Back in the '80s, Lorenzo Lamas
intoxicated viewers as studly playboy Lance Cumson on Falcon Crest
, the classic primetime sudser set at a California winery. But when CBS axed the show in 1990, it was a sobering experience for the privileged son of Old Hollywood mainstays Fernando Lamas
and Arlene Dahl
"At that point, I was at a crossroads in my career," Lamas tells TV Guide Online. "I really felt that an action-type character would be fun to play, so I went up to Canada and did a series of movies that went to the international film market." A series of obscure B-movies, actually. These included the Snake Eater trilogy, wherein the actor says he played "a cross between Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon and Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry." Never saw 'em, you say? Lamas probably figures that. Still, he points out, "those movies did an incredible amount of business overseas, which basically paved the way for my action viability."
Stateside, TV producer Stephen J. Cannell (The Rockford Files, The A-Team) did indeed sit up and take notice of Lamas. In 1992, the hunk hopped on a Harley and began a successful five-year stint on the syndicated hit Renegade, where he played a baddie-busting fugitive out to clear his sullied good name. "That show really put me on the map in terms of being an action star," he boasts. "Those projects are few and far between, and it wasn't until The Immortal came along that I really felt excited about another series."
On The Immortal, Lamas plays a 400-year-old demon slayer who'll meet his female counterpart when Rena Mero (aka the Playboy-posing WWF wrestler Sable) comes aboard in September for the second season. "What she does is infuse a brand-new energy into the show it was physically very tiring for me to carry the whole thing myself," he admits. "She's easy on the eyes, too, so that's going to bring in a lot of the male audience that the show is geared for." Might sparks fly between the two heroes, á la Hercules and Xena? "I think it would be a natural conclusion that there would be, if not a consummation... certainly the promise of a romance," he teases. "But my character has difficulty becoming emotionally attached, because he's always afraid that he's going to outlive everybody."
Getting attached doesn't seem as hard for virile Lamas, who just had his sixth child daughter Isabella Lorenza Lamas with his fourth wife, Shauna Sand Lamas, on Feb. 2. The couple plan to christen little Isabella while they're in New York for his mother's annual Oscar bash this month. Lamas was very particular about the choice of church because, he quips, "fire and brimstone is not my idea [of fun]. I leave my demons at work."