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Lana Wood fans have raised money to help her survive after she was left with 3 grandchildren when her daughter died


Lana Wood | Evan Maldonado, Daphne, Nicholas and Lana Wood | Lana Wood | Source: Getty Images

  • Lana Wood suffered a terrible loss – the death of her daughter, whom she desperately tried to save. But she stayed with her three grandchildren.

  • “I never imagined people would help. I’m extremely grateful.”

Hollywood veteran Lana Wood had just one child she desperately tried to save. Her efforts to pay for her child’s treatment resulted in financial hardship, leaving her unable to afford 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 many movies and TV shows, such as “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.

Per Express, in 2017, Vanity Fair reported that Wood had gone through tough times caring for his terminally ill daughter, financial issues and health issues. The article revealed that the mother of one was kicked out of her home as Maldonado’s cancer returned when they believed he had been cured, but fans took part on the GoFundMe page :

“It’s pretty bad. The owner wants us out – now – and we have nowhere to go. We are a family of six.”

Actress Lana Wood posing with her daughter Evan Maldonado September 28, 2000 in Thousand Oaks, California |  Source: Getty Images

Actress Lana Wood posing with her daughter Evan Maldonado September 28, 2000 in Thousand Oaks, California | Source: Getty Images

Wood explained that her daughter had to walk “attached to an oxygen machine.” Sadly, Maldonado passed away in July 2017 at the age of 42. Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a rare cancer affecting the lymphatic system, which is responsible for maintaining the functioning of the immune system.

According to Fox News, before her death, Wood revealed on the GoFundMe page that she had suffered a heart attack and was in critical condition:

“Maldonado went into complete cardiac arrest and had no heartbeat for over 20 minutes. She was intubated and is on life support.”

Evan Maldonado shows off a small ring given to him by his mother's sister, actress Natalie Wood taken September 28, 2000 in Thousand Oaks, California |  Source: Getty Images

Evan Maldonado shows off a small ring given to him by his mother’s sister, actress Natalie Wood taken September 28, 2000 in Thousand Oaks, California | Source: Getty Images

Maldonado left three children whom his mother had to take care of after her death. She, her mother, husband and children lived in a motel outside Los Angeles while struggling to make ends meet.

Wood previously told Fox News that her daughter’s medical bills had hampered her financially, driving her into homelessness after failing to pay for their rented home in California.

Lana Wood attends a special 50th anniversary screening of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences "Researchers" at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on June 23, 2006 in Beverly Hills, California |  Source: Getty Images

Lana Wood attends a special 50th anniversary screening of ‘The Searchers’ from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on June 23, 2006 in Beverly Hills, California | Source: Getty Images

The ‘Wild Faith’ star revealed that she too had health issues including arthritis, adding that doctors have yet to find long-term relief for her:

“I realized [I was in trouble] for quite a while, but it looked like we were able to bail out. We had more health problems than expected. It’s difficult.”

Regardless of these 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 sneaking his daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren into a motel was devastating for children. They only had water and snacks in their makeshift kitchen and only ate fast food.

When asked what happened to him, ‘The Marshal’ star replied that life happened. “You live in a snow globe, and the world is turned upside down, emotional. It’s like the rugs have been pulled out from under you. And it’s just 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

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 the loss of her daughter was traumatic for the children, but she managed to bounce back regardless. Luckily, 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 original goal of $10,000.

Wood told the New York Post that she was beyond grateful to the fans who fought to get her out of trouble while admitting she never thought they would come to her rescue:

“I never imagined people would help. I’m extremely grateful.”

Wood bounced back from life’s trials

Since Wood’s dark times, there have been new developments in her life, giving her reason to be happy and less stressed about finances. In September 2022, Fox News reported that the Hollywood starlet landed a new acting gig in Flixwest’s “Dog Boy.”

Wood plays Vera Summers, a self-absorbed Hollywood star on the verge of bankruptcy. The character reflects her real-life experience, which she reflected on during the interview with the publication.

She noted that the role resonated with her personal life as she easily connected with “a lot of things the character was and had been through”.

Producer Lana Wood pictured wearing a green polo neck sweater under a green suede jacket in 1970 |  Source: Getty Images

Producer Lana Wood pictured wearing a green polo neck sweater 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 times when it could have been me. It fascinated me. It fascinated me. was scary. But it was really great to do.”

The movie star noted the times when the character was asked what happened with all the money she made – and her response was that she spent it all thinking the money would always come – this which she later discovered was not the case.

Wood said this specific scene echoed her reality which was touching. “But what a wonderful experience,” said the California native.

Lana Wood attends the 2011 Chiller Theater Expo at Hilton Parsippany on October 29, 2011 in Parsippany, New Jersey |  Source: Getty Images

Lana Wood attends the 2011 Chiller Theater Expo at Hilton Parsippany on October 29, 2011 in Parsippany, New Jersey | Source: Getty Images

To this day, Wood still cares for her grandchildren, who live with her, and stressed that they have never been apart since their mother passed away. They now have a home with their cats and dogs.

Wood explained the living arrangements and his relationship with the grandchildren, joking that although they know each other, there are still squabbles here and there.

“We know each other. We argue about cooking and eating. One of the kids is homeschooled, and I’m here with him, trying to figure out algebra. But I’m very happy,” said Wood.

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

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

Speaking of making a big screen return, she revealed that she was welcomed with open arms on set. However, Wood also revealed that it was scary 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 independent film with quite a few crew members, but she felt like coming home once she got back and quickly befriended almost everyone. It threw his nerves out the window.

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