'Phil Spector assassinated her twice': Lana Clarkson's pal shares last memory, says star was seeking love

'Phil Spector assassinated her twice': Lana Clarkson's pal shares last memory, says star was seeking love
Actress Lana Clarkson, 40, was looking for love and was ready to settle down before she was tragically shot dead in 2003 by record producer Phil Spector (IMDb/Jae C. Hong-Pool/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Late actress Lana Clarkson was looking for love before she was assassinated in 2003 by record producer Phil Spector, her friend revealed. Clarkson who rose to prominence in several sword-and-sorcery films found herself ready to settle down after a long career. 

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"I had just seen Lana at Nordstrom’s," pal Dianne Bennett told Fox News. Bennett added, "She was shopping with her mother for a pair of sensible shoes to wear because she had gotten hired as the hostess for the VIP room at the House of Blues. She knew that I was a matchmaker. She said, ‘I’m ready to get married, and I want you to call me this week. Let’s find me Mr. Right!’ I said, ‘Great!’ Her mom was all smiley. We were all just laughing and having a good time."

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"It didn’t really resonate with me when [daughter] Pam called me and said, ‘Phil Spector murdered Lana,’" said Bennett. "It was beyond comprehension." Clarkson was fatally shot by the famous music producer in his huge mansion in LA. Clarkson was only 40 years old when she met her tragic end. Her death was the subject of an upcoming episode of Oxygen True Crime's 'Accident, Suicide, or Murder,' which aired Saturday, January 21. 

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(Imdb)
Lana Clarkson went on to guest star in more than 50 TV shows (IMDB)

The true-crime series focuses on suspicious killings that have taken place in the US and how they are solved by the police. It also features interviews with investigators, detectives, and loved ones of the victims associated with the cases. Bennett, who testified in the grand jury and participated in the episode titled 'Hollywood Horror', said it was vital for "the truth to be revealed" about her friend. "I wanted to fight the good fight for Lana," said Bennett. "There were so many smear campaigns that were being lobbied against her. It was all lies. They were out to destroy Lana’s reputation. Her story needed to be told."

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Clarkson, who was inspired by fellow blonde bombshell Marilyn Monroe, got her first major break in Hollywood with 'Fast Times at Ridgemont High' in 1982. She went on to guest star in more than 50 TV shows, including hits like 'Three’s Company', 'Knight Rider', 'Who’s the Boss?' and 'The Love Boat'. A series of movies were made around the California native by producer Roger Corman,  including 'Barbarian Queen', which he described as "the original Xena."

Phil Spector listens to the judge during sentencing in Los Angeles Criminal Courts on May 29, 2009 in Los Angeles, Californial, for the February 2003 shooting death of actress Lana Clarkson. Spector was sentenced for 19-years to life.
Phil Spector was sentenced to 19 years to life in prison for fatally shooting actress Lana Clarkson (Jae C. Hong-Pool/Getty Images)

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Clarkson had not worked in Hollywood for over a year when she died. She took a job at House of Blues to pay the bills while her acting career was on hold. Bennett’s daughter, Pam Krause, who first met Clarkson on set, said the starlet "knew from the very beginning that she wanted to be an actress." "The last time I saw her, she came over to my house," Krause recalled. "She was talking to me about how she should look into a different career path. We reminisced about the good old days. We laughed and cried about everything we’d gone through. And it kept coming back to the same thing. Her love was being an actress and being part of the industry. Even if she was going to go in a different direction, it was still going to tear her from what she ultimately wanted to do."

"My boys were getting ready for school while I was watching the news," added Krause. "And all of a sudden, I see a big picture of Lana on TV. It was one of the headshots she used to distribute. I perked up because I thought, ‘Wow, Lana’s on TV!’ But then I started listening. I heard the words ‘dead’ and ‘shot.’ I just started screaming at the top of my lungs. My boys were downstairs and they heard me. They ran up and went, ‘Mommy, Mommy, what’s wrong?’ I just kept saying, ‘This can’t be true.’ I was having a really hard time wrapping my head around what I was watching on TV," as per Fox News.

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A photograph of actress Lana Clarkson is presented by the prosecution during Phil Spector's murder trial at the Los Angeles Superior Court June 28, 2007 in Los Angeles, California. Spector, 67, is accused of murdering 40-year-old actress Lana Clarkson in February 2003, hours after meeting her at a Hollywood nightclub.
A photograph of actress Lana Clarkson is presented by the prosecution during Phil Spector's murder trial at the Los Angeles Superior Court on June 28, 2007, in Los Angeles, California (Damian Dovarganes-Pool/Getty Images)

Clarkson was reportedly found collapsed on a chair in Spector’s home in the early hours of February 3, 2003. She reportedly had a bullet in her mouth and some of her front teeth were found missing. It was due to the testimony given by Spector's limo driver, the record producer was charged with second-degree murder and convicted in 2009. The driver testified that his boss came outside holding a gun, with blood on his hands, and said, "I think I killed somebody." Spector later insisted that Clarkson’s death was an "accidental suicide," as per the outlet. 

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Donna Clarkson, mother of Lana Clarkson, testifies during the murder trial of music producer Phil Spector August 13, 2007 in Los Angeles, California. Spector, 67, is accused of fatally shooting 40-year-old Lana Clarkson in February 2003.
Donna Clarkson, the mother of Lana Clarkson, testifies during the murder trial of music producer Phil Spector on August 13, 2007, in Los Angeles, California (Robyn Beck-Pool/Getty Images)

Spector’s defense labeled Clarkson as an old out-of-work actress with financial problems who feared being evicted. He reportedly said that it was the actress herself who pulled the trigger. "I knew Phil Spector’s defense team was trying to ruin her reputation," said Bennett. "I was married to an attorney involved in entertainment. I know what they do. They have a bag of dirty tricks. … They twist everything. I’ve always said that Phil Spector assassinated her twice. First, he murdered her. And then he assassinated her character."

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In this police booking photo released by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Dept., rock music producer Phil Spector poses for a mugshot April 13, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. Spector was found guilty of second degree murder during the re-trial in the shooting death of actress Lana Clarkson in 2003.
Phil Spector poses for a mugshot on April 13, 2009, in Los Angeles, California (Los Angeles County Sherriff's Department via Getty Images)

"It was total BS," Krause said. "I felt so bad for her mother, her family. I just felt that as her friends, we needed to be her champion and fight for her. We knew that none of the things that were being said about Lana were true. Lana was not depressed, suicidal or washed up. She took her craft very seriously and worked very hard at it. She was not going to be deterred from her path at all. That’s why we kept fighting because they had put such a dark cloud around her name."

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"Throughout this journey, I met a lot of people that also knew her," Krause continued. "Everybody that I talked to had nothing but wonderful, glowing things to say about her. She was a best friend to everybody. One common thing that came across is that she was very encouraging to a lot of people. She had a webpage, and a lot of people [in the industry] reached out, saying, ‘I feel like I’m going in the wrong direction. I don’t know what to do. Maybe I should give up.’" "She was so encouraging and tried to uplift anyone who reached out to her for help. Even when she was getting doors closed in her face because she wasn’t the right type or whatever, she kept pushing forward. She was always that generous, caring person."

Clarkson met her Spector while she was hosting the VIP room at the House of Blues. 

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