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Dallas (TV Series 1978–1991) Poster

(1978–1991)

Trivia

Susan Howard is the only cast member to write episodes of the series: Dallas: Sitting Ducks (1986) and Dallas: The Ten Percent Solution (1987).
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On November 21, 1980, Dallas: Who Done It? (1980) was watched by 83 million people in the US and over 300 million worldwide. It was the highest rating for a single episode of a television series in American history until the M*A*S*H (1972) series finale M*A*S*H: Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen (1983) on February 28, 1983.
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Originally, the show was intended as a starring vehicle for Victoria Principal, due to the fact that Pam would act as a buffer between the Ewings and the Barneses. J.R. would have been more of a supporting character. However, the producers were so impressed by Larry Hagman's portrayal of the immoral J.R., that he immediately was bumped up to be the show's main character.
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In the mid 1980s, Linda Gray was briefly fired from this show after asking for a pay raise, and requesting that she be given a chance to direct episodes like Larry Hagman and Patrick Duffy. However, Hagman threatened to leave the show because he didn't feel they could have J.R. without Sue Ellen.
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Larry Hagman (J.R. Ewing) was the only actor to appear in all 357 episodes of the series.
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The house used as the "Southfork Ranch" house was a real Texas residence called "Duncan Acres", owned by Joe R. Duncan (or J.R. Duncan). When the show became popular, tourists from all over the world visited the house day and night. The Duncan family was forced to sell the house, and it is now a museum devoted to the show.
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When Steve Kanaly was talking about leaving the show due to his character's lack of development, it was Larry Hagman who came up with the idea to make Ray Krebs the illegitimate son of Jock Ewing in order to get Kanaly to stay.
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Larry Hagman was not the first choice to play J.R. The part was offered first to Robert Foxworth, who declined, because he felt the character needed "softening". Foxworth played a more sympathetic character on Falcon Crest (1981). Ken Kercheval was originally to play Ray Krebbs, while Steve Kanaly was to play Bobby Ewing. Linda Evans was to play Pamela, and Mary Frann was to play Sue Ellen.
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After Jim Davis (Jock Ewing) died, a portrait of him hung above the fireplace at Southfork as a memorial to the actor. When Miss Ellie remarried in 1984, the picture was moved to the Ewing Oil set.
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The spin-off Knots Landing (1979) was created first, but the producers were unable to sell it. They developed this show instead, and when that became a success, and the network asked for a spin-off, they were able to dust off the Knots Landing (1979) idea.
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Howard Keel refused to do a script reading for this show's producers at his first meeting with them, saying he was a "lousy reader" and that "what they saw was what they got".
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When Patrick Duffy was asked to return to the show in 1986, his wife told him that the only way it could happen is if his character had actually died in a dream. This led the producers to decide that Bobby Ewing's death (in addition to the entire 1985 to 1986 season) was just a dream that Pam Ewing had.
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Larry Hagman and Ken Kercheval were the only members of the cast to stay with the series throughout its entire run. However, Ken Kercheval does not appear in every episode, unlike Larry Hagman.
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In several of the early episodes of the series, Lucy (Charlene Tilton) and Ray (Steve Kanaly) were often portrayed as lovers. However, when it was revealed that Ray was Jock's illegitimate son, and therefore Lucy's uncle, his affair with Lucy was never mentioned again.
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In May 1981, Delta Burke landed the role of Katherine Wentworth, but she was forced to turn down the part because she was contractually obligated to Filthy Rich (1982), which was a spoof of this show.
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Howard Keel was originally signed for two brief cameos in two episodes. His character, Clayton Farlow, was such a hit with viewers, however, it was decided to make him a regular.
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Originally, Linda Gray's Sue Ellen really didn't have a part, so it was up to her and Larry Hagman to improvise their scenes in the background. Fortunately, Leonard Katzman and others saw their work in the dailies of the episodes and Sue Ellen's character was fleshed out.
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Several actors and actresses including Charlene Tilton and Jim Davis were filmed firing the gun that shot J.R before it was decided who would be the shooter. The gun is on display at the real Southfork Ranch site in Dallas, Texas.
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Larry Hagman (J.R. Ewing), Patrick Duffy (Bobby Ewing), Ken Kercheval (Cliff Barnes), Linda Gray (Sue Ellen Ewing) and Steve Kanaly (Ray Krebbs) are the only actors to appear in both the first and last episodes of the series: Dallas: Digger's Daughter (1978) and Dallas: Conundrum (1991).
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German broadcasting network ARD refused to translate and show seven episodes of seasons one through three because of controversial or "unnecessary" story lines.
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Jenilee Harrison has the distinction of playing the only character to be killed off twice. Jamie Ewing Barnes was killed off the first time in season nine, episode thirty-one, "Blast From the Past" (the "Dream Season") when she was blown up in her brother's car. The second time came midway through the tenth season, when she was killed while rock climbing in Mexico. Though the second death didn't occur on-camera.
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Larry Hagman claimed the show received more fan mail for Jeremy Wendell (William Smithers) than any other villain.
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Producers originally planned to bring back the character of Jock Ewing but fans were against having anyone play Jock Ewing except Jim Davis. Steve Forrest appeared on the show as Wes Parmalee, claiming to be Jock Ewing, but it was revealed that he was not.
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Susan Howard was only supposed to appear once as Donna Culver, but she impressed the producers enough that she eventually became a regular.
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Miss Ellie had an older brother named Garrison Southworth. Her second son Gary is named after him.
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When ratings fell in the late 1980s, CBS considered dropping the show's serial format and switching to self-contained episodes more like the first few episodes in 1978.
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The series was a huge success in the UK where it was shown by the BBC for its entire run. However, the BBC ran into contractual problems with the show's international distributor, Worldvision, on more than one occasion. In 1981, Worldvision attempted to renege on an agreement with the BBC and raised the price tag per episode, assured in the knowledge that the BBC's main rival ITV was planning to buy the series. Litigation ensued, but the matter was settled out of court, and the series remained at the BBC. Then, in early 1985, the problem resurfaced when the ITV company Thames Television "poached" the series by entering into a contract with Worldvision behind the BBC's back. A protracted legal battle ensued, made worse by the fact that not all stations in the ITV Network were prepared to show the series. As a countermeasure, the BBC temporarily halted transmission of the current (1984 to 1985) season midway, as a way of sabotaging ITV's planned screening of the next season (1985 to 1986) later that year. Although the BBC finished screening the 1984 to 1985 season in July 1985, it took until early 1986 for the matter to be resolved. The series ultimately stayed with the BBC, who began screening the next season in March 1986.
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Morgan Fairchild played Jenna Wade, Bobby's (Patrick Duffy's) childhood sweetheart, in a 1978 episode. When Jenna was seen again for two episodes in 1980, she was played by Francine Tacker, as Fairchild was busy working on her own series, Flamingo Road (1980). In 1983, with Flamingo Road (1980) now cancelled, the producers approached Fairchild to reprise the role, but she declined feeling that she did not want to return to a small role. However, the producers decided to re-cast the role with Priscilla Presley, and the character became a series regular for five years. Fairchild later claimed that her mother never forgave her for turning down a role on her favorite soap.
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In season ten, J.R. attempts to weaken O.P.E.C.'s influence over the price of oil by hiring a group of mercenaries to blow up several oil fields in the Middle East. This storyline is loosely based on Texas businessman Ross Perot's mission to rescue American hostages in Iran in 1979.
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Barbara Bel Geddes was only nine years older than Larry Hagman, though they played mother and son. Hagman was eighteen years older than Patrick Duffy, who played his younger brother, though we assume them to be only a few years apart in age.
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Barbara Bel Geddes left the show in 1984 due to the producers not agreeing to her demands for a pay raise, and Donna Reed took her place the following season. When Bel Geddes decided to return in 1985, Reed was fired. Reed sued the producers of the show for breach of contract, who settled with her for an undisclosed sum of money. Ironically, Reed died (of cancer) in January 1986, just a few months after she left the show, which meant she would not have been able to continue for the duration of her contract anyway.
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Barbara Bel Geddes was Creator David Jacobs' first choice for Miss Ellie. She accepted the job only because she was flat broke after her husband's death six years earlier.
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When Barbara Bel Geddes first left the show in 1984, Larry Hagman suggested that his real-life mother, Mary Martin play Miss Ellie.
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Several references were made during the show's run about Clayton Farlow having a history of singing. Howard Keel (Clayton) was famous for his powerful bass-baritone singing voice.
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While his grave in Pam's dream lists the year of his birth as 1949, in the "reality" of the series, Bobby's date of birth was given as February 16, 1950.
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The closing credits of Dallas: The Search (1982) rolled in silence, as the episode was dedicated to Jim Davis (Jock Ewing) who died of cancer on April 26, 1981 at the age of 71.
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Barbara Bel Geddes was living in New York City when cast for the series. Throughout the series, Bel Geddes flew home to New York City and back every weekend, and on other breaks, to be with her family.
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Barbara Bel Geddes appeared on three hundred episodes of the series. She missed the first eleven episodes of the 1983 to 1984 season after having quadruple bypass heart surgery in March 1983. However, in 1984, she decided to leave the show altogether after producers declined her request for a pay raise. She was replaced in 1984 by Donna Reed. However, following Patrick Duffy's exit in 1985, producers offered Bel Geddes a salary increase if she would return to the role. She accepted and Reed was fired, for which she promptly sued the production company. Bel Geddes returned as Miss Ellie for the 1985 to 1986 season and stayed until the end of the 1989 to 1990 season.
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The view of the Dallas skyline in the opening credits is approaching the city from the south on Jefferson Boulevard.
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Character Louella Lee Caraway, a secretary at Ewing Oil during the first four seasons, was named after Staff Writer Louella Lee Caraway.
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Early episodes alternately referred to the Ewings' company as Ewing Enterprises, as well as Ewing Oil, before finally just referring to it as Ewing Oil.
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Patrick Duffy had wanted the lead role in Heart of the City (1986). When Robert Desiderio was given the part (with a young Christina Applegate playing his daughter), Duffy decided to return to this show. Heart of the City (1986) lasted only thirteen episodes, while this show remained on the air for several more seasons. Desiderio later appeared in a recurring role in the Dallas spin-off, Knots Landing (1979).
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Two sets were used for the ranch: A real ranch and a ranch set in a soundstage. The filming would move from the real ranch to the studio setting in the second half of each season.
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Larry Hagman admitted that his alcoholism and boredom with the routine of playing the same role for so long inclined him to drink heavily at work, consuming as much as five bottles of champagne a day. Hagman claimed that despite this his tolerance was such that he never missed a day's work or spoiled a take for being drunk.
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Mary Crosby, who played Sue Ellen's sister Kristin, said that after it was revealed that she was the one who shot J.R., friends joked with her that she should have "aimed a little lower".
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J.R. Ewing was slightly younger than Larry Hagman's actual age, and was established as having served in the military during the Vietnam War. Hagman was a Korean War veteran.
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Jim Davis filmed all his scenes in season four while undergoing chemotherapy until his health declined to the point that it could not be concealed by hairpieces and make-up.
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Long before the show started, Larry Hagman knew Charlene Tilton's real-life family, when her divorced mother was mentally ill, and wasn't raised without her father, therefore, Hagman replaced her real-life father.
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The producers of Knots Landing (1979) were so mad that this show's producers didn't consult with them before their big "Dream Season" reveal that they did not honor it. While this show basically "un-did" Bobby's death from the 1984 to 1985 season, and basically ret-conned out that whole year; Knots Landing did not. So in the Knots Landing (1979) universe, Bobby died, never to be resurrected.
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The producers of Dallas (2012) reached out to Victoria Principal too see if she would reprise her role as Pamela Barnes Ewing from the original series. Ms. Principal rejected their offer to come back, saying that she did not want to do one "last desperate attempt to rekindle the magic of Dallas by appearing as Pam again."
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David Ackroyd originally played the role of Gary Ewing for two episodes until Ted Shackelford took over the role.
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When Jim Davis died in 1981, it was decided to write him off by first having his character, Jock Ewing, disappear in the Amazon jungle and eventually having him declared legally dead.
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Miss Ellie, Sue Ellen, and Donna Krebbs belonged to a ladies organization called the "Daughters of the Alamo", or "D.O.A." for short.
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The characters of Clayton Farlow and his son, Dusty, get their surname from the show's Production Manager Wayne A. Farlow. Also, the maiden name of Clayton's first wife, and Dusty's mother, was Wayne.
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Victoria Principal claimed in interviews that she left Dallas in 1987 because she was unhappy with the show's writing, and that she felt she had played the role for too long, and wanted to move on. Other sources claimed that she had asked for a substantial salary increase after seeing Patrick Duffy return to the series with a huge pay raise, but that she had asked for more money than the show's budget could afford to pay her.
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In the Hungarian translation, J.R. was renamed as Jockey, and Sue Ellen as Samantha.
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Cathy Podewell was picked for the role of Cally Harper Ewing, J.R.'s young "trophy wife" in the last three seasons, who also read for the casting director, who was already impressed with it. Her character was only supposed to be a guest-star, for 7 episodes, however, the producers, especially [Larry Hagman] really liked her the best, and came back to play her role, for the last 3 seasons, replacing veteran actress, [Linda Gray].
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Three people played Jenna Wade on this show: Morgan Fairchild, Francine Tacker, and Priscilla Presley.
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Long before the show started, Barbara Bel Geddes had become friends with Patrick Duffy's family, where his future father-in-law, met her in Bel Geddes' first Broadway play, "The Moon is Blue".
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Over the first eight years, internal, creative conflicts between Executive Producer Philip Capice on one hand, and Larry Hagman and the writers, most notably Leonard Katzman, on the other, had increased, finally resulting in Katzman leaving his position as Producer of the show at the end of season eight. Although Katzman continued writing for the show during season nine, albeit to a limited degree, as "Creative Consultant", the fact that neither Lewis nor Paulsen returned for season nine, meant that this show was faced with not only a new production team (joining Executive Producer Philip Capice and Associate Producer Cliff Fenneman, were James H. Brown as Producer and Peter Dunne as Supervising Producer), but also an all new team of writers (headed by Dunne, Executive Story Consultant Joel J. Feigenbaum, and Story Editors Hollace White and Stephanie Garman).
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Morgan Fairchild originated the role of Jenna Wade. The producers approached her about playing the role permanently, but she turned them down, saying the role was too small. Later, when Jenna became Bobby's girlfriend, and a regular cast member, Fairchild said she regretted this decision.
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Everybody except Larry Hagman came back, at the beginning of the show's fourth season, when the "Who Shot J.R.?" media was building around, because Hagman was involved in contract negotiations, holding back his return. Holding out for a higher salary, Hagman did not appear in the first episode of the season until the final few minutes. Producers were faced with a dilemma whether to pay the greatly increased salary, or to write J.R. out of the show. Lorimar Productions, the makers of the series, began shooting different scenes of this show which did not include Hagman. In the midst of negotiations, Hagman also took his real-life family to London, England for their July vacation. He continued to fight for his demands, and network executives conceded that they wanted his character to stay on the show.
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Linda Gray was fired from the show, at the end of the twelfth season, due to budget cuts that ended Steve Kanaly's run on the show the year earlier.
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Patrick Duffy played Sasha Mitchell's uncle on this show and Step by Step (1991).
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Larry Hagman (J.R. Ewing), Patrick Duffy (Bobby Ewing) and Ken Kercheval (Cliff Barnes) are the only actors to appear in all fourteen seasons. In second place are Linda Gray (Sue Ellen Ewing), Steve Kanaly (Ray Krebbs) and Don Starr (Jordan Lee), who each appeared in thirteen seasons: Gray and Kanaly did not appear in Season Thirteen while Starr did not appear in Season One.
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Mentioned in the lyrics of the song "The Day Before You Came" by Abba, and "TV Party" by Black Flag.
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Larry Hagman's former I Dream of Jeannie (1965) co-star Barbara Eden played Lee Ann De La Vega, a millionaire hellbent on revenge against J.R., in a five episode story arc in the final season. At the end of the story arc, she revealed that her surname was actually Nelson, a reference to Hagman's character Tony Nelson on I Dream of Jeannie (1965).
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Only fifteen actors played the same character on the series in the 1970s, the 1980s and the 1990s: Larry Hagman (J.R. Ewing), Patrick Duffy (Bobby Ewing), Ken Kercheval (Cliff Barnes), Linda Gray (Sue Ellen Ewing), Barbara Bel Geddes (Miss Ellie Ewing Farlow), Steve Kanaly (Ray Krebbs), Charlene Tilton (Lucy Ewing), Mary Crosby (Kristin Shepard), Ted Shackelford (Gary Ewing), Joan Van Ark (Valene Ewing), Don Starr (Jordan Lee), Sherril Lynn Rettino (Jackie Dugan), Tom Fuccello (Dave Culver), Jared Martin (Dusty Farlow) and George Petrie (Harv Smithfield).
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Larry Hagman (J.R. Ewing), Patrick Duffy (Bobby Ewing), Charlene Tilton (Lucy Ewing), Mary Crosby (Kristin Shepard), Ted Shackelford (Gary Ewing), Joan Van Ark (Valene Ewing) and Eric Farlow (Christopher Ewing) are the only actors to play the same character in both Dallas (1978) and Knots Landing (1979). With the exception of Crosby and Farlow, all of them also played the same character in Dallas (2012).
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Linda Gray (Sue Ellen) and Ken Kercheval (Cliff Barnes) were not in the opening credits during the first season.
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This show was essentially an elaborate set-up for the Knots Landing (1979) spin-off. The producers approached CBS with the show idea for Knots Landing (1979), they said no. They would rather have something sent in Texas with dueling oil barrons. So this show was born. All as an elaborate springboard for the spin-off Knots Landing (1979) which was launched through the character of Gary Ewing. (Gary was mentioned in the pilot because this show's producers knew they would be launching a sequel show later.)
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The theme song to this show was voted the number one best television theme song of all time in a recent Entertainment Weekly poll.
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In almost the same situation as its spin-off Knots Landing (1979), the year before, and at the end of the series' tenth season, David Jacobs and Leonard Katzman had decided to go into a different direction on this show, consequently, Susan Howard and Victoria Principal were let go, due to corporate downsizing, before Steve Kanaly, who was prefaced with that same situation, at the end of the following year, as well.
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Larry Hagman (J.R. Ewing), Patrick Duffy (Bobby Ewing), Ken Kercheval (Cliff Barnes) and Linda Gray (Sue Ellen Ewing) are the only actors to appear in 300 or more episodes: Hagman appeared in all 357, Kercheval appeared in 327, Duffy appeared in 326 and Gray appeared in 308.
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When Linda Gray (Sue Ellen) quit during the final season, she said in interviews that this show was a show that was "written for men and about men", and the women on that show were all second fiddles and supporting characters.
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The only cast member to win a Best Acting Emmy was Barbara Bel Geddes, who won Best Female Performance in a Drama, in 1980. Jane Wyman also won an acting Emmy for playing Angela Channing on Falcon Crest (1981). These are the only two acting Emmys won by any nighttime soap operas. Dynasty (1981) and Knots Landing (1979) won none.
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Charlene Tilton was fired and then rehired during the final seasons.
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Of the series' twenty regular characters, only three were not members of the Barnes or Ewing families by blood or marriage: Carter McKay (George Kennedy), Stephanie Rogers (Lesley-Anne Down) and Liz Adams (Barbara Stock). However, Liz Adams was briefly engaged to Cliff Barnes in Season Fourteen.
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Southfork appeared in all but five episodes of the series, all of which were broadcast consecutively: Dallas: Three, Three, Three: Part 1 (1990), Dallas: Three, Three, Three: Part 2 (1990), Dallas: April in Paris (1990), Dallas: Charade (1990) and Dallas: One Last Kiss (1990).
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April Stevens, Bobby's second wife, was born on August 7, 1957.
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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