DECEMBER 22, 1941-MARCH 10, 2007
     Lanna Saunders, who portrayed one of Salem's original characters, Marie Horton, from April 1979-April 1985, has died. Saunders died on Saturday, March 10, 2007 in Sherman Oaks, California after a 25-year battle with multiple sclerosis. She was 65.
     Saunders was born on December 22, 1941 in New York City. She started performing on Broadway at the age of 13. Years later, while studying with Elia Kazan, she would meet her future husband, actor Lawrence Pressman. They were married in 1973.
     Saunders began her television career as Ellen Williams on the daytime drama "The Brighter Day" from 1960-1961. She also made appearances on primetime shows such as "Marcus Welby, M.D.", "Barnaby Jones" and "Fantasy Island" before beginning a six-year stint on "Days of Our Lives" as Marie Horton, Tom and Alice's daughter, in April 1979. In 1954, Ms. Saunders and Macdonald Carey had appeared in a play called "Anniversary Waltz" where they portrayed father and daughter. 25 years later, they were portraying father and daughter again, this time on "Days."
     During her time on "Days", Saunders was paired with two leading men, Quinn Redeker (Alex Marshall) and Joseph Gallison (Neil Curtis). In 1982, Ms. Saunders was first diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, but she continued for another three years on the show, making her final appearance in April 1985, when she became too ill to continue acting.
     Ken Corday, executive producer of "Days of Our Lives", issued this statement on her passing: "As an actress, as well as a person, Lanna Saunders had an elegance and grace that bespoke the deepest qualities of her soul which made her character, Sister Marie, honest and believable, yet so easy to look at."
     Saunders leaves behind her husband of 34 years, Lawrence Pressman; a son, David Pressman; and her mother, Gedda Petry.


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