Wood wool | Evan Maldonado, Daphne, Nicholas and Lana Wood | Wood wool | Source: Getty Images
Lana Wood experienced a terrible loss: the death of her daughter, whom she desperately tried to save. But she stayed with her three grandchildren.
“I never imagined that people would help. I am extremely grateful.”
Hollywood veteran Lana Wood only had one child whom she desperately tried to save. Her efforts to pay for her son’s treatment led to financial problems that left her unable to pay for her house. However, fans came to her rescue.
Lana Wood is a former child actress who made her film debut in “The Searchers.” After that, Wood appeared in numerous movies and TV shows, including “Bonanza,” “Starsky,” “The Fugitive” and “Mission Impossible,” in the ’60s.
A black and white portrait of former child actress Lana Wood in 1966 in the United States | Source: Getty Images
Although she benefited immensely from the fame of her famous sister, Natalie Wood, she became a household name in her own right. The producer had a daughter named Evan Maldonado, who was battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
According to Express, in 2017, Vanity Fair reported that Wood had fallen on hard times caring for her terminally ill daughter, financial troubles, and health issues. The article revealed that the mother-of-one was being evicted from her home as Maldonado’s cancer had returned when they thought she was cured, but fans have pitched in on the GoFundMe page:
“It’s pretty bad. The landlord wants us to leave, now, and we have nowhere to go. We’re a family of six.”
Actress Lana Wood posing with her daughter Evan Maldonado on September 28, 2000 in Thousand Oaks, California | Source: Getty Images
Wood explained that her daughter had to walk “tied to an oxygen machine.” Sadly, Maldonado passed away in July 2017 at the age of 42. Hodgkin lymphoma is a rare cancer that affects the lymphatic system, which is responsible for keeping the immune system working.
According to Fox News, before his death, Wood revealed on the GoFundMe page that he had suffered a heart attack and that his condition had become critical:
“Maldonado went into complete cardiac arrest and had no heartbeat for over 20 minutes. She has been intubated and is on life support.”
Evan Maldonado displays a small ring given to him by his mother’s sister, actress Natalie Wood, taken on September 28, 2000 in Thousand Oaks, California | Source: Getty Images
Maldonado left behind three children whom their mother had to care for after her death. She, her mother, her husband and her children had been living in a motel outside Los Angeles as they struggled to make ends meet.
Wood previously told Fox News that her daughter’s medical bills were limiting her financially, leading to her becoming homeless after being unable to pay for her rented California home.
Lana Wood attends an Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences 50th Anniversary Special Screening of “The Searchers” at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on June 23, 2006 in Beverly Hills, California | Source: Getty Images
The “Wild Faith” star divulged that she, too, had health issues, including arthritis, adding that doctors had yet to find long-term relief for her:
“I realized [I was in trouble] for quite some time, but it seemed that we could rescue. We had more health problems than expected. It’s hard.”
Regardless of those difficult times in the life of the Hollywood star, she overcame them.
Wood reflects on being broke and homeless
In April 2017, Wood told Inside Edition that the experience of messing with her daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren at a motel was devastating for the children. They only had water and snacks in their makeshift kitchen and ate only fast food.
When asked what happened to her, “The Marshal” star said life happened. “You live in a snowball, and the world is upside down, emotional. It’s like the rugs have been pulled out from under you. And it’s hard to live with.”
Lana Wood pictured with her family, granddaughter Daphne, daughter Evan Maldonado, and grandson Nicholas in their backyard on September 28, 2000 in Thousand Oaks, California | Source: Getty Images
Wood said losing her daughter was traumatic for the children, but she managed to bounce back despite it all. Fortunately, according to Page Six, Wood’s friend Gregor Gillespie set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the public figure. Fans generously donated $29,635 at the time, surpassing the initial goal of $10,000.
Wood told The New York Post that she was beyond grateful for the fans who pitched in to get her out of trouble and admitted she never thought they’d come to her rescue:
“I just never imagined that people would help. I am extremely grateful.”
Wood bounced back from life’s hardships
Since Wood’s dark times, there have been new developments in her life, giving her a reason to be happy and less stressed about finances. In September 2022, Fox News reported that the Hollywood star landed a new acting job on Flixwest’s “Dog Boy.”
Wood plays Vera Summers, a self-centered Hollywood starlet on the verge of bankruptcy. Her character reflects her real-life experience of hers, something she reflected on during the interview with the publication.
He noted that the role resonated with his personal life, as it easily connected to “a lot of the things the character was and had been through.
Producer Lana Wood photographed wearing a green turtleneck under a green suede jacket in 1970 | Source: Getty Images
Wood, who played famous Bond girl Plenty O’Toole in the 1971 film “Diamonds Are Forever,” said: “There were a few moments where it could have been me. It fascinated me. It scared me. But it was really cool to do it.” .”
The movie star noted such moments when the character was asked what had happened to all the money he earned, and his response was that he had spent it all thinking the money would always come, which he later found out was not the case.
Wood said that specific scene echoed his reality which was moving. “But what a wonderful experience,” the California native said.
Lana Wood attends the 2011 Chiller Theater Expo at the Hilton Parsippany on October 29, 2011 in Parsippany, NJ | Source: Getty Images
To this day, Wood continues to care for her grandchildren, who live with her, emphasizing that they had never been separated since their mother’s passing. They now have a place to call home with their cats and dogs.
Wood explained the living arrangement and her relationship with the grandchildren, joking that even though they have each other, there are still some bickering here and there.
“We have each other. We argue about cooking and eating. One of the kids is homeschooling and I’m in there with him, trying to figure out algebra. But I’m really happy,” Wood said.
Lana Wood arrives at the Las Vegas Car Stars Opening Ceremony at the Fremont Street Experience on May 17, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada | Source: Getty Images
When she talked about returning to the big screen, she revealed that she was welcomed with open arms on set. However, Wood also divulged that it was terrifying and nerve-wracking to get back to doing what she does best for the first time in years.
She explained that “Dog Boy” is an indie movie with quite a few crew members, but she felt like she was coming home once she returned and quickly made friends with almost everyone. That sent her nerves out the window.