Lanna Saunders, Broadway Actress, Is Dead at 65

Obituaries   Lanna Saunders, Broadway Actress, Is Dead at 65
Lanna Saunders, a stage actress who appeared in the original Broadway productions of Milk and Honey and Philadelphia, Here I Come!, died March 10 in Sherman Oaks, CA, due to complications of multiple sclerosis. She was 65.

Ms. Saunders, a member of a theatrical clan, made her Broadway debut while still a teenager, taking on the part of Anne Roosevelt in Sunrise at Campobello. In 1961, she played Barbara, the daughter of Phil, the male lead played by Robert Weede, in Jerry Herman's Israel-set musical Milk and Honey.

Following the short-lived 1964 comedy Never Live Over a Pretzel Factory, she starred in The Changling as part of the Lincoln Center Theater ensemble headed by artistic directors Elia Kazan and Robert Whitehead. She made her final Broadway appearance playing Kate Doogan in the New York premiere of Brian Friel's classic Philadelphia, Here I Come!.

Lanna Saunders was born Dec. 22, 1941, in New York City to Nicholas Saunders, a Ukraine-born actor who had a long stage career. Her grandfather was producer, director and playwright Nicholas Soussanin, who bore the original family name. Ms Saunders was married to Lawrence Pressman, whom she played opposite in Never Live Over a Pretzel Factory. Their son is David Pressmen. Both men survive her.

Her film and television credits include "The Six Million Dollar Man," "The Waltons," "The Days of Our Lives" and "Body Heat."

She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1990. In lieu of flowers, donations should be made to the M.S. Society (2440 S. Sepulveda. #115, Los Angeles, CA 90064) or Actors Fund (5757 Wilshire Blvd #400, Los Angeles, CA 90036).

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