Lamas has starred in classics such as the television series Falcon Crest and the legendary film Grease. Still to this day, the California native is working as an actor – and at 65, he looks terrific!
However, Lamas’s life has had its ups and downs, and he’s gone through some rather tough times. Here’s all you need to know about Lorenzo and the many struggles he’s overcome.
One was getting over the fact that his son had an affair with his ex-wife.
Even as a young kid, Lorenzo Lamas’s stars had aligned where acting was concerned.
Born Lorenzo Fernando Lamas on January 20, 1958, in Santa Monica, California, he was raised by his mother Arlene Dahl, an American actress of Norwegian descent, and his father Fernando Lamas, an Argentinian who worked as an actor and director.
Lorenzo Lamas – early life
Lorenzo grew up in the fashionable area of Pacific Palisades, California. At age two, his parents divorced, and eight years later, he moved to New York with his father.
Lorenzo has often drawn upon the fact that his family comes from different parts of the world. He once starred as Dracula in a Halloween production of the famous Bram Stoker novel and had no problem at all adopting a different accent.
“I grew up with a man who had a voice like Dracula and every other bigger-than-life character you could ever think of in my father,” he told the New York Times in 2007. “I take a little bit from him to do the accent. I’ve also done four movies in Bulgaria.”
While Lorenzo was transitioning from a kid into a young man, his father had a pretty wild lifestyle. According to Lorenzo, his father had “been with every woman.” Yet as a child, he adored him.
“I idolized my father, especially as a young boy. He was bigger than life. He commanded the room. He’d done everything, seen everything,” he told Fox. “It’s pretty heady stuff to grow up with.”
“He was Latin, he was very judgmental, he thought a woman’s place was in the kitchen. He just happened to marry a woman who was a top ten box office star of the ’50s, and she retired to serve him!”
First work in acting
Lorenzo’s father married actress Esther Williams in 1969, a year after their move to “The Big Apple,” and life for Lorenzo got tough at times. For example, when Esther’s children visited, Lorenzo wasn’t even allowed to sleep in the house!
“He was many things, but he was also fair, so if he wasn’t going to allow another man’s children in his house, then he couldn’t allow me in the house,” he recalled.
“So my roommate was a Rolls Royce. I had a key that let me in the backdoor where there was a guest bathroom. But I came from military school, so living in a garage in Beverly Hills was plush to me. I had shared a urinal with 30 guys for the last four years. Looking back, I know that’s not normal. I know that I would never do that to my kids. I run my three teenage daughters around like a chauffeur.”
Lorenzo Lamas attended private school and graduated from the Admiral Farragut Academy in 1975. Instead of staying on the East Coast, he decided to leave for his home state of California.
Though his father could be a strict man, he always encouraged his son to follow his dreams and backed him wholeheartedly in pursuing his dreams of becoming an actor. Lorenzo enrolled at Tony Barr’s Film Actors Workshop. In 1977, he got his first minor role in television, starring in two episodes of the show Switch.
While cultivating his acting talent, Lorenzo also found that he had a tremendous interest in martial arts. He got in shape – and later on, earned black belts in both taekwondo and karate.
Lorenzo Lamas in ‘Grease’
Now, getting roles in bigger productions often takes time for most actors. Some have to try out at hundreds of auditions to get one part; others have to wait years, maybe even decades, to land their first role in a more significant Hollywood production.
For Lorenzo Lamas, however, this wasn’t the case. In 1978, he was cast as the good-looking stud “Tom Chisum” in the legendary film Grease, featuring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. He played the boyfriend of Olivia Newton-John’s character, “Sandy”. That said, he initially wasn’t chosen for the part.
Steven Ford – son of former President Gerald Ford – was considered for the role, but was reportedly too nervous to play “Tom”. The part had no dialogue, but that didn’t bother Lorenzo when he got the gig.
People probably knew that the film had potential at the time, but even so, it’s safe to say that Lamas secured himself an extraordinary place in film history with his relatively small credit in Grease.
“I’m amazed by the longevity. It keeps finding new generations of people,” he told Studio 10.
Lorenzo had dark hair at the time, but the producers thought he looked too much like a “T-Bird” to star as Sandy’s boyfriend. As a result, they dyed his hair lighter – something that he didn’t mind at all.
“I would have dyed it green, fuchsia, anything,” he told People.
At the time, John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John were already stars. For Lorenzo Lamas, it was a dream come true just to meet them. What made the whole thing even better, was that Olivia Newton-Jon had been Lorenzo’s childhood crush.
Became a star on ‘Falcon Crest’
“I was 19. It was only the third thing I’ve ever done. And I was at the Paramount lot, meeting my childhood crush, Olivia Newton-John, and Mr. Saturday Night Fever, John Travolta. So I was kind of in a complete zombie state, to begin with,” Lorenzo recalled.
He explained that he had all her albums, and in high school, he and his friends even had routines dancing to her albums. When they finally met, Lorenzo was almost knocked off his heels.
“I couldn’t take my eyes off her,” he told Studio 10.
Grease was, of course, a big deal for Lorenzo and a fantastic opportunity when looking back. Naturally, though, it wasn’t quite a breakthrough since he only appeared in a few scenes.
In 1981, he got the role of Lance Cumson on Falcon Crest. The nighttime soap became a huge success, with Lamas starring alongside Oscar-winning actress Jane Wyman for 228 episodes.
Wyman portrayed Lamas’ grandmother on the show – at that time, she was a massive Hollywood star. Lamas had problems with illegal substances at this point in his career, until one day on set, Wyman had enough of his behavior.
While trying to do a scene, Lorenzo had problems reading his lines. Wyman took him to one side and gave him both barrels.
“It was the pinnacle of my career”
“This is what we’re going to do. We’re going to take a 15-minute break. You’re going to memorize your lines. And you’re never going to come to work high again,” Lorenzo quoted Wyman as saying.
Lamas managed to turn his life around and stayed on the show for nine years. He was nominated for a Golden Globe in 1983 for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries, or Motion Picture Made for Television.
Thanks to the success of Falcon Crest, Lorenzo didn’t go without a job on television for a long time afterward. In 1992, he was cast as Reno Raines in the drama show Renegade.
Renegade became another huge success, especially for Lamas himself. Even though all actors or actresses seek to be in the most prominent shows or films, for Lorenzo, it was all about playing a character he felt was right.
“It was the pinnacle of my career up until this point,” Lamas said in 2010. “I had the most creative input, and it was a part that I liked. I liked riding bikes since before that show, so it was a good fit. If you’re an actor and you’re fortunate enough to get a role where you feel it’s a good fit and the audience senses that, it’s like winning the lottery. “
“It’s an amazing thing to happen because it rarely does. And the character had almost a sense of nobility about it, it was a character that was well-developed. So I was very fortunate.”
Became a pilot for medical-related air transport
If he wasn’t already a stud before Renegade, Lamas certainly laid claim to that title once it aired. However, the 1990 show proved to be his last big hit. Lamas has continued to work as an actor since, just not with the same level of widespread success. Just a decade ago, he started his own motorcycle company.
Lamas also loves flying and is a helicopter flight instructor and an airplane pilot. In addition, he has worked with a charitable organization called Angel Flight, which provides free, medical-related air transport for those who can’t afford it.
“Pilots like myself donate our planes and time to get people around the country for medical treatment,” he told Soap Opera Digest.
“I would fly people from their hometowns to the cities where their hospitals were located. I’ve also flown disabled kids to camp because riding in a car would be too uncomfortable for them, but the parents just couldn’t afford the [commercial] airfare.”
“There’s no way that you can avoid getting emotionally involved,” Lamas added. “There’s plenty of travel time for conversation, so you get interested in their lives, and you want to know all about them.”
“Sometimes people ask me, ‘Why do you do this?’. I tell them it’s because being a part of Angel Flight feels like I’m doing something important. Acting is relatively important concerning social issues, but flying a person who would normally have to sit in a car for hours means so much more to me.”
Lorenzo Lamas’s son allegedly slept with his ex-wife
Though Lorenzo lived a wild life full of parties in the 1980s and 1990s, he also managed to start a family. He’s been married a total of five times, to Victoria Hilbert, Michele Cathy Smith, Kathleen Kinmont, Shauna Sand, and Shawna Craig.
Shauna Sand – who was a former Playmate – and Lorenzo Lamas tied the knot in 1996 and welcomed three daughters. The couple divorced six years later, but not long after, an event “destroyed him emotionally.”
Speaking to Fox, Lamas explained that his ex-wife Shauna Sand slept with his son, AJ Lamas.
“It’s pretty horrible. It’s not just because he had sex with my ex-wife. A relationship takes two people to make or break it. I wasn’t there for him as much as I’ve been for my teenage daughters because I was on set 16 hours a day when he was growing up,” Lamas explained. “His mother moving him out of state made it even more difficult to maintain a healthy father-son relationship. We’ve never been able to recover. I love my son. He’s a great soul.
“He’s a sweet person but events that have happened to him in his life, some of his own making, as a parent you really can’t take full responsibility for the destruction that can happen to a child. They can make choices but I certainly bear some responsibility for the fact that we do not have a healthy relationship and it’s sad.”
When appearing on The Wendy Williams Show, Lamas spoke further about the event.
Lorenzo Lamas – family & net worth
“The two things that my son and ex-wife decided to do was to have an event that they both knew was going to hurt me to the core of my being and it was successful,” he said, adding that he didn’t speak to his son for two years.
“I didn’t know how to fix that,” Lamas said. “I was so shocked and upset and stunned and hurt that I didn’t know how to fix it.”
His last marriage, to actress Shawna Craig, ended in 2018. Shawna was 30 years his junior.
“It [complicated the family dynamic] initially,” Lorenzo Lamas told Entertainment Online in 2015. “Of course, it would. My friends said, ‘What could you possibly have in common with a person that’s 30 years younger than you?’ I told them, ‘Everything.’”
If the family dynamic was complicated regarding age, it was nothing compared to what went on six years ago when Lorenzo’s then-wife Shawna acted as Shayne’s surrogate. To make things clear, his wife carried his granddaughter.
Earlier this year, Lamas delivered the news that he and model entrepreneur Kenna Scott are engaged. The couple have been dating for a little more than a year.
As of today, Lorenzo Lamas has a net worth of around $2 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
Sad news on his mother’s passing
In early December of 2021, Lamas and his family went through a significant period of grief when his mother, Arlene Dahl, passed away, at age 96.
“Mom passed away this morning in New York,” Lorenzo Lamas wrote on Facebook.
“She was the most positive influence on my life. I will remember her laughter, her joy, and her dignity as she navigated the challenges that she faced. Never an ill word about anyone crossed her lips. Her ability to forgive left me speechless at times. She truly was a force of nature, and as we got closer in my adult life, I leaned on her more and more as my life counselor and the person I knew that lived and loved to the fullest.”
Lorenzo Lamas has been through plenty in his life, certifying his place in TV folklore following his performances in Falcon
Crest and Renegade. Although he’s had some rough times, we are happy to see that he’s doing great today and has a large family to support him.
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