Veteran actress Deanna Lund, who played General Hospital's Peggy Lowell and One Life to Live's Virginia Keyser, has died of pancreatic cancer. She was 81.
Lund was best known for her work as party girl Valerie Ames Scott in Irwin Allen's 1960s cult classic television series Land of the Giants, which followed seven castaways trying to survive in a world of large, unfriendly people.
Lund's first daytime role was the GH character of Peggy, which she took on in 1976. She later played the role of OLTL's Virginia from 1980 to 1981. Funny enough, in 1970, the actress married the late Don Matheson, who not only portrayed tycoon Mark Wilson on Land of the Giants but also played GH character Peggy's boss and lover, Cameron Faulkner, at the same time Lund stared on the ABC soap opera.
The pair's marriage ended in divorce ten years later, but her daughter Michele, who played Angela Shostakovich on the 1985-90 ABC sitcom Mr. Belvedere, told THR in 2014 that they remained the best of friends.
"They talked several times a day, laughed and drove each other nuts and lived across the street from one another or within a couple blocks for the last 35 years," she shared.
Lund was born on May 30, 1937, in Oak Park, Illinois, and was raised in Daytona Beach, Florida. She studied acting at Rollins College in Winter Park, and, after a brief marriage to a rodeo rider, worked as a weather girl on a local TV station in Miami.
Despite being a mother of two young children, she took off to try her luck in Hollywood and quickly began landing film roles like the beautiful robot in Norman Taurog's Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine, starring Vincent Price, Frankie Avalon, and Dwayne Hickman. She also appeared as a redheaded lesbian stripper opposite Frank Sinatra in Tony Rome and as Anna Gram, a mole working for the Riddler (John Astin), on ABC's Batman (where she reportedly did many of her own stunts, including hanging from ropes over flames and being carried by an ape).
In addition to acting, Lund also wrote a 1992 novella titled Valerie in Giantland, based on Land of the Giants but set a decade later.
Lund is survived by daughters Michele and Kimberly; son Randy; grandchildren Phyllis, Elizabeth, Shawn, Tyler, Ryan, Jack, and Jolene; and great-grandchildren Ellie, Charlotte, and Quinn. A celebration of her life will take place in July.
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