Lola Falana Net Worth

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What is Lola Falana's Net Worth?

Lola Falana is an American actress, singer, and dancer who has a net worth of $10 million. Lola Falana began her professional career with a featured role in the 1964 Broadway musical "Golden Boy." She went on to have a successful career as a singer, and became a popular presence on both Italian and American television programs. She made her big screen debut in "A Man Called Adam" alongside Sammy Davis Jr. and Cicely Tyson.

She earned her first Golden Globe nomination for 1970's "The Liberation of L.B. Jones" and posed for "Playboy" later that year. Falana appeared on "The New Bill Cosby Show", "The Muppet Show", "The Flip Wilson Show", and "The Hollywood Palace".

She received a Tony Award nod for "Doctor Jazz" and soon took her performances to Vegas, where she performed in front of dozens of sold-out crowds. Falana became Vegas's top-paid female performer during the late '70s.

Early Life

Lola Falana was born as Loletha Falana on September 11, 1942 in Camden, New Jersey as the third of six children of seamstress Cleo and welder Bennett. Earlier, her father had emigrated from Cuba to serve in the US Marine Corps. Falana demonstrated her aptitude for the performing arts at an early age. When she was three, she was already dancing, and at the age of five, she was singing in her church choir. In 1952, Falana moved with her family to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she later attended Germantown High School. Going against the wishes of her parents, she dropped out just months before her graduation to pursue a music career in New York City.

Lola Falana Net Worth

(Photo by Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Career Beginnings

Falana had her first dancing gig in 1958. That year, she was invited to perform in the opening act of a nightclub appearance by Dinah Washington in Philadelphia. Washington ended up being hugely influential in cultivating Falana's incipient career. Falana went on to dance in a chorus line in Atlantic City, where she was spotted by another influential icon, Sammy Davis Jr. The star subsequently gave Falana a featured role in his Broadway musical "Golden Boy," which premiered in 1964. Following this, Falana began her career as a recording artist; she released her debut single, "My Baby," in 1965 through Mercury Records.

Film Career

Thanks to her professional relationship with Sammy Davis Jr., Falana landed her first film role in 1966's "A Man Called Adam," starring Davis Jr., Cicely Tyson, and Ossie Davis. Soon after, she became a star of Italian film and television, starring in "I'll Try Tonight" and the Spaghetti Western "Lola Colt." Falana returned to the US to star in the 1970 crime film "The Liberation of L.B. Jones," the final work of legendary American director William Wyler. Four years later, she appeared alongside Lee Marvin, Richard Burton, O. J. Simpson, and Cameron Mitchell in the literary adaptation "The Klansman." In 1975, Falana starred as the titular character in the blaxploitation film "Lady Cocoa." She didn't return to the big screen until 1990 with "Mad About You"; after that, she wasn't in another film until 2013's "Mary's Land."

Television Career

On the small screen, Falana was a major star in Italy in the late 60s and early 70s. Becoming fluent in Italian, she appeared as a showgirl nicknamed Black Venus on the Saturday night program "Sabato Sera." Falana was also on the Italian shows "Teatro Dieci" and "Hai Visto Mai?" Meanwhile, in the United States, she made frequent appearances on "The Joey Bishop Show," "The Hollywood Palace," and "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson." From 1972 to 1973, Falana starred on the CBS variety series "The New Bill Cosby Show." Throughout the 70s, she also appeared in episodes of "The Streets of San Francisco," "The Love Boat," "The Muppet Show," and "Fantasy Island," and had her own variety specials on ABC. Falana's final television role was on the CBS soap opera "Capitol," on which she played entertainment mogul Charity Blake from 1984 to 1986.

Other Appearances

As a model, Falana memorably posed for Playboy magazine in 1970. She also modeled for the Faberge Tigress perfume ads, becoming the first black woman to do so. In 1975, Falana returned to Broadway to play the leading role in the musical "Doctor Jazz." Despite the show closing after five performances, she received a Tony Award nomination and won a Theater World Award. Among her other notable appearances, Falana was a top draw in Las Vegas in the 70s, playing to sold-out crowds at various hotels. The highest-paid female performer in town, she held her show 20 weeks a year.

After quitting from performing in the late 90s, Falana began touring the nation spreading her spiritual beliefs. She founded an apostolate called the Lambs of God Ministry, which helps orphaned children in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Personal Life and Health

In the 60s, Falana had an affair with her mentor Sammy Davis Jr., who was married at the time to May Britt. This led to Davis and Britt's divorce in 1968. In 1970, Falana married R&B artist Feliciano Tavares Jr.; they eventually divorced in 1975.

Falana has multiple sclerosis. In 1987, she suffered a major relapse that caused paralysis in the left side of her face, impairing her vision, voice, and hearing. Falana eventually recovered, attributing her healing to her Christian faith.

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