Fernando Lamas

Is your surname Lamas?

Research the Lamas family

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Fernando Álvaro Lamas (Lamas y de Santos)

Birthplace: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Death: August 10, 1982 (67)
Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, United States (Pancreatic cancer)
Immediate Family:

Husband of Esther Williams
Ex-husband of Perla Mux; Private and Arlene Dahl
Father of Private; Private and Lorenzo Lamas

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
view all 17

Immediate Family

About Fernando Lamas



Fernando Álvaro Lamas (January 9, 1915 – October 8, 1982) was an Argentine-born actor and director, and the father of actor Lorenzo Lamas.

Early life and career

Lamas was born Fernando Álvaro Lamas y de Santos in Buenos Aires, Argentina. By 1942, he was an established movie star in Argentina. In 1951, he signed a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and went to the United States to play "Latin Lover" roles.

Lamas directed for the first time in 1963. It was a movie titled Magic Fountain starring his future wife Esther Williams. He directed another feature film, The Violent Ones, which was released in 1967 and co-starred Aldo Ray and David Carradine. He was most active directing on television, doing episodes that included Mannix, Alias Smith and Jones, Starsky and Hutch and Falcon Crest. The latter show co-starred his son, Lorenzo.

Personal life

Lamas was married four times, to Perla Mux (married 1940, divorced 1944), Lydia Barachi (married 1946, divorced 1952), actress Arlene Dahl (married 1954, divorced 1960), and swimmer and actress Esther Williams (married 1969 until his death in 1982). He had a daughter with Mux and another with Barachi, and a son, actor Lorenzo Lamas (b. January 20, 1958), with Dahl.

Fernando Lamas died of pancreatic cancer in Los Angeles, California at the age of 67. His ashes were scattered by close friend Jonathan Goldsmith from his sailboat.


"When a person has an accent, it means he can speak one more language than you" — when Johnny Carson teased him about his accent during an appearance on The Tonight Show. In one of his most memorable moments on The Tonight Show, Lamas intimated that "sometimes other men said that he was gay, and nothing pleased him more than proving them wrong with their own wives."

[edit] In popular cultureAn archetype playboy, after his death, Lamas's image lived on in popular culture via the "Fernando" character developed by Billy Crystal on Saturday Night Live in the mid-1980s. The character was outlandish and exaggerated but reportedly inspired by a remark Crystal heard Lamas utter on The Tonight Show; "It is better to look good than to feel good." This was one of the Fernando character's two catchphrases along with the better-remembered "You look marvelous!" (usually spelled "mahvelous" in this context).

His friend, actor Jonathan Goldsmith, took inspiration from Lamas for the character The Most Interesting Man in the World.

view all 12

Fernando Lamas's Timeline

January 9, 1915
Buenos Aires, Argentina
January 20, 1958
Age 43
Santa Monica, Los Angeles, California, United States