May 20, 2023
Marlene Clark, the phenomenal beauty who went from modeling to acting in the '60s, '70s and '80s, has died peacefully in her L.A. home.
She was 85, not 73, as initially thought.
Glass Hair Design posted a remembrance stating that Clark died on May 18, the same day as her Slaughter (1972) co-star Jim Brown, who died at 87.
Clark was born in Harlem on December 19, 1949, and grew up there, spending summers in West Virginia. Her first career was as a fashion model, but she segued naturally into films with 1968's For Love of Ivy, which starred Sidney Poitier (1927-2022).
Though uncredited for her work in Midnight Cowboy (1969) and Putney Swope (1969), she was pictured on the poster of the latter, directed by Robert Downey Sr. (1936-2021).
She was directed by Hal Ashby (1929-1988) in his debut The Landlord (1970) and by Larry Hagman (1931-2012) in Beware! The Blob (1972), going on to appear with Jim Brown in Slaughter and then in the genre flick Night of the Cobra Woman (1972).
Her most famous and appreciated film was Ganja & Hess (1973) by Bill Gunn (1934-1989), a vampire classic.
Other film work includes Enter the Dragon (1973) and Switchblade Sisters (1975).
On TV, Clark was known as the character Lamont's girlfriend on Sanford & Son (1976-1977). She acted on TV until 1988.
There is no word on survivors.