Marlene Clark (born December 19, 1949, in Los Angeles, California) appears in the role of Janet Lawson, a divorced mother, and girlfriend/fiancee of Lamont Sanford on the NBC-TV series Sanford and Son. A veteran film/TV actress with 35 credits to her resume. Marlene was raised in Harlem, New York.
Early life and careerEdit
Marlene's father was a bus driver and her mother worked in a factory. After graduation from high school in 1966, Marlene attended junior college in Tennessee before transferring to the City College of New York as a Speech Major. She first started acting in plays at CCNY, moonlighting as a fashion model before making her film debut with a small part in the Sidney Poitier film For Love of Ivy (1968). This later led to bit roles in Midnight Cowboy (1969) and Putney Swope (1969).
In her first major role in film, Marlene gave an incredible performance as the alluring but dangerous Ganja in Ganja & Hess (1973). Other parts include pesky government agent Kim in Slaughter opposite Jim Brown (1972). the ill-fated Mariane Hargis in the cult-horror sci-fi classic Beware! The Blob (1972), the very sexy, reptilian demonic seductress in Night of the CobraWoman( 1972), the foxy Caroline in The Beast Must Die (1974) and the affluentCaroline in The Baron (1977). Marlene auditioned and was selected for the recurring role as Janet Lawson, who eventually became Lamont Sanford's girlfriend/fiancé on the NBC-TV series Sanford and Son (1975). In addition, she has made guest appearances on episodes of such TV shows as Marcus Welby, M.D. (1969), Bonanza (1971), The Bill Cosby Show (1970), two episodes of ABC's Mod Squad in 1970 and 1972, NBC-TV's Highway to Heaven (1987) and Head of the Class (1988).
Clark was married to actor 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."