Lana Clarkson

Active - 1982 - 2001  |   Born - Apr 5, 1962   |   Died - Feb 3, 2003   |   Genres - Comedy, Adventure, Thriller, Fantasy

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Biography by Jason Buchanan

Though pretty television and B-movie actress Lana Clarkson would sadly gain more career attention in death than in life, she will forever be remembered by friends and fans alike for her winning sense of humor and down-to-earth friendliness. Born in Long Beach, CA, in 1962, Clarkson showed a penchant for entertaining early on by reciting stories and nursery rhymes to anyone willing to lend their attention to the outgoing young lass. After vocally declaring her independence by age five, Clarkson and her family would eventually settle in Cloverdale, CA, in the early '70s, where she would begin her lifelong love of horseback riding. A basketball player at Cloverdale High, the towering 16-year-old soon began to harbor modeling aspirations. After moving to Los Angeles in 1978, Clarkson's dreams would become realized as the striking young beauty stepped before the cameras of fashion photographers while simultaneously beginning a successful career in film and television. Appearing in such television hits as Happy Days and Fantasy Island (she could frequently be seen placing leis on guest stars at the beginning of the show), at age 18 Clarkson acquired her SAG card with a role in Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982). Though roles in Scarface (1983) and Blind Date (1984) would follow soon after, it was Clarkson's appearance in such Roger Corman efforts as Deathstalker and Barbarian Queen that would truly endear the attractive young actress to legions of B-movie lovers. Living in the canals of Venice, CA, in her later years, Clarkson's winning sense of humor lead her to explore a career in standup comedy, and after breaking her wrists in a fall in 2001, the optimistic actress used her recovery time to focus her career. In early 2003, the world of film would lose an enduring and shining personality as Clarkson's life was abruptly ended with a bullet. She was 40.

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