During her heydays in most part of the 70s, Lola Falana was the known “First Lady of Las Vegas.” She was an American singer, dancer, model, and actress who reigned supreme before television audiences where she thrilled viewers with her dancing and music skills. Of late, there has been this rumor that she is dead, while some other sources maintain that she is still alive. These conflicting accounts of her whereabouts piqued us and as a result, we investigated it. Find out what we learned below in addition to reading a concise account of her biography and how much she made from her career.
Who Is Lola Falana And What Is Her Age?
The dancer who is famously known as Lola Falana has her birth name as Loletha Elayne Falana or Loletha Elaine Falana, depending on your choice of spelling. She was born on the 11th of September 1942 in Camden, New Jersey to Bennett Falana and Cleo Falana (1921–2010) as the 3rd of their 6 children.
Lola’s father was originally from Cuba but immigrated to the United States to serve in the U.S Marine Corps. At the end of his military service, he began working as a welder, and around this time, he met his wife Cleo, an African-American seamstress with who he married and raised 6 children.
Lola Falana began showing her aptitude for the arts when she was still a little girl, precisely as young as age 3. She started off with dancing before she ventured into singing in her church choir when she was about 5. She continued on this path as her mother would often escort her to nightclubs where she danced when she was a junior high school student. Over time, Lola got more engrossed in her dancing and music interest which culminated in her dropping out of Germantown High School a few months shy of her graduation.
In the year 1958, Lola Falana met “Queen of Blues” Dinah Washington in Philadelphia where she was to perform in a nightclub. She helped her at the early stages of her career. Still, on the path of growth, American comedian and vaudevillian Sammy Davis Jr. discovered Loletha during one of her performances after which he decided to feature her in Golden Boy, his 1964 Broadway musical.
It was from this point that Lola began to see immense growth in her career. She released her first single titled My Baby in 1965 and thereafter, Davis began mentoring Lola. The duo was cast in Davis’ film, A Man Called Adam which was Lola’s first film work. She learned how to speak Italian fluently which saw her playing in 3 Italian films at the time. By 1969, however, she broke her work ties with Davis but remained friends with him thereafter.
Indeed, Lola knew what was ahead of her and the right time to leap forward for it. She landed a role in the American film The Liberation of L.B. Jones in which her expertly portrayal of the character of Emma Jones earned her a Golden Globe Award for New Star Of The Year – Actress. The singer then began to get more famous, involving herself in a lot of things like posing for Playboy magazine, Faberge perfume advert, as well as starring in more films and making regular television appearances on shows like ‘The Hollywood Palace’, ‘The Joey Bishop Show’, ‘The Flip Wilson Show’, ‘The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson’, and ‘The Muppet Show, Laugh-In’.
She won the 1975 Theater World Award and still in the 70s, Lola Falana was reportedly the highest-paid female performer in Las Vegas which earned her the befitting title as the “Queen of Las Vegas.” She notably performed at sold-out events that were held at The Riviera, MGM Grand hotels, The Sands, and even The Aladdin where she was offered a whopping $100, 000 to perform weekly.
What Is Her Net Worth?
In her heydays, the Queen of Las Vegas had no match, she reigned supreme, commanding a good price anytime and anywhere she had a performance. From her rich music, acting, and modeling portfolio, Lola Falana earned a net worth of $10 million.
Is She Really Dead or Alive?
It appears that for every celebrity, there seems to be a point in their lives when it will be rumored or questioned whether they are alive or dead. Now is the time for that of Lola Falana and from what we gathered, the American musician, dancer, and model is still alive.
Taking a look at her health facts over the years, Lola battled with multiple sclerosis in 1987 and 1996. The first time the disease struck, she partially lost the use of the left part of her body, got partially blind, in addition to suffering a voice and hearing impairment. However, in a recovery period that lasted about 18 months, during which she began a spiritual journey and relationship with Jesus Christ, she was able to pull through the sickness. It, however, struck a second time in 1996 but Falana pulled through again, attributing her recovery to her spirituality.
She devotes more of her time these days working in The Lambs of God Ministry an apostolate she founded to cater for orphaned children in Sub-Saharan Africa. Lola also works with Save Sub-Saharan Orphans. At other times, she spends time going through the scriptures and growing spiritually as a Christian. She is a member of the Roman Catholic Church.