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Biography

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Overview (1)

Date of Birth 19 December 1949Los Angeles, California, USA

Mini Bio (1)

Lovely, sultry and charismatic Marlene Clark was born December 19, 1949, in Los Angeles, California. Her father was a bus driver and her mother worked in a factory. Marlene grew up in New York City's Harlem area, and went to junior college in Tennessee. She was a speech major at the City College of New York. She first started acting in plays in college. She was working as a fashion model before making her film debut with a small part in For Love of Ivy (1968). Marlene has had minor uncredited bit roles in Midnight Cowboy (1969) and Putney Swope (1969). She gave an outstanding performance as the enticing but dangerous Ganja in Ganja & Hess (1973). Other memorable parts include pesky government agent Kim in Slaughter (1972). the ill-fated Mariane Hargis in Beware! The Blob (1972), the very sexy titular reptilian demonic seductress in Night of the Cobra Woman (1972), the foxy Caroline in The Beast Must Die (1974) and the affluent Caroline in The Baron (1977). She had a recurring role as Lamont Sanford's fiancé Janet Lawson on the hit sitcom Sanford and Son (1972). In addition, she has made guest appearances on episodes of such TV shows as Marcus Welby, M.D. (1969), Bonanza (1959), Mod Squad (1968), Highway to Heaven (1984) and Head of the Class (1986). Clark was married to Billy Dee Williams from 1968 to 1971. More recently she has done interviews and commentaries on DVD releases of the films "Ganja & Hess" and "The Baron."

- IMDb Mini Biography By: woodyanders (qv's & corrections by A. Nonymous)

Spouse (1)

Billy Dee Williams (1968 - 1971) (divorced)

Trivia (2)

Was featured prominently in the newspaper ads and posters of Putney Swope (1969), but appears unbilled in the movie.
Before becoming an actress, she was a model - mostly in New York.

Personal Quotes (2)

[reflecting on her career as a black actress] I've worked. I did shows, I did guest spots, I did things in movies. I had a career, I paid my bills. I don't not work because of my color, I don't not work because of my age. I think the whole Blaxploitation thing, financially it was very rewarding and it helped [the studios] through some rough times. They used it, and then when they didn't need it anymore, they didn't need it anymore. For me, that's pretty much how everything works. So is race involved? Yeah, race is involved, but also some of it is just business. This is what we do, and this is how we do it; we use you, and then we don't. We exploit a situation or a person or whatever and then we move on. So I try to not look at everything as though it's about race. First of all it will make you crazy and paranoid, and secondly it's not always about that. I do what I do because I have to stay sane, and if you just play that race card all the time you will not be sane. You will be angry and not a happy person. It's not how I want to run my life.
[Talking about working with Jim Brown on Slaughter (1972)] He was OK. The first scene we did, we shot one take and then he walked over to the director and said, "Tell her she can't act that way." Jim said, "I don't act, I react, and that's what she's doing. She can't do what I'm doing." And I'm standing there while he says this. [laughs] It was too "under" for him. So, I just did what I was told.

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