Perhaps no ’90s series has expressed so well the fascination with the wild nature of the United States and the life of an entire outsider traveling this country on a motorbike called “Renegat,” as featured on Polsat. For Lorenzo Lamas, who plays the main role in it, it was undoubtedly an act of life, because apart from him, there are few productions thanks to which he will be remembered today.
Another week and we meet Stephen J. Cannell again. A producer who was fired in the 1980s by ABC, which the station’s representatives may have quickly regretted given the impending success of “Team A.” In the following decade, Cannell had an idea popular at the time, to create a series that would later be sold to many different local stations, thus capitalizing on the panorama in the American television market. The plot of this production was based on the good cop, Rhino Rains, who once decided to testify against his corrupt colleagues. They decide to take revenge on him, but instead of killing him, they kill his fiancée – a spirit god – in addition to accusing him of killing another policeman. Since then, he has had to hide and ride his motorcycle across America.
In the plot of “Rebel” you naturally see similarities with “Team A”. However, not only does this mean that the series itself did not stand out from many other productions from this period, which is probably why – to put it mildly – it was not highly regarded among professional critics. However, the audience does not seem to care at all, because the series has very good viewing stats. Single characters, including not only Raines, but also – played by Branscombe Richmond – Bobby Sixkiller, accompanying the main character, were very popular. The latter has an unusual homage in the form of a song by the popular band Grindcore Anal Cunt, titled with his own name and surname. The star of the show was naturally recreating main character Lorenzo Lamas.
With representation from the cradle
Unlike many artists featured in the media, who usually grew up acting and participating in various activities in their youth, Lorenzo Lamas knew what he wanted to do from an early age. At the age of five, he was about to tell his parents, “I want to be a star… I mean an actor!” There was nothing surprising in this anyway. His father, Fernando, of Argentine origin, has acted in films himself, and since the end of the sixties has directed mainly serials. Mother Arlene Dahl, who died last year at the age of 96, has been dubbed one of the last representatives of the classic Hollywood era. As if that wasn’t enough, my stepmother Esther Williams, whose father married when the impersonator was 11, was also an accomplished swimmer and actress.
Young Lorenzo studied acting at the famous Tony Barr studio, and did not finish high school, which he regretted years later. He has mentioned this in many interviews, saying that he intends to persuade his sons to graduate even if they choose to go his own way. He made his debut as an actor in 1969, when he was 11 years old. Only two years later, he replaced Stephen Ford, getting a small role in the popular musical “Grease”, which required him to dye his hair blond. In the early seventies and eighties Lamas played a few small roles in individual episodes of the series, which is best remembered today “The Ship of Love”. However, the hero had to wait for a real breakthrough in his career.
In 1980, he auditioned for the main role in a series that was to be called “Old Years”. In the end he got it, but in the meantime the series turned into a completely different series called “Falcon Crest”. There he played Lance Comson, considered an ultimate playboy, the grandson of a large vineyard owner. It was intended to be a production depicting life in the upper classes and the competition for the aforementioned institution. It was so popular that it survived for nine years, but for many representatives it became a kind of golden cage from which it was very difficult to leave. Lorenzo himself turned out to be the only actor who starred in all 227 episodes. They brought him, among others, a nomination for a Golden Globe. However, how disproportionately Lamas fit into this series is evidenced by the fact that before each filming period, makeup artists took up to 40 minutes to cover the numerous tattoos that he could not show in this series.
Meanwhile, the actor starred in the 1984 movie “Body Rock”, for which he was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor and Worst Song he has ever made. The beginning of the 80s and 90s was a period when this actor, interested in martial arts and motorcycle riding, tried to make his own name in the then-popular genre of action films, starring in many unknown films of the VHS era, such as the “Snake” trilogy Eater”. or “Hycel”, “Street Gladiator” or “Virtual Reality Guardian”. However, they did not allow us to stand in line for other movie stars who were dug into those times. His salvation turned out to be another comeback to TV, but this time in a role that suits him much more than the first and best character.
The aforementioned Cannell firmly believed in the new production, which, however, initially required effective advertising. This turned out to be a short video showing the wild landscapes of the United States, along with Bon Jovi’s popular song “Wanted Dead or Alive.” Not only does this video contain none of the scenes shown later in “Renegade,” but the opening track itself was composed later, from the start by Mike Post. However, the ad subtly reflected the atmosphere of the series, as the lone avenger travels across America to help others in need.
An offer of a role in such a series fell from Heaven to Lamas. The actor had been training in martial arts for a long time, and he loved to ride a motorcycle by himself, so he felt he could finally prove himself. The producers also agreed to a rather specific request for their star. Fearing that a prolonged separation would have a disastrous effect on his marriage to Kathleen Kinmont, he asked to hire her on the show. The actress played Cheyenne Phillips, the sister of Bobby Sekskiller, who helps Reigns, who is known for her proficiency in modern technologies. However, Lamas and Kinmont’s marriage lasted only until 1993, and after very indifferent comments about the new partner of the star, Shauna Sand, who was appointed to the Howard Stern Show, Kinmont was fired, and her character no longer appears in the series. The flavor of everything was added to the fact that a few years later the actor found out that Sand was cheating on him with his 18-year-old son.
Stephen J. Cannell himself played the main antagonist of Reigns, “Dutch” Dixon, on the set of “Renegade” as an actor. Reportedly, a dozen or so actors auditioned for the role, but after it turned out that no one was good enough, Lamas suggested he be the production’s creator. Interestingly, both after the first series were very disappointed in which direction they were going. The actor criticized many flaws in the script and the lack of focus on the main story, which only developed in subsequent seasons. The first episodes had all the hallmarks of a typical “procedural” and they both agreed that this formula didn’t suit them.
However, the audience added, and “Renegata” was shown in more than 100 different countries, including Poland, on Polsat. One episode starred the legendary Johnny Cash, and another directed by Carl Withers himself. Lamas stated that it was a favorite series for motorcycle enthusiasts, especially Harley-Davidson. Several machines were used in the collection, although one of them was rarely used. Carefully cared for and constantly cleaned, it was reserved for use on special occasions only. Lamas’ period of work on the set of serials was very valuable to him personally, not only due to the further development of activities that interest him, but also completely new to him. Due to the great distance between him and his children, the actor tried to get a pilot’s license, which allowed him to spend more time with them.
Z-class cinema and television series.
The series “Rebel”, which is still remembered to this day, did not particularly affect the acting status of Lorenzo Lamas, whose career did not take off at all. You could even say she didn’t move, because the impersonator still starred in fairly mediocre films or low-key TV series like “Air America” or “Immortal.” Quite unexpectedly, Lamas also returned to play in the regular series. In 2004-2006 he received a participation in “Moda na Success”, where he played Hector Ramirez.
It is also worth noting participation in projects that will certainly interest fans of bad films. Such production is undoubtedly the frightening film “Mega Jaws vs Megamacki”, another memorable work of the famous asylum brand, where the actor plays the role of a rude typical government actor, as well as “Sharkado 3: O fish-fin!”, Which met on the set of Famous actors from the famous “Sun Patrol”. Mentioning other products will not make much sense, however, it is worth noting the last project, which considers itself the creator of the damned after supporting Donald Trump in the elections, Antonio Sabato Jr., as Kevin Sorbo, Michael Dodikov, Ron Moss, and also Lamas.
Despite the apparent lack of a breakthrough in his acting career, Lorenzo Lamas probably can’t complain about his private life. He still deals with motorcycles, being the owner of a company that makes certain machines at the request of customers. The completion of the above-mentioned pilot course was also very useful to him, because for some time he was engaged in commercial flights over New York. He also directed his own reality show, Leave It to Lamas, and released his autobiography Rebel at Heart. In May 2022, it is scheduled – for the sixth time – to stand on the wedding carpet.
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