Deanna Lund, 81, Land of the Giants Actress, Dies of Cancer
One of the seven stars of ABC’s 1960s series Land of the Giants, Deanna Lund, has died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 81. She received her diagnosis in September and passed away in her home on June 22, 2018.
Land of the Giants was about a group of castaways surviving on a planet of large, unfriendly people. It was set in the year 1983. It was an expensive show to make, costing nearly $250,000 per episode. Lund played Valerie Scott, a spoiled party girl, on the show, which ran from 1968 until 1970.
But her career spanned beyond Land of the Giants. She starred opposite Frank Sinatra in the 1967 movie Tony Rome as a redheaded lesbian stripper. She was also cast on ABC’s Batman as Anna Gram, moll of the Riddler (John Astin). Earlier in her career, she played minor roles, such as “Bikini Girl” in the 1966 film, The Oscar. She appeared in two Elvis Presley films: she played a nurse in Paradise, Hawaiian Style and “Redhead Beauty” in Spinout. Into the ’70s and ’80s, she worked on TV shows like The Incredible Hulk, General Hospital, and The Waltons. She also appeared in films like Hustle, opposite Burt Reynolds; the 1981 Jerry Lewis film Hardly Working; and the 1989 movie Transylvania Twist.
Lund was born May 30, 1937, in Oak Park, Illinois, but was raised in Daytona Beach, Florida. Her father ran a motel in the area. Lund studied acting at Rollins College in Winter Park, and later worked as a weather girl on a Miami TV news station.
She eventually moved to Hollywood as a single mother with two young children. She had briefly married a rodeo worker. In 1970, she married Land of the Giants costar Don Matheson, who played Mark Wilson on the show. They divorced ten years later, but remained very close friends.
Lund is survived by her daughter Michele, daughter Kimberly, and son Randy; grandchildren Phyllis, Elizabeth, Shawn, Tyler, Ryan, Jack, and Jolene; and three great-grandchildren, Ellie, Charlotte, and Quinn. A celebration of Lund’s life will take place this month.
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