Jock Ewing
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Biography for
Jock Ewing (Character)
from "Dallas" (1978)

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John Ross Ewing Sr., known to his family and friends as 'Jock', was born on August 26, 1908, the younger of two sons. Through his older brother Jason, Jock got a job in an oil field in east Texas. While riding in a train boxcar during the Depression Jock met Willard "Digger" Barnes, and the two became friends. Jock, Digger, and Jason, whom Jock brought in with himself & Digger, hoping Jason would help stabilize the venture, all became wildcatters and began drilling their own fields. Digger had a unique ability to smell oil underground, and with Jock's business skills the three began making a fortune in the oil business.

One fateful day Ewing #1 came in. That day, hat in hand, looking up to the Lord and thanking him, Jock experienced a happiness he had never known before. It was during this time Jock was married to a woman named Amanda Lewis. Jock had Amanda institutionalized in a mental hospital after she had suffered a mental breakdown shortly after she and Jock were married. Jock later had Amanda transferred to a Colorado mental hospital and channeled the rest of the income from Ewing #1 into new sites.

Over time, however, Jock became impatient and stern with Digger, not understanding his friend's compulsion with alcohol, and more than once he ended up trying to knock some sense into Digger's drunken head. But Jock not only had his hands full with Digger, but soon with his brother Jason as well! Jock was at first furious and then disgusted when his partners kept losing their shares of the money in drunken poker games. As Ewing wells 2, 3, 4, and 5 came in, Jock soon found himself with new partners, each with a paper that showed he had won Digger's and Jason's interests in the well. Each time, Jock would search all over town and then finally find Digger and Jason holed up somewhere, both nursing a bottle.

When Jock could get them sobered up, they would stagger back to work. This time, on Ewing #6, Jock was determined that his original partners would keep their shares and took the leases on the number 6 site and put them in his name only. Jock made the decision himself to do this so Digger and Jason couldn't gamble and drink their halves of the profits away.

Jason met and later married a woman named Nancy Shaw and they both left Texas for Jason to wildcat in Alaska. He and Nancy had two children: a son Jack, and later a daughter, Jamie. Jock and Digger returned to Dallas and Southfork, where Jock first met Digger's girlfriend, Eleanor "Miss Ellie" Southworth. But Digger's drinking and undependability made Miss Ellie see that Digger would never change and he was not the type of man she would want to marry and soon became interested in Jock. Soon after, Jock's friendship and partnership with Digger officially ended when Digger found out that Jock had put Ewing # 6 in his own name. Digger saw this as a betrayal and claimed Jock had stolen the well for himself. As a result of this action on Jock's part, it lead to the birth of the Barnes-Ewing feud.

By now Jock and Miss Ellie were dating. She was desperate to save Southfork, but Jock was reluctant to marry because, unbeknownst to Miss Ellie, he was still legally married to his first wife Amanda. The doctor told Jock that Amanda would never recover from her illness and advised Jock to divorce her.

Miss Ellie came to Jock, told him that she was pregnant with their son, whom they later christened John Ross Ewing Jr., who would become better known as J.R., and demanded that he marry her. Jock and Miss Ellie married on the day her family was to lose Southfork, and it was well known that Jock was the only man in Dallas with the money to save the ranch. Jock had a fragile and stormy relationship with Miss Ellie's father Aaron Southworth and her brother Garrison, who was a close friend of Digger Barnes, because both Aaron and Garrison hated oilmen. On his deathbed, Aaron accepted Jock as part of his family by giving him his favorite gun.

In addition to J.R., Jock and Miss Ellie had two other sons: middle son Garrison Arthur 'Gary' Ewing, named for Miss Ellie's brother, and finally, Robert James 'Bobby' Ewing. Jock served in World War II, where he and an old army buddy, Tom Mallory, were shot down in a mission in Holland. They later returned to save the families who sheltered them. During his term in England he had an affair with an Army nurse from Emporia, Kansas, named Margaret Hunter. Jock was shipped off to France, and Margaret returned to the United States. She married her fianc Amos Krebbs and soon thereafter gave birth to Jock's illegitimate son Ray Krebbs. After the war, Jock returned home to Southfork and confessed to Miss Ellie about the affair with Margaret. She forgave him and they moved on.

In 1951, at the annual Ewing Barbeque at Southfork, a drunken Digger Barnes showed up and crashed the barbeque and tried to shoot Jock in the process for revenge because of Digger's claim that Jock not only stole Ewing # 6 from him but that Jock also stole Miss Ellie away from him. Though he fired a shot from his revolver, Digger failed to kill Jock.

One day a 15-year-old Ray Krebbs showed up at Southfork with a note from his mother asking Jock to help Ray. Jock made Ray a hand on Southfork and told Miss Ellie that Ray was the son of the woman he had an affair with during the war, but neither knew at the time that Jock was Ray's father.

As years passed, Jock built Ewing Oil into one of the most powerful independent oil companies in Texas and also became a very successful rancher. Jock "took over raising" his eldest son J.R., showing him "tough love" and made him one of the most cunning and ruthless oil barons in the oil business. Jock, for the most part, ignored Gary, whom he considered weak, and spoiled his youngest son Bobby. In 1977, Jock officially retired as president of Ewing Oil. He made J.R. his successor and took a more active role in running Southfork with Ray.

In April 1978 a bad wind storm had blown into the Dallas area, along with a couple of men from Waco looking to get even with J.R. and Ray (who were both actually friends at this early time in the series), who seemingly took advantage of the men's own women. With the hands off for the day to attend a festival in San Antonio, Southfork looked deserted and the two men took advantage of the situation. Packing guns and giving orders, they hold Sue Ellen, Pam, Lucy, Miss Ellie, who was sick with the flu, hostage, along with J.R. & Ray as revenge. Luckily Jock & Bobby, who were both stuck at Ewing Oil because of the storm, managed to arrive home and, overpowering both men, later rescues their family. Advised by Miss Ellie not to call the sheriff, Jock tells the men to leave while they still can but not before warning them that if they both ever dare set foot on Southfork again Jock would kill them both himself.

Seven months later in November 1978, Jock suffered a major heart-attack at Southfork while arguing with J.R. over his treatment of Bobby at the office and later had to have open heart surgery to repair the damage. Shortly after, while Jock was still recuperating, J.R. & Bobby were enroute home from New Orleans from a business trip when their plane crashed. Not wanting to upset Jock, Miss Ellie warned Sue Ellen, Pam & Lucy that Jock was not to know of what had happened to her sons. But Jock later learned of his sons' fate and asked Miss Ellie why she hadn't told him. Miss Ellie tearfully told him that she didn't want to upset him but Jock told her he was all right. Later, Jock sent Ray out to search for J.R. & Bobby. Ray found the crash site and brought them both home to Southfork.

In 1980 the human remains of a man were found buried on Southfork. Forensics identified the man as Hutchison 'Hutch' McKinney, a former Southfork ranch foreman who had worked on the ranch nearly 30 years earlier. During the investigation led by Pam's brother, Cliff Barnes, who was the District Attorney at the time, a man named Merdo Ferris told the sheriff in Cliff's office that he was witness to a fight in a bar between Jock and McKinney in 1952. After Jock won the fight Ferris said that Jock then fired McKinney on the spot and told him to get off Southfork by morning or Jock would kill him.

During the inquest a bullet that was later recovered from McKinney's skull was found to have come from an 1892 Colt six-shot service revolver, the same revolver that Jock had received from Miss Ellie's father, Aaron Southworth, on his deathbed decades ago that Jock believed was lost. With motive and the evidence pointed towards him, Jock was arrested and later put on trial for Hutch McKinney's murder. At Southfork Jock was telling Scotty Demarest, the attorney hired to defend him, his side of the story of how Jock found out that McKinney had been cutting steers, selling them and getting a kickback on the feed money, practically robbing Jock blind. After getting the best of McKinney, Jock, confirming Ferris's story to the sheriff and Cliff, fired him and ordered him off Southfork by morning or Jock would kill him.

But Jock wasn't the only one to have had an axe to grind with McKinney. After Jock's public fight with McKinney, Pam and Cliff's father, Digger Barnes, who was on his deathbed while Jock was on trial, admitted to his sister Margaret, Miss Ellie, Bobby, Pam, and Cliff, that Digger had returned home one night and found McKinney there with his wife Rebecca, who told Digger that she was pregnant with McKinney's child and was planning to leave Digger for McKinney. A fight then broke out and McKinney was shot by Digger with Jock's revolver that Digger had stolen and killed McKinney with over his affair with Rebecca.

Digger then said he put McKinney's body in his car and buried it on a piece of land not knowing at the time that it was in actuality a part of Southfork. Digger then took Rebecca and young Cliff and moved to Corpus Christi. When Pam asked Digger about the whereabouts of the baby that her mother and McKinney conceived, Digger told her that he always loved her as his own before dying, and Pam shockingly realizes that SHE was the baby and is devastated by the revelation. Due to Digger's deathbed confession, Jock was aquitted of Hutch McKinney's murder.

In early 1981, Jock and Miss Ellie's marriage of over 40 years was on the rocks over a land deal known as Takapa that Jock, Ray, and several other Dallas businessman were involved in and that Miss Ellie and members of the Dallas ladies group the DOA (Daughters Of The Alamo) were trying to stop. They briefly separated, with Jock moving out of Southfork and into a hotel in town.

Bobby, who was on the committee as a state senator at the time, dealing with the matter, reached a compromise that satisfied both sides. Though Jock was relieved that the legal fight over Takapa was over, Miss Ellie was still very angry at him after the hearing. Afterwards, Ray and his new wife, Donna, both on opposite sides of the elder Ewings' battle over the Takapa land deal, wanted to bring them both back together. Donna later brought Miss Ellie to the Krebbs home where she found Jock there with Ray.

Ray realized that Miss Ellie must have had some resentment for him being recently revealed to be Jock's son, and that Jock adding Ray to a Ewing trust must have made Miss Ellie think that he was cheating her own sons out of their rightful inheritances and told her that he would gladly give up any claim to the Ewing fortune if it would make her & Jock reconcile. Coming around after Ray had said his peace, Miss Ellie told him that she couldn't let Ray give up his share of the trust and she finally revealed that her anger towards Jock over Takapa was fueled not only by Ray being revealed as Jock's son, but mostly by her heartbreak over Gary being driven away by Jock (and for the most part by J.R.), and of Gary's permanently residing in California. But Miss Ellie finally came to the realization that Gary was never happy living at Southfork and that the last time he was there (for Lucy's wedding to a med school student-turned-doctor named Mitch Cooper) Gary wasn't driven away. Miss Ellie apologized to Ray and officially accepted him into the family as a Ewing. Jock and Miss Ellie also reconciled themselves and re-married shortly after at Southfork.

Returning to the United States from their second honeymoon in Paris, Jock and Miss Ellie arrived in Washington. D.C., where they were met by the U.S. State Department with a request for Jock to go to South America to lead a drilling operation. Miss Ellie returned to Southfork alone, while Jock had conferences in Washington. Later, he returned to Southfork, just for a few hours, to get his gear together before leaving for South America.

After being away from his family in South America on U.S. government business for nearly a year, Jock had finally completed the drilling operation for the government and was finally heading home to Dallas and Southfork just in time for the annual Ewing Barbeque, which would also serve as a homecoming for him. But on the day of the barbeque, as the celebration was still going on, J.R. was returning downstairs when he sees a devastated Miss Ellie, who had just received an equally devastating phone call from South America: the helicopter that Jock was flying in collided with a small plane and crashed in a lake in the South American jungle and that the search party believes that Jock is already dead.

Bobby, J.R., and Ray fly down to South America to join the search, but after a long extensive search there was no physical sign of Jock. Other than the wreckage of the helicopter the only other sign of Jock in the area was the solid gold lion-head medallion that Jock wore around his neck that Bobby found at the bottom of the lake where the helicopter had gone down. Jock's body was never found, but he was officially declared legally dead in the fall of 1982. (This storyline involving Jock's death was necessitated by the death of Jim Davis. A tribute to Davis was shown at the end of the episode "The Search", and the credits rolled silently in respect).

Shortly after Jock's death his Last Will and Testament was read. In his will Jock set up a contest between J.R. & Bobby over who would control Ewing Oil and which ever son acrewed the most profits would be declared the winner in a year and President of the company. But the bitter battle for control of Ewing Oil took its toll on both Bobby and Pam's marriage, and the Ewing family to the point where Miss Ellie went to court to have Jock's Will broken and to put an end to the fighting one and for all. But the judge ruled against her and ruled that Jock's Will be upheld in its current form and for the contest to continue uninterrupted.

In a storyline during the 1986-87 season, a man named Wes Parmalee (portrayed by Steve Forrest) , using the name 'Ben Stivers', came to Dallas, where Clayton Farlow, Miss Ellie's second husband, and Ray, both hired him as ranch foreman on Southfork. One day Miss Ellie found Jock's belt buckle, knife, letters, and photo of a young Miss Ellie in Parmalee's room. Parmalee said he had survived the accident, which necessitated plastic surgery and years of rehab in a South American hospital. After passing a battery of tests set up by J.R. and Bobby, including a polygraph test and knowledge about the Ewing family, including Jock's first wife Amanda and Ray being Jock's son, Parmalee convinced many in Dallas, in addition to Miss Ellie, Ray, and several other members of the Ewing family, that he was Jock Ewing.

Even after Parmalee miraculously passed the polygraph test, Clayton, Bobby and J.R. still refused to believe Parmalee's claim that he is Jock. In order to expose Parmalee as a fraud, Bobby flies down to South America to find out the truth about him and talks with the doctor who had treated Jock for a severe fever while he was there just before Jock's helicopter crash and disappearance. Bobby returned to Southfork, where the annual Ewing Barbeque was going on, and revealed what he learned about Parmalee.

Punk Anderson, one of Jock's oldest and closest friends who worked with him in South America on the drilling operation five years earlier, was also at Southfork for the barbeque. Bobby asked Punk about a man named Wyatt Haynes. Punk remembered the name and told Bobby that Haynes was a member of the drilling crew that had accompanied him and Jock to South America. Bobby later mentioned that while he had the fever, Jock was telling the entire history of the Ewing family, and Bobby says he now knows who Parmalee really is.

Meanwhile, inside the house Parmalee later confessed to Miss Ellie he wasn't Jock. Parmalee said that he had met Jock while working in South America and was on the helicopter with Jock, where he took Jock's things and learned about the Ewings. He wanted to have such a wonderful family since he had had lost his wife and children years ago. Parmalee apologized for the pain he'd caused her and left Dallas for good.

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