This beautiful, long-legged blonde actress was known to be a kind, intelligent and dependable actor with a comedic talent as well. She appeared in many American TV hits of the 1970s and 1980s, such as Three’s Company (1976), The Jeffersons (1975), The New Mike Hammer (1984), Riptide (1984), Knight Rider (1982), Who’s the Boss? (1984), The A-Team (1983), Night Court (1984), Wings (1990) and Silk Stalkings (1991), among others. Her big-screen debut came in the 1982 Amy Heckerling film Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), as the character Mrs. Vargas. This film starred Sean Penn and Jennifer Jason Leigh. Lana then landed a role in the Roger Corman fantasy epic Deathstalker (1983). This led to her being offered the title role in Corman’s next film, the cult classic Barbarian Queen (1985). It was this association with the legendary Corman that really put Lana on the B-movie map. After starring in “Barbarian Queen” as the sword-wielding lead, a character Corman fondly refers to as “the original Xena,” Lana then reprised the role in the sequel Barbarian Queen II: The Empress Strikes Back (1990).
Lana’s larger-than-life personality and striking beauty, along with several of the movie roles she chose, inspired a cult fan following. This warm fanfare was further cemented by her work in the John Landis spoof Amazon Women on the Moon (1987). She was always a favorite at the ever-growing comic book conventions, where she happily signed autographs and was known to be friendly and accessible to all of her loyal fans, both young and old alike.
Lana also did stunt work in Retroactive (1997). Her last film was March (2001), as Dr. Ellen Taylor. Even though she did not do many movies toward the end of her life, she found success working in television commercials, for such products as Mercedes-Benz, Nike, Anheiser Busch, Playtex bras, Kmart and Mattel. She had been spending her time creating comedic characters for many of these companies. While working for the KMART Corp., Lana made personal appearances as the character she created for the Route 66 clothing campaign, Katie Earline Wilson. She was an actress who had more to offer Hollywood in the future, had her life not been cut so tragically short.
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