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 Spanish 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.