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Speculations… Marlene Clark, Black SF Superwoman

There was a moment in the early half of the 1970’s when Marlene Clark was beginning to become the grand dame of SF movie fame. She starred in several tv shows and films with SF themes as well as other cult classics like Putney Swope (1969), The Landlord (1970) and Enter the Dragon (1973). This work took her from New York, to California and as far away as the Philippines. She is quite rare amongst actors in the SF genre, having played a werewolf, a cobra, a witch, and a vampire, has fallen in love with a spirit and has been devoured by an extra-terrestrial alien. Even with all this work to claim, over 25 years later, she is still relatively unknown, even amongst genre fans.

Putney Swope airline commercial. Not necessarily SF (maybe one can argue it’s a fantasy come true?) but her screen debut.

Check out her SF film resume.

Trailer for The Immortal, a supernatural tv program on for one season in 1970. She starred in episode 12, “The Return” as Carol Carver.

Night of the Cobra Woman, 1972, where she played the films namesake.

The comedy horror directed by Larry Hagman, Beware! The Blob, 1972 where she plays the wife of Godfrey Cambridge and the first to die via a gelatinous blob.

As Ganja in Bill Gunn’s, Ganja & Hess, 1973, she played a woman who was turned into a vampire and then chose to stay one.

vlcsnap-2012-01-18-22h54m43s169Ms. Clark played a witch in Black Mamba, 1974.

She played the wife a game hunter searching for a werewolf in The Beast Must Die, 1974.

Here she fell in love with a spirit in Lord Shango, 1975.