Destiny of the 'Dallas' Cast After the Show Finale
The Award-winning soap opera “Dallas” aired for over a decade and had fans obsessing over the lives of the oil tycoon J.R. Ewing and his brother’s family. Although it has been about four decades since the series ended, fans are still very much in love with the cast and can't help but wonder what they are up to now. Did some of them continue in the path of television, or was "Dallas" the last big thing for them? How about their personal lives and their marriages? Luckily, we have all the answers you need!
ALL ABOUT THE SERIES "DALLAS"
The CBS primetime television show, which aired from April 2, 1972, until May 3, 1991, revolved around the lives of the wealthy Ewing family from Texas, who owned Ewing Oil company and the cattle-ranching land of Southfork. Initially, the show was meant to be a five-part miniseries that specifically focused on the marriage of Bobby Ewing and Pamela Barnes and their feuding families.
However, as the series went on, the character of J.R Ewing stole the hearts of fans with his fake schemes and dirty business deals, and that was how the storyline was adjusted to focus mainly on Bobby's older brother, which was played by actor Larry Hagman.
Apart from the intriguing and exciting happenings among the family members, the show was known for having the best cliffhangers of all time, especially the episodes “Who Shot J.R.?” and “Who Done It.” The latter episode is said to maintain the title for the second-highest-rated prime-time telecast ever. Even though the ratings and viewers of the show dropped after the episode "Who Done It," the series finale broke records again.
The episode titled "Conundrum garnered about 33 million viewers and a 22 household rating to become America's 14th most-watched television series finale. Its competition, "Manhunter," only drew a 9.8 rating. With a whopping 357 episodes in total, "Dallas" is one of the longest-lasting full-hour primetime dramas in the history of American television.
The show didn't fail to stay true to its title, with most of its scenes being shot entirely in Dallas, Texas. The first season was shot at the Cloyce Box Ranch in Frisco, and some exteriors were taken at the Southfork Ranch in Parker, Texas, and other sections of Dallas.
Its interiors, however, were shot at the MGM Studios in Culver City, California. Unfortunately, the show could not continue in its tradition of shooting within the environs of Dallas, Texas, due to rising production costs. As a result, season thirteen's filming was relocated to California, making the cast and the crew film the remainder of the season in the Los Angeles area.
After a good 375 episodes, the successful show had a spin-off series, “Knots Landing,” which aired for 14 seasons and a revival in 2012, which lasted for three seasons. The revival which was premiered by TNT focused primarily on the now-grown sons of J.R. and Bobby, John Ross and Christopher Ewing.
The revival was meant to balance the old and new generation of the Ewing family. Unfortunately, when Larry Hagman passed away in 2012, the character of J.R Ewing had to be killed off, and that dampened the success of the series. Soon, its ratings began to decline, and it was canceled in 2014.
The show had a prequel made-for-TV movie story titled "Dallas: The Early Years," which told the origins of the Barnes-Ewing feud and the creation of Ewing Oil. It covered a period from 1933 to 1951 and was written by David Jacobs. Also, years after the series ended, CBS made two made-for-TV reunion movies titled "Dallas: J.R. Returns" and "Dallas: War of the Ewings."
The former production resolved the series finale cliffhanger while the latter commemorated the 20th anniversary of the show. As expected, the series bagged some accolades, winning four Emmy Awards in total, including the 1980 Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, which was won for Bel Geddes. The show was also included in TIME magazine's list of "100 Best TV Shows of All-TIME" in 2007.
The show’s breakout character and the only person who appeared in all the episodes was J.R. Ewing, played by Larry Hagman. The actor’s fame shot up after the 1980 episode “Who Shot J.R.?” sparked controversy and debate across the nation. He earned two Emmy Awards for his portrayal as J.R. Ewing. However, Hangman was already famous prior to the show for the ‘60s series “I Dream of Jeannie.”
After “Dallas,” the actor appeared in other television programs, including “Desperate Housewives.” In 1995, Hagman was diagnosed with liver cancer and needed a liver transplant to live, which he had. In 2011, he was again diagnosed with cancer of the throat, followed by myelodysplastic syndromes. The beloved “Dallas” actor died in 2012 and had his ashes scattered at the Southfork Ranch in Parker, Texas, where the series was set.
J.R. Ewing’s alcoholic wife, Sue Ellen, was beautifully portrayed by Linda Gray, who believed her character was the “original Desperate Housewife.” Gray continued her career as an actress but ventured into British television, including the 1990s “Lovejoy,” as well as the reboot of “Dallas” in 2012.
She also appeared in the film “Oscar” alongside Sylvester Stallone and “Melrose Place,” which she continued in its spin-off, “Models Inc.” Gray has two sons with her photographer husband, Ed Thrasher, and has written a memoir called “The Road To Happiness Is Always Under Construction.”
Patrick Duffy played Bobby Ewing, brother of J.R., and a successful businessman in the oil industry. Unlike his villainous brother, Bobby opted to play fairly and by the book.
After the show ended, Duffy appeared in several more television shows and starred in Hallmark’s “The Christmas Cure” in 2017. He lost his wife of over four decades, Carlyn Rosser, a former professional ballerina, two years ago, leaving him with their two sons.
Charlene Tilton played a notorious character, Lucy “The Poison Dwarf” Ewing on the show, who had many relationships throughout the show, including a gay man and a psychopath. She starred in “Superhero Movie” after the show and reprised her role in the 2012 continuation of “Dallas.”
The actress also appeared in “The Silence of the Hams,” “Paranormal Activity,” and “Vengeance” A Love Story.” In 2012, she took part in “Dancing on Ice” and has become an ambassador for Actors for Autism.
One of the most outspoken characters in the show was Pamela Barnes Ewing, played by Victoria Principal. After the show, Principal starred in a handful of movies before returning to soap operas. In 1989, she founded her skincare line called “The Principal Secret” and became a best-selling author about skincare in 2011.
Being villainous only meant having enemies for J.R., one of which was Cliff Barnes, played by Ken Kercheval. Although he was not cut out for the oil business, Barnes still dethroned J.R. from the Ewing Oil company during the last season.
He appeared in the film “I Still Dream of Jeannie” and has had several roles after, including “Diagnosis Murder” and “Crossing Jordan.” Sadly, Kercheval passed away in April 2019.
BARBARA BEL GEDDES
Barbara Bel Geddes played the mother of the Ewing’s who ran the oil business and had a pivotal role in the show. After “Dallas,” the actress decided to take her career to a halt and focus on herself after being diagnosed with breast cancer during the show.
She settled down in Maine and practiced fine art in her home. She has since written two children’s books during her time away from the industry. Unfortunately, she passed away in 2005 due to lung cancer.
The cast of "Dallas," no doubt, left indelible marks in our hearts and forty years isn't seem long enough to make us forget their impact on us. Unfortunately, we had to see some of them pass away to the great beyond while others focused on other aspects of their lives away from the spotlight.
Luckily, we had the likes of Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray, who carried on the torch of acting professionally. Who was your favorite character on "Dallas? What do you think of their life after the series? Did you have a most-cherished episode? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.