Hollywood actress – and he or she obtained some assist from 007.
The youthful sister of late actress Natalie Wood had starred in a number of tasks and appeared in Playboy earlier than she was forged as Bond lady A lot O’Toole alongside Sean Connery in 1971’s “Diamonds Are Eternally.”
“I knew Sean,” stated the 75-year-old. “I had met him years in the past. My boyfriend on the time was [film producer] Jerome Hellman who was pals with Sean. We have been invited to dinner at his home and I keep in mind him being enjoyable. He was very magnetic. He was very charismatic and we simply had a terrific night. I felt so snug with him. I used to be fully relaxed. So once I noticed Sean strolling by the foyer on the primary day on set, I used to be delighted. I used to be a nervous wreck so I felt like I at the least had one good friend.”
In accordance with Wooden, Connery was no-nonsense when it got here to filming as he yearned to dedicate his free time to golf. By then, Connery had grown weary of enjoying the British undercover agent and feared he wasn’t being taken critically regardless of his dramatic performances in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Marnie” and Sidney Lumet’s “The Hill.”
“He had such a dedication to golf,” she stated. “I imply, I knew he favored it, however every single day?”
However their on-screen chemistry proved to be the true deal, stated Wooden who claimed they’d a short, non-public fling. She chuckled when informed how fellow Bond lady Barbara Carrera gushed to Fox News in 2020 about Connery being “a fully nice kisser” on the set of 1983’s “By no means Say By no means Once more.”
“Kissing wasn’t means up there on the checklist,” Wooden chuckled.
Regardless of her attraction to Connery, Wooden claimed it was she who ended their affair.
“On the time I had a extremely beautiful relationship with Leslie Bricusse,” she recalled. “Leslie had gone again to London. And I simply felt that I actually needed to inform Sean that this relationship wouldn’t proceed as a result of I used to be very a lot in love with Leslie Bricusse. I believed Sean was completely great, however I couldn’t see him anymore. I needed to inform him. So once I informed him, he stated, ‘I perceive fully.’ And that was it. We have been within the hallway resulting in the on line casino on the brink of shoot. And I walked away. I completed the take after which went again to hair and make-up.”
“I simply wanted him to know,” Wooden continued. “After which a few years later, impulsively, it dawned on me. He in all probability thought, ‘What a foolish lady! After all, we weren’t going to have a relationship.’ I simply thought it was humorous that I needed to say one thing to him. However I needed to be sincere with him.”
Regardless of the movie’s iconic standing, Wooden admitted that she felt typecast after enjoying O’Toole.
“Very a lot so,” she defined. “I used to be at all times simply the attractive dangerous lady. So I used to be delighted to play an Irish indentured servant on a Disney movie. That was beautiful.”
In 1972, Wooden appeared in “Justin Morgan Had a Horse,” which was primarily based on a kids’s historic novel. It starred Don Murray, R.G. Armstrong, Whit Bissel and Gary Crosby amongst others.
“Everyone used to ask me on the time that I used to be filming, ‘Do they know you have been in Playboy journal?’ Do they know you have been a Bond lady?’ It didn’t matter. I used to be thrilled to do it as a result of it was one other character to play.”
Regardless of her success as an actress, Wooden’s life wasn’t simple lately. In April 2017, Inside Edition reported she was homeless and staying in a motel room exterior of Los Angeles together with her daughter Evan, her son-in-law, three grandchildren, and two canines. On the time, Wooden stated the household’s rising medical payments have been guilty for his or her monetary woes.
Her good friend arrange a GoFundMe web page in hopes of elevating funds for the star, and followers pitched in a whopping $29,635, completely overshooting the web page’s preliminary $10,000 purpose.
However then in July of that yr, Evan died out of the blue at age 42 after struggling a large coronary heart assault.
Wooden stated she continues to take every day at a time.
“We’re simply a median household and we at all times do the most effective we will,” she stated. “I’ve just a little home with canines and cats. Everyone’s good.”
When requested if rising up, she ever felt overshadowed by her well-known sibling, Wooden replied that the reply wasn’t so easy.
Natalie handed away in 1981 at age 43.
“I checked out Natalie’s life and he or she was at all times involved about the place she was going, how she appeared, who she was going to be with,” stated Wooden. “There’s this occasion, this premiere and this press agent. And boy, I didn’t need that… It isn’t that my mom in contrast us vocally. It’s simply that she was very concerned with Natalie and never with me. However trying again, I have to say it might have been an excellent factor.”
The Related Press contributed to this report.