Bond Girls Lana Wood and Jill St. John, and the Shadows of a Hollywood Tragedy

Bond Girls Lana Wood and Jill St. John, and the Shadows of a Hollywood Tragedy

In a tale that intertwines Hollywood’s dazzling stardom with its profound tragedies, Lana Wood, notable for her role as Plenty O’Toole in the 1971 James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever, presents a captivating narrative.

Interestingly, her Diamonds Are Forever co-star Jill St. John shares an unexpected connection with her – both women are linked to Robert Wagner, Natalie Wood’s husband at the time of her death.

In the spotlight now is Lana’s new book, “Little Sister: My Investigation into the Mysterious Death of Natalie Wood,” where she steps out of her sister’s shadow to shed new light on Hollywood’s long-standing enigma – Natalie’s mysterious death.


Natalie Wood, the Hollywood icon and star of classic films such as Rebel Without a Cause, West Side Story, and Splendor in the Grass, met an untimely and mysterious demise in November 1981. Initially ruled as an accidental drowning, Natalie’s death continues to puzzle investigators and fans, even four decades later.

In this revealing account, Lana Wood, Natalie’s younger sister, delves deep into the case, presenting her personal insights and research that challenge the theory of her sister’s death as a mere accident.

Plenty O'Toole playing craps
Lana Wood as Plenty O’Toole in Diamonds Are Forever

Lana Wood’s Investigation into Natalie’s Death

Natalie Wood’s death was initially reported as an accidental drowning while she was on a yacht trip with her then-husband Robert Wagner, actor Christopher Walken, and skipper Dennis Davern. The circumstances surrounding her death, however, have always been shrouded in ambiguity and speculation.

In her book, Lana details her personal journey of investigating her sister’s mysterious death. She expresses a firm belief that Natalie’s death wasn’t an accident, despite the initial conclusions drawn by authorities. Lana challenges the accepted narrative, presenting an alternative perspective informed by her intimate understanding of Natalie and her personal observations.

Lana shares her experiences and insights gained over the course of her investigation into Natalie’s death. She expresses frustration at the handling of the case and supports the removal of the “accident” label from Natalie’s death certificate in 2012, reinforcing her belief that there were “undetermined factors” involved in her sister’s demise.

Robert Wagner as a “Person of Interest”

Natalie Wood was married twice to Robert Wagner, first from 1957 to 1962, and then remarried in 1972. Their relationship, often romanticized in the press, was nevertheless complex and marked by separations and reconciliations.

Robert Wagner was one of the last people to see Natalie alive on the night of her death. In his 2008 memoir, Pieces of My Heart, he suggested that Natalie might have slipped and fallen while trying to re-tie a dinghy that was banging against the yacht. However, his version of events has been scrutinized and questioned.

Robert Wagner and Jill St. John
Robert Wagner and Jill St. John started dating in 1982 and married in 1990

Despite being named a “person of interest” in Natalie’s case by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in 2018, Wagner has never been formally charged in connection with her death. The re-emergence of the case and his new designation underscore the lingering questions and suspicions regarding Natalie’s final hours.

The Bond Connection and Intricate Relationships

Jill St. John, an LA native, launched her acting career as a child and was a classmate of Natalie Wood in dance classes at the Panaieff Ballet Center. She was well known in Hollywood circles for several high profile affairs, including Henry Kissinger, the then Secretary of State.

St. John went on to play Bond girl Tiffany Case in the 1971 James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever, sharing the screen with Lana Wood, who played Plenty O’Toole, a character that ironically died by drowning in Diamonds Are Forever.

After the mysterious death of Lana’s sister Natalie in November 1981, Robert Wagner started dating Jill St. John. The couple had known each other since the 1960s, with their friendship blossoming into romance by the 1982, just a few months after the death of Natalie Wood. After dating for eight years, the couple tied the knot on May 26, 1990, and St. John became the stepmother to both of Natalie Wood’s daughters.

While there is no blame placed on Jill St. John, the relationship between Lana Wood, Robert Wagner, and her former co-star remains strained. And with Wagner labeled as a “person of interest” and Lana staunchly defending her sister’s legacy, this unusual James Bond connection adds an ironic twist to an already complicated narrative.