was a B-movie actress whose death, tragic and bizarre in equal measure, brought her the fame she deserved but failed to win in life. The stunningly attractive blonde was born at Long Beach, California on April 5, 1962. She did not excel academically but after attending college pursued a career as an actress and fashion model. If she can be said to have had a speciality it was making fantasy films, the best known of which were probably the 1983 Roger Corman flick Deathstalker
and the 1985 Barbarian Queen
. As she turned thirty, her star waned, and in February 2003 she was working as a hostess when she accepted an invitation from Phil Spector to visit his Alhambra mansion.
Spector, whose numerous songs can be found scattered across this website, had a well deserved reputation for eccentricity which extended to a fascination with firearms, and in the early hours of February 3, one of his guns ended the life of Lana Clarkson with a single shot to her mouth. Spector was tried twice for her murder; the jury were unable to reach a verdict in the first trial, but in the retrial, which concluded only in April 2009, he was convicted of second degree murder.
The defense made much of the fact that no incriminating DNA was found on the gun, arguing that Lana had committed suicide in a fit of depression over her flagging career, but the jury found similar fact evidence relating to other incidents in which Spector menaced women with firearms more compelling than the forensics, which were not as persuasive as they sounded.
One person who poured cold water on the suicide claims was composer Jann Castor; at the time of her death, Lana was working with him on a one-woman show about Marilyn Monroe. As their relationship was strictly professional, he was unlikely to have been blinded by emotional bias. Castor said too that Spector has famously once pulled a gun on John Lennon, who had been dead for over two decades by this time. Clearly, although Lana had been unlucky, others had been very lucky indeed. The reason Lana agreed to accompany Spector is also clear; it is a simple thing called networking. She had quite likely been hoping to interest him in her new production, or if not him, then somebody he knew. Being both an attractive woman and considerably younger than him it must have occurred to her that he might have had other ideas on his mind, but she couldn't have imagined the night would end like this.