Lanna Saunders, 65; played Sister Marie on ‘Days of Our Lives’

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Lanna Saunders, 65, who followed her father and grandfather into the family craft of acting and was best known for a long-running role on “Days of Our Lives,” died of complications from multiple sclerosis Saturday in Sherman Oaks, her husband, Lawrence Pressman, said.

Saunders was 13 when she started performing on Broadway. She met her husband while studying with Elia Kazan. Saunders later joined Kazan’s Lincoln Center Company and performed under his direction in Arthur Miller’s “After the Fall.”

She also appeared as Roz Kraft in the 1981 film “Body Heat.”

She joined the cast of the soap opera “Days of Our Lives” in 1979 in the role of Sister Marie but left the show in 1985, when she became too ill to continue, Pressman said. She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1982.


The couple’s son, David Pressman, is also an actor. Saunders’ father, Nicholas Saunders, died in August. Her grandfather was the Russian actor Nicholas Soussanin.From Times Staff and Wire Reports