Actress Marlene Clark has died at the age of 85. Clark appeared in a number of films throughout the 1970s, including Ganja & Hess, Switchblade Sisters, and Slaughter. She also played Lamont’s fiancée on NBC’s Sanford and Son and starred in Night of the Cobra Woman and The Beast Must Die. Clark’s body of work also included Enter the Dragon, Black Mamba, Newman’s Law, Lord Shango, and The Baron. In the surreal Ganja & Hess, Clark played a widow named Ganja who is turned into a vampire by Dr. Hess Green. Clark died on May 18 in her home in Los Angeles.
In light of the recent news by The Hollywood Reporter, Marlene Clark, the talented actress known for her appearances in various films and TV shows, has passed away at the age of 85. Clark was a statuesque actress who was best known for her role as Lamont’s fiancée on Sanford and Son, as well as her performances in films like Ganja & Hess, Switchblade Sisters, and Slaughter.
Clark passed away on May 18 in her home in Los Angeles, as announced by her friend Tamara Lynch. No cause of death was revealed. Clark had a prolific career in the film industry, starring in various films such as Night of the Cobra Woman, The Beast Must Die, Enter the Dragon, Black Mamba, Newman’s Law, Lord Shango, and The Baron.
One of Clark’s most memorable performances was in the surreal Ganja & Hess, directed by Bill Gunn. In the film, Clark played a widow named Ganja who is turned into a vampire by Dr. Hess Green (Duane Jones), an anthropologist turned immortal bloodsucker. The movie played as the only American entry in the Critics Week sidebar at the Cannes Film Festival in 1973.
Clark’s versatility as an actress was evident in her various roles, from playing a government agent in Slaughter to portraying Muff, the leader of an all-female Black gang aiming to derail murderous drug dealers, in Switchblade Sisters. She also recurred as Janet Lawson, the love interest of Demond Wilson’s character, on six episodes of NBC’s Sanford and Son from 1976-77.
Born in Harlem on December 19, 1937, Clark spent her summers in West Virginia, the birthplace of her mother. She attended Morristown Junior College in Tennessee and City College in New York and worked as a model before making her film debut in the 1969 drama The Lost Man.
Clark’s contributions to the film industry will always be remembered, and her passing is a great loss to the entertainment world. Her talent and versatility as an actress will continue to inspire future generations of actors and actresses. Rest in peace, Marlene Clark.