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Marlene Clark, ‘Sanford & Son’ and ‘Ganja & Hayes’ actress, dies at 85

Marlene Clark, the iconic actress who plays Lamont’s fiancee sanford and son and 1970s movies like Hemp and Hayes, switchblade sisters And Kill, has died. She was 85 years old.

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

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Clark also starred as a reptile seductress in Roger Corman’s night of the cobra lady (1972) and as one of the suspected werewolves in the British horror film the beast must die (1974), and that Larry Hagman-directed Beware! the blob (1972).

Clarke played John Saxonin the secretary of enter the Dragon (1973), which starred Bruce Lee, and included his big screen body of work black Mamba (1974), newman’s law (1974), Lord Shango (1975) and the baron (1977), where she appeared opposite him animal must die onscreen husband, Calvin Lockhart.

in real Hemp and Hayes (1973), directed by Bill Gunn, saw Clarke shine as a widow named Ganja, whom Dr. Turned into a vampire by Hayes Green (Duane Jones), an anthropomorph turned immortal bloodsucker. He eventually gives up on that way of life, but she carries on. The film appeared as the only American entry in the Critics’ Week sidebar at the Cannes Film Festival that year.

“She has many layers to her personality,” she said of her character in 2000. temple of verse Interview. “He’s such a collection of contradictions. It was very rewarding to play that role.

Clarke portrayed a government agent jim brown– starring Kill (1972) and Muff, leader of an all-female black gang whose mission is to take down murderous drug dealers switchblade sisters (1975), directed by Jack Hill.

She then recurred as Janet Lawson, the love interest of Daymond Wilson’s character, on six episodes of the NBC sanford and son From 1976-77 onwards. Lamont’s pop, Fred Sanford (Red Fox), doesn’t approve of their engagement at first, but he comes around,

Marlene Clarke and Calvin Lockhart in The Beast Must Die, 1974

Marlene Clarke with Calvin Lockhart in ‘The Beast Must Die’, 1974

Born in Harlem on December 19, 1937, Clark often spent 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. for the love of ivy (1968), starring Sidney Poitier.

Clarke followed with the parts of John Schlesinger. midnight cowboy (1969), Robert Downey Sr. putney swope (1969) – she was a topless flight attendant in a parody of an airline ad – and Hal Ashby’s landlord (1970), co-written by Gunn.

Gunn hired him for his directorial debut stop! (1970), but the film was given an X rating, was shelved by Warner Bros. and was not seen for years.

“Most of the movies I starred in didn’t come out when they should have or never did — and if the movies aren’t going to be released, the studios aren’t going to do anything to promote them, ” He said. “So you miss out on the publicity that could lead to other jobs.”

Clarke, however, managed to find work on episodes of Marcus Welby, MD, Gift, mod squad, McCloud, cheater, barnaby jones, Flamingo Road, Highway to Heaven And head of the class before quitting acting in the late 1980s.

While still acting, she opened her own clothing store on Melrose Avenue in the 1980s and then became the manager of Hell’s Bar & Grill in Venice Beach.

Her family said, “For 15 years she curated a bustling restaurant scene where underground artists mingled with locals and stars from film and television.” “He had a vision of culinary excellence coupled with dynamic professional service and would brilliantly create the blueprint for the glamorous LA restaurant scene with his discerning eye.

“Marlene’s style was impeccable. She loved fashion, food, and acting. Her big, boisterous laugh that could fill a room will be missed. She leaves behind friends and family who cherish her grace, love, and beautiful Will forever be grateful for the 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 1968–71), and they appeared together in the 1970 NBC telefilm lost flight,

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