Marlene Clark, actress in “Sanford and Son” and “Ganja & Hess”, dies at the age of 85

Marlene Clark, the beautiful actress who played Lamont’s fiancé Sanford and Son and stood out in 1970s movies like Ganya & Hess, Switchblade sisters And Butcher, died. She was 85.

Clark died at her home in Los Angeles on May 18, her family announced. No cause of death was announced.

More from The Hollywood Reporter

Clark also played the role of a reptilian seductress in Roger Corman’s film Night of the Cobra Woman (1972) and as one of the alleged werewolves in British horror films The beast must die (1974), and she was an early victim of the Larry Hagman-directed Beware! the blob (1972).

Clark played John Saxon‘s secretary in Enter the dragon (1973) starring Bruce Lee and her work for the big screen were also included Black mamba (1974), Newman’s law (1974), Lord Shango (1975) and the baron (1977), where she appeared opposite her The beast must die Screen husband Calvin Lockhart.

In the surreal Ganya & Hess (1973) directed by Bill Gunn, Clark starred as a widow named Ganja, who was treated by Dr. Hess Green (Duane Jones), an anthropologist turned immortal bloodsucker, is turned into a vampire. He eventually gives up this way of life, but she carries on. The film was the only American entry in Critics’ Week at the Cannes Film Festival that year.

“Her personality has so many layers,” she said of her character in 2000 Schlock Temple Interview. “It is a collection of contradictions. It was very rewarding to play that role.”

Clark embodied it as a government agent Jim Brown-with Butcher (1972) and Muff, the leader of an all-female black gang whose goal is to unnerve murderous drug dealers Switchblade sisters (1975), directed by Jack Hill.

She then appeared in six episodes of NBC as Janet Lawson, the lover of Demond Wilson’s character Sanford and Son from 1976-77. Lamont’s pop, Fred Sanford (Redd Foxx), is initially unhappy with their getting engaged. but he comes around.

Marlene Clark and Calvin Lockhart in THE BEAST MUST DIE, 1974

Marlene Clark with Calvin Lockhart in The Beast Must Die in 1974

Clark was born in Harlem on December 19, 1937, and often spent her summers in West Virginia, her mother’s birthplace.

She attended Morristown Junior College in Tennessee and City College in New York and worked as a model before making her film debut in 2019 For the love of Ivy (1968) starring Sidney Poitier.

Clark followed with roles in John Schlesinger’s film Midnight Cowboy (1969), Robert Downey Sr.’s Putney Swope (1969) – in which she was a topless flight attendant in a spoof of an airline commercial – and with Hal Ashby Landlord (1970), co-authored by Gunn.

Gunn hired her for his directorial debut To stop! (1970), but the film was rated X, shelved by Warner Bros. and not seen for years.

“Most of the movies I’ve been in didn’t come out when they were supposed to, or at all – and if the movies don’t get released, the studios won’t do anything to promote them. She said. “So you’re missing out on all the publicity that can lead to other jobs.”

However, Clark managed to find work for episodes of Marcus Welby, MD, gold mine, Mod Squad, McCloud, The Rookies, Barnaby Jones, flamingo road, highway to heaven And leader of the class before retiring from acting in the late 1980s.

While still an actress, she opened her own clothing store on Melrose Avenue in the ’80s and then became the manager of Hal’s Bar & Grill in Venice Beach.

“For 15 years she curated a vibrant dining scene where underground artists met locals and the stars of film and TV,” her family said. “She had a vision of culinary excellence coupled with dynamic, professional service and would envision the glamorous LA dining scene, which she brilliantly executed with her discerning eye.

“Marlene’s style was impeccable. She loved fashion, food and acting. We will miss her big, full laugh that could fill a room. She leaves behind friends and family who will forever be grateful for her grace, love and beautiful heart. Marlene was one of our finest examples of black beauty.”

She was the second wife of actor Billy Dee Williams (they were married from 1968 to 1971) and they appeared together in the 1970 NBC TV movie lost flight.

The best of The Hollywood Reporter


Click here to read the full article.

Skyred is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button