Marlene Clark, a prolific actress who appeared in many films and television shows and had a recurring role on “Sanford and Son,” has died.
Clark died at her Los Angeles home on May 18, according to her friend Tamara Lynch. No cause of death was given.
IMDB lists Clark’s date of birth as Dec. 19, 1949, which would make her 73. However, the Hollywood Reporter and other media outlets list her date of birth as Dec. 19, 1937, which would make her 85. THR told City News Service that they spoke with a family friend, who confirmed that the earlier birth date is correct.
Clark’s list of credits features many horror, action and “blaxploitation” films of the 1970s, including “Night of the Cobra Woman,” “Beware! The Blob” “Enter the Dragon,” “Ganja & Hess,” “Switchblade Sisters” and “Slaughter.”
However, she’s probably best known for her six-episode run playing Lamont’s fiancee on the hit NBC sitcom “Sanford and Son.”
Demond Wilson, who played Lamont, the son of Redd Foxx’s Fred G. Sanford, tweeted: “RIP beautiful actress Marlene Clark. . . It was a delight to work with you. 12/19/49 – 5/18/23.”
Clark’s other television work includes appearances on “Marcus Welby, M.D.,” “Mod Squad,” “McCloud,” “Bonanza,” “The Rookies,” “The Richard Pryor Show,” “Barnaby Jones,” “Flamingo Road,” “Highway to Heaven,” “Head of the Class” and several others.
“If you knew Marlene, you knew that the one thing that she had was grit,” Lynch told People. “She was a very small-statured woman, really thin. She almost looked like a Black Polynesian, she was just so exotic. Then she had this deep, cavernous voice. When she spoke, it was such a command of attention.
“She was tenacious in her love of art, film, and expression. Really, to the day she died, if she had an audition, Marlene would’ve gone to the audition. She would’ve done anything. She was one of those die-hard old-school actors, performers, Hollywood people. You do the work. You show up. You know your lines, and then you go home and you go back, and you do it the next day.”
Clark was briefly married to actor Billy Dee Williams from 1968-71.