Thursday, May 30, 2013

Rant #973: "Giant" Heart Throb

Today, Deanna Lund is 76 years old.

Happy birthday, Deanna.

Most of you don't have the slightest idea who I am talking about, but if you were a boy in the late 1960s, you probably know exactly who I am referring to.

Lund was the sexpot on the popular Irwin Allen TV series, "Land of the Giants." The show was about an aircraft somehow breaking a barrier and ending up in a land where everyone around them was huge, and they were the size of dolls.

The show revolved around how they survived in a land where their kind was hunted. It was an extremely clever series, taking over the spot of another Allen series, "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" on the ABC schedule.

The show starred Gary Conway, Don Marshall--who, along with Nichelle Nichols of "Star Trek," were the first black actors to appear as regular characters on an American TV science fiction/action/adventure series--and Don Matheson, Lund's later husband, but to all preteen boys with hormones starting to erupt, Lund was the centerpiece of the entire show.

She played Valerie Ames Scott, who, if I remember correctly, was an actress who, let's say, fit into her outfits very well. There were other women on the series--Heather Young played the heroic stewardess--but all boys' eyes were on Lund.

Through two seasons and 51 episodes, from 1968 to 1970, the show ran, and it featured the exploits of how the lost crew and its passengers survived in a land where they were fish out of water.

The show closely resembled another Allen series, "Lost in Space," and quite frankly, it really didn't have the charm of that series, but it was clever enough to know it and run with what they had.

At the time, each episode set a record for cost, and with all of the large-sized props and elements of the show, one could see why.

Anyway, after the show ended, Lund appeared here and there on TV and in the movies. She had a major part in the film "Hardly Working," Jerry Lewis' comeback movie, and she also wrote a novel which revisited the "Land of the Giants" motif, told from the perspective of her character.

Her stardom was short-lived, but any boy like me who watched that show each and every week had to notice Lund. She kind of stuck out like a sore thumb on that show, but in a very good way.

So here's to Lund, whose role on the show lives on in TV reruns and on DVD.

Have a "Giant" birthday!

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