Fernando Lamas, 67, the Argentine-born actor who played Latin lovers in more than two dozen Hollywood movies, and later directed and acted in television series, died of cancer yesterday at the UCLA medical center in Los Angeles.

"It was a relatively short illness," said a medical center spokesman. "He came in here four weeks ago, complaining of back pain."

By his own account, Mr. Lamas was accompanied in many of his early Hollywood roles by "a sword in one hand, a blond in the other and a horse outside."

Discovered by Hollywood after he had appeared in 32 films in his native land, Mr. Lamas made his film debut here in 1951.

Among his vehicles were "Duel of Fire," "The Revenge of the Musketeers," "Kill a Dragon," "100 Rifles" and "Valley of Mystery."

After a series of pictures, he went to Broadway to star in 1956 with Ethel Merman in "Happy Hunting." He received the Drama Critics Award for his work.

Subsequently he directed episodes of such TV shows as "SWAT" and "The Rookies."

He was married from 1954 to 1960 to screen star Arlene Dahl, with whom he appeared in "Sangaree." Later he married actress Esther Williams, with whom he costarred in "Dangerous When Wet."

Before his death, Mr. Lamas had filmed scenes for five episodes of the TV adventure series "Gavilan" in which he was to have had a supporting role. He was replaced and his scenes were refilmed.