Table of Contents
Lola Falana biography
Lola Falana, whose birth name is Loletha Elayne Falana, is an American singer, dancer, and actress known for her work in entertainment during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. Here is a brief biography of her life and career:
Lola Falana was born on September 11, 1942, in Camden, New Jersey, USA. She grew up in a large family, and her parents were of African-Cuban and African-American descent. Her early life was marked by financial struggles, and she began singing and dancing at a young age to help support her family.
Lola Falana’s talents as a dancer were recognized early in her life, and she began her professional dancing career as a showgirl at the Latin Quarter nightclub in New York City. Her captivating stage presence and dancing skills soon garnered attention, leading to appearances on television variety shows and tours with big-name performers like Sammy Davis Jr.
In addition to her dancing, Falana pursued a singing career. She released several albums in the 1960s and 1970s, including “Lola Falana: For My Friends” and “Lola Falana: Just Lola.” She also appeared on numerous television variety programs and talk shows, showcasing her singing talent.
Lola Falana transitioned to acting and made her film debut in the 1969 comedy-drama “The Liberation of L.B. Jones.” She continued to act in both film and television, with notable roles in movies such as “The Mack” (1973) and “Lady Cocoa” (1975). She also appeared in TV series like “The New Bill Cosby Show” and “The Joey Bishop Show.”
Lola Falana achieved significant popularity internationally, particularly in Italy. She became a beloved figure in Italian cinema and television, earning the nickname “La Falana.” She hosted her own Italian television variety show, “Lola,” which further solidified her status in the country.
In the 1980s, Falana experienced health issues, including multiple sclerosis, which led her to scale back her public appearances and performances. She became an advocate for multiple sclerosis awareness and research.
Lola Falana has generally kept her personal life private. She converted to Roman Catholicism in 1986 and became a member of the Catholic Church, and her faith played an important role in her life.
Lola Falana’s contributions to the world of entertainment, particularly her skills as a dancer and her impact on international audiences, have earned her a lasting place in the history of American and Italian entertainment.
Trivia of Lola Falana
Certainly! Here are some interesting trivia and lesser-known facts about Lola Falana:
- Name Change: Lola Falana was born with the name Loletha Elayne Falana. She later adopted the stage name “Lola” and used it throughout her career.
- Dance Background: Before her career in entertainment, Lola studied ballet, tap dancing, and flamenco. Her dance training greatly contributed to her success as a dancer and performer.
- Showgirl Career: Lola Falana began her career as a showgirl in New York City’s famous Latin Quarter nightclub, where she quickly gained recognition for her dancing skills.
- First African American Woman to Dance at the Folies Bergère: In the early 1960s, Lola Falana became the first African American woman to dance at the renowned Folies Bergère cabaret in Paris, France.
- International Star: Falana gained immense popularity in Italy, where she was considered a major star in Italian cinema and television. Her Italian variety show, “Lola,” was widely watched.
- Miss Las Vegas: She was named “Miss Las Vegas” in 1966, which helped launch her career as a headlining performer in the city’s famous casinos and nightclubs.
- Recording Artist: In addition to her acting and dancing, Lola Falana released several music albums during her career, showcasing her singing talent. Some of her songs achieved chart success.
- Health Struggles: In the 1980s, Lola Falana was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the nervous system. Despite her health challenges, she remained an advocate for multiple sclerosis awareness.
- Spiritual Conversion: Lola Falana converted to Roman Catholicism in 1986 and became deeply involved in her faith. She credited her religious beliefs with helping her cope with her health issues.
- Film and Television: Falana appeared in various films and television shows throughout her career, collaborating with notable actors and filmmakers. Her acting roles ranged from drama to comedy.
- Las Vegas Residency: She had a successful residency at the Aladdin Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas during the 1970s, where she became a highly sought-after performer.
- Philanthropic Efforts: Despite her health struggles, Lola Falana remained involved in charity work and fundraising efforts, including those related to multiple sclerosis research and awareness.
Lola Falana’s multi-talented career, from dancing and singing to acting and hosting, left a lasting impact on the entertainment industry, and her international popularity made her a trailblazing figure for African American performers in the 20th century.