Janet MacLachlan

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Janet MacLachlan
Janet MacLachlan.jpg
Publicity photo of Janet McLachlan, taken in the late 1960s
Born Janet Angel MacLachlan
(1933-08-27)August 27, 1933
Harlem, New York City, New York, U.S.
Died October 11, 2010(2010-10-11) (aged 77)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of death Cardiovascular disease
Occupation Actress
Years active 1965–2010
Children Samatha McLachlan (daughter, born 1970)
Parent(s) James and Iris (née South) MacLachlan (both deceased)

Janet Angel MacLachlan (August 27, 1933 – October 11, 2010) was an American actress who had roles in such television series as The Rockford Files, Alias and The Golden Girls. She is best remembered for her key supporting part in the film Sounder (1972). MacLachlan worked with numerous well-known black actors and actresses and celebrities such as Bill Cosby, Jim Brown, James Earl Jones, Maya Angelou and Morgan Freeman.

Life and career[edit]

MacLachlan was born in Harlem, New York; her mother, Iris South MacLachlan, and father, James MacLachlan, were both Jamaican-born members of the Church of the Illumination. Attending P.S. 170 and Julia Ward Junior High School, MacLachlan graduated from Julia Richmond High School in 1950.[1][2] She received a bachelor's degree in psychology from Hunter College in 1955.[2] She then worked as an executive secretary in New York City before turning to acting. She later performed at the Tyrone Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis.

A one-time contract player for Universal Studios, MacLachlan made her debut in two episodes of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour in 1965. She appeared in episodes of The Fugitive, The Invaders episode "The Vise as Mrs Baxter" (1968), The Girl from U.N.C.L.E., Star Trek, Ironside, and The Mod Squad. She also appeared in the films Uptight (1968), Change of Mind (1969), ...tick...tick...tick... (1970), Darker Than Amber (1970), Halls of Anger (1970), Sounder (1972), The Man (1972), Tightrope (1984), Murphy's Law (1986), The Boy Who Could Fly (1986) and The Thirteenth Floor (1999).

MacLachlan also won a Los Angeles-area Emmy for her performance in KCET's Voices of Our People: In Celebration of Black Poetry in 1981. She would later serve as grant committee chairman for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.


Suffering from cardiovascular disease in her later years, MacLachlan died from complications from the condition on October 11, 2010 at the age of 77 at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Los Angeles. She is survived by a daughter, actress Samantha McLachlan.[3] MacLachlan resided in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles.[2] Her body was donated to medical research[4].


Year Title Role Notes
1967 Star Trek Lieutenant Charlene Masters
1968 Uptight Jeannie
1969 Change of Mind Elizabeth Dickson
1970 ...tick...tick...tick... Mary Price
1970 Halls of Anger Lorraine Nash
1970 Darker Than Amber Noreen
1972 The Man Wanda
1972 Sounder Camille Johnson
1973 Maurie Dorothy
1984 Tightrope Dr. Yarlofsky
1986 Murphy's Law Dr. Lovell
1986 The Boy Who Could Fly Mrs. D'Gregario
1987 Big Shots Welfare Worker
1988 For Keeps Miss Giles
1993 Heart and Souls Agnes Miller
1994 There Goes My Baby Lottie
1994 Criminal Passion Tracy's Lawyer
1996 The Big Squeeze Bank Manager
1996 Pinocchio's Revenge Judge Allen
1999 The Thirteenth Floor Ellen


External links[edit]