Land of the Giants star Deanna Lund dead at 81

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Jun 26, 2018, 9:26 AM EDT

Land of the Giants star Deanna Lund died on June 22. She was 81 years old.

The series, created by Irwin Allen, followed the crew and passengers of the Spindrift as they get sucked into a magnetic storm and end up on a different planet, one where the inhabitants are twelve times the size of the average Earthling. The series aired from 1968 to 1970, but was set in 1983. Fifty-one episodes were produced, but it was cancelled because it cost around $250,000 per episode - a record at the time.

Lund played Valerie Scott, a selfish party girl who became a likeable team player over the course of the series. "Land of the Giants was not an actors' show," she told Tom Lisanti in his book, Fantasy Femmes of Sixties Cinema. "We were always upstaged by the special effects. At the time I was embarrassed because it wasn't Chekhov, it was Land of the Giants! I thought then, 'My God, is this what I studied acting for?'"

While waiting for Land of the Giants to start shooting, Roman Polanski offered her the role of Terry in Rosemary's Baby. Irwin Allen didn't trust that she would be done in time to start shooting Giants, so he wouldn't let her do the film - something that Lund regretted.

Lund had a career that spanned 50 years. She played The Riddler's girl Anna Gram on the 1967 Batman TV series and appeared on a 1978 episode of The Incredible Hulk. She appeared in Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine, which starred Vincent Price; Sting of Death, about a killer mutant jellyfish; Dimension 5, a spy-thriller in which time travel is used to thwart Chinese operatives; Italian horror film Superstition 2; and Christmas horror film Elves. Her last credited project was 2015's Boned

In 1992, Lund wrote a Land of the Giants novella titled Valerie in Giantland.

She died in her home of pancreatic cancer. She is survived by two daughters, a son, and nearly a dozen grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Source: Hollywood Reporter