Before the reality shows took over, nighttime soap operas used to be what drew most people to the television set each night. One of the most notable and most memorable nighttime soap operas of them all was Dallas, starring Larry Hagman as J.R. Ewing. The popular television series ran from 1978 to 1991. The show detailed the lives of an American Texas oil tycoon and his family and the drama that plagued their family. The show captivated its audience by drawing them into the lives of the super rich and their daily dilemmas including struggle for power, family fighting, sex, and a host of other vices. The leading character, JR Ewing kept the audience at the edge of a cliff wanting and waiting to see what the ruthless Texas business tycoon would do next. Overall, even with all of the reality shows and current soap operas on television today, the writing and the cast made Dallas an original masterpiece that will not soon be forgotten.
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The Original Cast
Barbara Bel Geddes played the matriarch of the Texas tycoon family, and was affectionately known by family and friends as, “Miss Ellie.” She retired from Dallas in 1990, continuing her work as an author and artist until her death from lung cancer in 2005.
Jim Davis, better known as the patriarch of the Ewing family, John Ross Ewing, Sr, founded the fictional Ewing Oil Company in 1930. John Ross Ewing, or Jock Ewing as he was commonly referred, retired from Ewing Oil in 1977. He married his fictional wife, "Miss Ellie" in 1938 after his first marriage ended in divorce. His first wife was institutionalized after suffering a nervous breakdown. Jock and Miss Ellie were married after she became pregnant with JR (their oldest son) and demanded that Jock married her. The very strong patriarch of the Ewing family fathered four sons: JR Ewing, Gary Ewing, Ray Krebbs (from his first marriage), and Bobby Ewing. Jock and Ellie were separated for a short time in 1981. While flying back to Texas from Venezuela, Jock's plane crashed but his body was never recovered. He was pronounced legally dead the year after. Jim Davis, the actor who portrayed Jock Ewing, died in April of 1981 from myeloma.
Patrick Duffy played Bobby Ewing, the youngest son of the Ewing Oil empire. Patrick played Bobby Ewing from 1978 to 1991 with a brief exodus from 1985-1986, better known as the famous "Dream" season. Bobby Ewing, though the youngest, was also a very powerful character. He was became a senator for Texas while also filling such roles as the Chief Executive Officer of Ewing Oil and Petro Group of Dallas. He married his first wife Pamela Barnes, played by Victoria Principal, in 1978. The Barnes and the Ewings were rival families. Patrick Duffy left Dallas briefly, his character was killed after being mowed over by a car. The show took a hit because Bobby was one of the most popular characters. In order to bring him back from the dead, the entire season from 1985-1986 was written as a dream and therefore it did not really happen.
Linda Gray played Sue Ellen Ewing, JR Ewing's wife. Sue Ellen met Jr. at a beauty contest where he was a judge and she was the winner of the Miss Texas title. Her character led a very troubled life of loneliness and drinking. Sue Ellen married Jr. Ewing twice, in 1970 and again in 1982 after a year of separation. During their time together, Sue Ellen managed to have an affair with Cliff Barnes and gets pregnant. She ends up drinking while she is pregnant because she assumes the child is Cliff's and not JR's since she and JR barely had relations in their very strained marriage. JR commits her to a sanitarium to help protect her from her own demon and allow her to have the baby, John Ross Ewing III, without doing harm to herself and the child. It turns out that JR was the actual father of the child after paternity tests revealed this. Their marriage is one of bitterness, loneliness, rivalry and constant struggle. In the end, they remained husband and wife for business purposes while they both continued to have their affairs.
Larry Hagman played JR Ewing, the eldest son in the Ewing Oil empire. JR Ewing's character quickly became the main character of the show, even though it was not intended that way. JR was a very ruthless, cunning and shrewd businessman. He held the same characteristics when it came to his personal and family life as well, which is why most of the members of his family abandoned him. JR Ewing buried his conscience in a bottle while he involved himself in many questionable activities including infidelity. He was married three times to two women, Sue Ellen with whom he had one child and Cally with whom he also had one child. He had another son with another women named Vanessa who he had an affair with in France. Until this very day, JR Ewing is one of television's most memorable characters.
Victoria Principal played Pamela Barnes Ewing, Bobby Ewing's wife whom he married in 1978. Pam was advised to never have children because she carried a gene called Neurofibromatosis which is fatal to babies. She later found out she was not a carrier because she was not Digger's daughter. She still however, suffered two miscarriages and was again told she could never have children. She tried to kill herself after a bout with depression and was committed to a psychiatric hospital. Pam and Bobby eventually adopted. Pam and Bobby divorced, got married again and she ultimately left him again after she sustained disfiguring burns from a car accident. The big "dream" season came from Pam, she dreamt that her husband had been killed, but when she woke up she found him in the shower find him in the shower.
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Charlene Tilton played Lucy Ewing, a beautiful yet venomous young confused woman. She is JR and Bobby Ewing's niece who was in love with Kit Mainwaring III until she found out that he was gay. She met and married Mitch after. Their relationship went the same way most Ewing marriages went: marriage, infidelity, lust, lies, deceit and divorce, then marriage again and ultimately divorce-again.
During the Dallas season
The new Dallas television series
The new Dallas televions series will be centered around JR Ewing's son, John Ross Ewing III and also Bobby Ewing's adopted son Christopher Ewing. Many of the main characters from the orignal show will also star in this TNT remake or "continuance" as it is affectionally known by fan. Some of these orignial cast members include Larry Hagman (JR Ewing), Linda Gray (Sue Ellen Ewing) and Patrick Duffy (Bobby Ewing). The main characters Josh Henderson (John Ross Ewing III) and Jesse Metcalfe (Christopher Ewing) will all of course be a part of the cast. The pilot will air on TNT in 2011.
Update From The Network
"The new DALLAS stars Josh Henderson (90210), Jesse Metcalfe (John Tucker Must Die), Jordana Brewster (Fast & Furious),Julie Gonzalo (Veronica Mars) and Brenda Strong (Desperate Housewives), and they will be joined by iconic stars Patrick Duffy, Linda Gray and Larry Hagman as J.R. Ewing. TNT has ordered 10 episodes of DALLAS, which is slated to premiere in summer 2012.
The original DALLAS aired from 1978 to 1991 and centered on the Ewing family, a cattle and oil dynasty occupying the expansive Southfork Ranch in Texas. A long and bitter rivalry between brothers J.R. Ewing (Hagman) and Bobby Ewing (Duffy) eventually led to J.R. losing control of most of the Ewing industries. In the new DALLAS, this explosive rivalry now lives on through another generation, with the future of the family fortune in the hands of the Ewing offspring: cousins John Ross Ewing (Henderson), the son of J.R. and ex-wife Sue Ellen (Gray), and Christopher Ewing (Metcalfe), the adopted son of Bobby. Brewster stars as Elena, who is involved in a love triangle with Christopher and John Ross. Gonzalo stars as Christopher’s fiancée, Rebecca. And Strong stars as Ann, Bobby’s wife."
Go To The Official TNT Dallas Site a Sneak Peak!
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