The beautiful & talented Ms Lola Falana turns 74 today. Loletha Elayne “Lola” Falana, was born in Camden, NJ. She’s a former singer, dancer, and actress.
Falana was the 1st black woman to model for a line of cosmetics that was not targeted solely at blacks, in the successful Faberge Tigress perfume ads.
HEALTH PROBLEMS: In 1987, Lola Falana suffered a major setback; a relapse of multiple sclerosis. Falana’s relapse was severe; her left side was paralyzed, she became partially blind, and her voice and hearing were impaired. Recovery lasted a year and a half, during which she spent most of her time praying. Falana attributes her recovery to a spiritual experience which she described as “Being able to feel the presence of the Lord.”
She converted to Roman Catholicism and worked her newly found spirituality into her daily life. Though she performed again in Las Vegas shows in 1987, her practice of religion and faith became the center of her life. In 1995 she recorded the pro-life song “Don’t Cry, Mary” with Catholic artist Joseph Lee Hooker.
After another bout with multiple sclerosis in 1996, Falana returned to Philadelphia and lived with her parents for a short time. No longer performing, she now tours the country with a message of hope and spirituality. When not on tour, she lives a quiet life in Las Vegas working on the apostolate she founded, The Lambs of God Ministry. The ministry is focused on helping children who have been orphaned in Sub-Saharan Africa, and works closely with the group Save Sub-Saharan Orphans.
Her last known musical performance was in 1997, at Wayne Newton’s theater in Branson, Missouri.
IN POP CULTURE: ?The SCTV character “Lola Heatherton,” played by Catherine O’Hara, was derived from the first name of Lola Falana and the last name of Joey Heatherton.
?On Barbershop 2: Back in Business, barber Eddie (Cedric the Entertainer) admonishes his boss Calvin (Ice Cube) for making him take down his picture of Lola Falana from the wall of his booth.
?On Family Matters, Eddie (Darius McCrary) wants new high-tops that cost $70, but Carl (Reginald Vel Johnson) “would not pay $70 for shoes if Lola Falana was in them.