5 Things You May Not Know About TV’s ‘Dallas’
To be honest, I am still in shock about the passing of the great Larry Hagman. I remember watching reruns of him as ‘Tony Nelson’ trying to get out of the daily predicament that Barbara Eden’s ‘Jeannie’ had put him in.
Then in 1978, when I was 12, I would usually be over at my Aunt and Uncle’s house and we would all be watching Hagman’s latest character, J.R. Ewing causing more trouble than anyone thought possible. So, imagine my delight when TNT rebooted the show and brought back a Dallas for a new generation. With this new show also came some ‘ole favorites; Patrick Duffy (Bobby), Linda Grey (Sue Ellen) and Larry, as the man you loved to hate, J.R. Ewing.
The second season of the TNT series returns on Monday night (1/28), but let’s go back and go over a few things you might not know from the series that started the ‘nighttime soap’ craze all those years ago.
When Barbara Bel Geddes (Miss Ellie) left the show in 1984, Dallas producers offered the role to Mary Martin. Martin is best know for her stage performance in ‘Peter Pan,’ but is also Hagman’s Mother. Martin turned down the role and it went to Donna Reed, who lasted only one season, before Bel Geddes returned to Southfork.
The ranch and home to the Ewings is as much of a character of the show as its stars. If you are not aware ‘Southfork Ranch’ is located about twenty miles north of Dallas in Parker, Texas. It’s mostly used as an event and conference center now and open to the public. When Dallas aired it’s first mini-series it used an entirely different house and location. You can check out what happened to the original house at Ultimate Dallas.
Behind The Camera:
Many of the cast had the pleasure to earn their directing stripes on the show. Members included; Hagman, Duffy & Steve Kanaly (Ray Krebbs). Linda Grey also expressed interest, but producers shot her down. Hagman went to bat for Grey and ‘suggested’ they give her a shot, which they finally did.
The series was originally developed for Linda Evans (The Big Valley). She was to play Pamela Ewing. But for whatever reason, she didn’t sign on and the role went to another lovely lady, Victoria Principal. Of course no one had to shed a tear for Evans, she went on to star in one of the other very popular nighttime soaps, developed by Aaron Spelling, Dynasty.
Over the course of the thirteen seasons and made-for-TV movies, J.R. kept true to his word of being a ‘ladies man.’ He had relations with a total of 29 women during the show. Arch-enemy Cliff Barnes comes in at two with 15, Ranch hand Ray Krebbs follows with 10 and Bobby (the whole season was a dream) Ewing last with 9. To be fair, Lucy Ewing (Charlene Tilton) was the busiest of the ladies with 9 male relationships.
Now before we get our TiVos set for Season two of the new Dallas, let’s pay tribute to the late Larry Hagman and check out some of ‘The Very Best (?) of J.R.’