If you were one who watched “Sanford and Son” on the regular, you might recall hearing the name “#Lola Falana.” Fred Sanford played by “Redd Foxx” was head over heels in love with the beautiful “#Lola #Falana“. Falana was born in Camden, New Jersey on September 11, 1942, and is African-American and Cuban descent. During Falana’s earlier years she was an actress, dancer, and singer. She made her debut in “The Liberation of L.B Jones and was nominated the same year for a Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year. She also posed for Playboy magazine during the same year.
Falana was the first supporting player hired by Bill Cosby for his much-anticipated show, The New Bill Cosby Show, which aired on Falana’s 30th birthday. Falana would go on to make guests appearances on many other popular television shows. Her song “There’s a Man Out There Somewhere” reached number 67 on the Billboard R&B charts. She also appeared on Broadway as the lead in the musical nominated for a Tony Award and won the 1975 World Award. By the late 1970s Falana was known as the “Queen of Las Vegas.” She always performed her signature song “Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets.” She was offered $100,000 a week to perform in Las Vegas. Falana, played for twenty weeks a year and she was always the main attraction for tourists.
Falana suffered a severe attack from multiple sclerosis shortly after her show was canceled. 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. In 1996 she suffered another attack and returned during that time to Philadelphia to live with her parents for a short period of time. Falana’s last known performance was in 1997, at Wayne Newton’s theater in Branson, Missouri.