Family & Companions
The son and stepson of beloved Hollywood actors, Lorenzo Lamas made a near-silent debut in "Grease" (1978) as a football player and brief boyfriend of Olivia Newton-John. He broke through as the handsome playboy Lance Cumson on "Falcon Crest" (CBS, 1981-1990) but after a disastrous starring turn as a breakdancer in "Body Rock" (1984), went down the B-movie rabbit hole. More of a handsome martial arts expert than a dedicated thespian, Lamas became the oft-shirtless, direct-to-video star of trashy action/fantasy projects including the "Snake Eater" trilogy (1989, 1989, 1992), "The Swordsman" (1992) and "Gladiator Cop" (1995). Most famous for essaying the framed cop Reno Raines on the popular but critically reviled action series "Renegade" (syndicated, 1992-96; USA Network, 1996-97), Lamas continued to be a top name in B-movies and to make news for his colorful personal life. On television, he made waves with a stint on "The Bold and the Beautiful" (CBS, 1987- ), the reality shows "Are You Hot?: The Search for America's Sexiest People" (ABC, 2003) and "Leave it to Lamas" (E!, 2009) as well as a turn opposite Debbie Gibson in the campy "Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus" (2009). The opposite of a critical darling, Lorenzo Lamas nevertheless carved out his own unique niche as the star of multiple guilty pleasures.
Born Jan. 20, 1958 in Santa Monica, CA, Lorenzo de Santos-Lamas was the son of actor Fernando Lamas and actress Arlene Dahl. When his father remarried, Lamas became the stepson of the movie star swimmer Esther Williams. Always wanting to enter the family business, Lamas graduated in 1975 from Admiral Farragut Academy, a military school, and promptly hit the audition circuit. His first role of note came in the near-wordless role of Tom Chisum, the handsome football player who briefly comes between Sandy (Olivia Newton-John) and Danny (John Travolta) in "Grease" (1978). The actor continued to cut his professional teeth with a flurry of television credits on a variety of sudsy projects, including "California Fever" (CBS, 1979), "Secrets of Midland Heights" (CBS, 1980-81) and "The Love Boat" (ABC, 1977-1986). His breakthrough, however, came when he was cast on the nighttime soap "Falcon Crest" (CBS, 1981-1990) as Lance Cumson, the feckless playboy grandson of the series' scheming matriarch played by Jane Wyman.
Nominated for a Golden Globe as well as for two Soap Opera Digest Awards, Lamas appeared in every episode of the long-running soap, but found time to topline the breakdancing drama "Body Rock" (1984), much to his later regret. Although he recorded a song, "Fools Like Me" for the soundtrack, Lamas received scathing reviews as well as a nomination for a Worst Actor Razzie. Accorded little respect by mainstream Hollywood, Lamas' career path sharply veered towards genre projects that relied more on his handsome face, martial arts skills and muscular frame rather than on actual acting skills, including the direct-to-video action flick series "Snake Eater" (1989), "Snake Eater II: The Drug Buster" (1989) and "Snake Eater III: His Law" (1992).
Lamas came to specialize in a certain type of trashy action or fantasy direct-to-video film in which the lurid box art featured his shirtless and sweating image, including the underground fighter "Night of the Warrior" (1991), the kickboxing drama "Final Impact" (1992) and "The Swordsman" (1992) - the latter a not-so-veiled rip-off of the cult hit film, "Highlander" (1986). His starring role on the cop-on-the-run action drama "Renegade" (syndicated, 1992-96; USA Network, 1996-97) crystallized the actor's transformation from Hollywood scion into B-grade beefcake. Even though the series was a huge hit internationally and drew many loyal fans, it was regarded as, at best, a guilty pleasure and at worst, the butt of countless jokes, many of which centered around Lamas's acting ability.
Still, critical acclaim mattered little in the sleazy, dumb-fun world of B-movie action, where Lamas ranked as one of the genre's most recognizable names, starring in another string of slapdash midnight movies, including "Bad Blood" (1994), "Gladiator Cop" (1995) and "Black Dawn" (1997). As campy syndicated shows like "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" (syndicated, 1995-99) exploded in popularity, Lamas ascended to B+ TV projects like the action/adventure "Air America" (syndicated, 1998) and the fantasy "The Immortal" (syndicated, 2000-01). He briefly recaptured mainstream America's attention, however, when he was tapped to be one of the judges of the controversial reality show "Are You Hot?: The Search for America's Sexiest People" (ABC, 2003). Based on a similarly polarizing website, the show was something of a (literally) stripped-down beauty pageant for men and women alike, with its most memorable aspect being Lamas wielding a laser pointer to critique contestants' physical flaws.
In 2004, he revisited his soap roots by beginning a three-year stint on "The Bold and the Beautiful" (CBS, 1987- ) as the hot-blooded former firefighter Hector Ramirez. As the once-proudly stupid action/fantasy genre began to grow more self-aware, Lamas adapted accordingly, starring in the smirkingly campy "30,000 Leagues Under the Sea" (2007) and the notorious "Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus" (2009), which also starred former 1980s singing teen, Debbie Gibson. A reality show based on the actor and his colorful family - including perennially blonde daughter and reality star, Shayne Lamas - "Leave it to Lamas" (E!, 2009) premiered that same year, but lasted just one season. Married four times and the father of six children by three different women, Lamas made headlines in 2011 when he announced that he would be tying the knot for the fifth time. On April 30, 2011, the 53-year old actor married 24-year-old Shawna Craig and revealed that it was he who would be taking her last name, to be known publicly as Lorenzo Lamas Craig.
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Made TV debut in "Whatever Happened to Dobie Gillis"
First appeared in feature films with "Take Down" and "Grease"
Had first shot as series regular on "California Fever" (CBS)
Made TV movie debut starring with O.J. Simpson in "Detour to Terror" (NBC)
Was regular on "The Secrets of Midland Heights" (CBS)
Hosted syndicated series "Dancin' to the Hits"
Starred on "Renegades" syndicated series; also occasionally directed episodes
Starred in the martial arts action films "Final Round" and "Bloody Tracker"
Had leading role in the syndicated series "The Immortal"
Co-starred as Colt Webb in the made-for-television family western "Hope Ranch"
Was a host on the reality show "Are You Hot?"
Played Hector Ramirez on "The Bold and the Beautiful"
Co-starred opposite Gary Busey and Kelly Hu in "Succubus: Hell Bent"
Co-starred opposite Deborah Gibson in the action horror "Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus"
Appeared with his family in the E! Entertainment reality series "Leave It to Lamas"