Marlene Clark dead at 85: The popular ‘Sanford and Son’ actress dies at home on the same day as her ‘Slaughter’ co-star Jim Brown
SANFORD and Son actress Marlene Clark, who starred in several films in the 1970s, has died at the age of 85.
Clark’s friend Tamara Lynch announced the actress’ death, revealing that she died on May 18 at her home in Los Angeles.
No cause of death was announced at this time.
“For 15 years, she curated a vibrant dining scene that brought underground artists to meet locals and the stars of film and TV,” said Lynch.
“She had a vision of culinary excellence coupled with dynamic, professional service and would use her discerning eye to chart the roadmap for LA’s glamorous restaurant scene.”
“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.
Clark died the same day as NFL legend Jim Brown, who she co-starred in the 1972 film Slaughter.
“RIP, beautiful actress Marlene Clark. . . It was a pleasure working with you…” tweeted Demond Wilson, who portrayed Lamont Sanford.
Clark played Janet Lawson, who was Lamont’s fiancee on the series.
She also appeared in Roger Corman’s ‘Night of the Cobra Woman’ in 1972 and played an alleged werewolf in the British horror film The Beast Must Die.
Clark captivated audiences when he played a widow who is turned into a vampire in the 1973 film Ganja & Hess.
“Her personality has so many layers,” Clark said of her character, Ganja, who was created by the vampire Dr. Hess Green, played by Duane Jones, becomes an immortal creature of the night.
“It is a collection of contradictions. It was very rewarding to play that role.”
The Hollywood Reporter She gave December 19, 1937 as her date of birth. However, other sources report that she was born in 1949, making her 73 years old at the time of her death.
She attended Morristown Junior College in Tennessee before attending City College in New York.
Clark worked as a model prior to her debut film For Love of Ivy in 1968, which starred Sidney Poitier.
Director Bill Gunn hired Clark for his directorial debut film, Stop, which received an X rating and was not seen by the public for years.
“Most of the movies that I’ve been in didn’t come out when they were supposed to, or never came out at all — and if the movies don’t get released, the studios won’t do anything to promote them,” Clark said.
“So you’re missing out on all the advertising that can lead to other jobs.”
Still, she worked regularly on television, appearing in episodes of Bonanza, Mod Squad, The Rookies, Barnaby Jones, Highways to Heaven and Head of the Class before retiring in the late 1980s years retired from acting.
During her acting career, Clark opened her own clothing store on Melrose Avenue and also became the manager of Hal’s Bar & Grill in Venice Beach.
From 1968 to 1971, Clark was married to Billy Dee Williams, best known for his role as Lando Calrissian in the Star Wars series.
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