Sitcom star Marlene Clark has died at 85 (Picture: NBC)
Actress Marlene Clark has died at the age of 85.
The star died at home in Los Angeles earlier this month after a career stretching over decades.
Her close friend Tamara Lynch confirmed the news on Friday, paying tribute to her ‘tenacious’ personality and work ethic.
Clark was best known for appearing in sitcom Sanford and Son, as well as classic horror movie Ganja & Hess and Night of the Cobra Woman.
Born in 1949, Clark made her showbiz debut as a teenager in For The Love of Ivy, going on to appear in the likes of The Bill Cosby Show, Slaughter and Enter the Dragon.
Her final appearance as an actress came in 1988 in sitcom Head of the Class.
Head of the Class was Clark’s last major outing as an actress in 1988 (Picture: Getty)
Lynch told People her late friend was an ‘extraordinary woman,’ paying tribute to her ‘grit’ and ‘command of attention’ despite her small stature.
‘She was tenacious in her love of art, film, and expression,’ and retained her work ethic until the day she died.
‘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 a trailbazer as a Black actress in the 1960s, Lynch went on.
Clark was a ‘trailblazer’ as a Black actress in the 1960s, her friend shared after her death (Picture: ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images)
‘Everything she’s doing is the first. So she’s being in these films with these Black filmmakers and these Black actors and these Black writers and creating this movement.’
Her Sanford and Son co-star Demond Wilson, who played her love interest in the classic sitcom, shared his sadness at the news.
He wrote on Twitter: ‘RIP beautiful actress Marlene Clark. . . It was a delight to work with you. 12/19/49 – 5/18/23.’
Fans flocked to give their condolences to the actor, one writing it was ‘such sad news.’
‘So sorry to hear this,’ one wrote, while another offered their ‘thoughts and prayers [to] the whole Clark family.’
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Tributes have been paid to the ‘tenacious’ actress.