Meet the Cast of 'Knots Landing' Four Decades after 1st Episode of the Famous TV Series Aired
What started as nothing more than the spin-off from the cult classic "Dallas," turned into one of the most popular 80’s melodrama. In fact, one of the most shocking things about this series is that it performed even better than its predecessor. The show had a record-breaking 20 million viewers with 344 episodes. After the finale, that took place 26 years ago, fans often wonder - what exactly happened with the stars?
Ted Shackelford played Gary Ewing. He went on to reprise his role as Gary Ewing for the revival of "Dallas." After "Knots Landing," he began acting in soap operas and was cast in "The Young and the Restless." The American actor has been married to Annette Wolfe since October 5, 1991. He was previously married as well, to Janis Leverenz.
Joan Van Ark
The Tony Award-winning stage actress was cast for the role of Valene Ewing on "Dallas" and continued the role for the spinoff. Since "Knots Landing" ended, she has had a few cameos and small guest roles.
She even played Gloria Fisher Abbott on "The Young and the Restless" for a year. Unfortunately, she has also gained infamy for her use of plastic surgery and facial reconstruction.
Kevin Dobson played "Mac" Patrick Mackenzie. He wanted to be a soap star after the show but his career did not take off. Since then, Dobson made small appearances in shows like "Hawaii Five-0," "CSI," and "Touched by an Angel."
His role as "Mac" in the series ended up being his most successful in his acting career. Dobson has been married to Susan Dobson since 1968. The couple have three children together.
William Devane played the role of Greg Sumner. Currently, he is a partially retired actor who takes on small parts and cameos. He has made appearances in films like "Interstellar" and "The Dark Knight."
As of 2019, the American actor’s net worth is approximately 5 million dollars! Devane has been in the acting business since 1967 and was featured in various different movies and TV series, leaving his mark anywhere he went.
Michele Lee played the award-winning character of Karen Mackenzie. She holds the record for the actress with the most appearances of any American-primetime tv show.
In 2015, she made a comeback on Broadway. She is the first woman to direct, author, and star in a Lifetime movie project, "Color Me Perfect."
The role of Laura Avery was taken by Constance McCashin. After 10 years of playing Laura, McCashin decided to retire from acting after her character was killed off in the show.
Actress, Susannah Hoffman, & I @ Gloucester Stage opening of “Lifespan of a Fact” 9.1.19. pic.twitter.com/A7IFCRYPPP— constance mccashin (@conmccashin) September 6, 2019
Her last role was in 1999 in "The Out of Towners." She currently works as a therapist in Massachusettes and lives with her husband and their 2 sons.
Before the show, Donna Mills was an accomplished stage actress. On "Knots Landing," she played the part of Abby Ewing. She went on to star in 2 made for tv films, "Love is a Four-Letter Word" and 'The Stepford Husbands."
She later bagged a recurring role on "Melrose Place" as Jane Mancini. Today, Mills is a Daytime Emmy Award-winner with a role on "General Hospital."
Julie Harris was written off "Knots Landing" in 1987 due to financial complications onset. The star passed away in 2013. She had 3 Emmy Awards to her name and had been nominated 11 times.
In 2002, Harris was honored with the Tony Lifetime Achievement Award and added to the American Theater Hall of Fame.
Lisa Hartman played the popular rock singer Ciji Dunne. aWhen Ciji was written off the show many fans demanded her return. She returned as Cathy Geary until 1986 when members of the cast were cut due to budget problems.
Lisa is also a Grammy-nominated country singer and is currently married to Clint Black. They live in Nashville, Tennessee with their 2 daughters.
Larry Riley played Frank Williams on "Knots Landing." In 1989, he went to rehab for alcohol and drug treatment and also discovered he was HIV Positive.
After rehab, he returned to the show. He passed away in 1992 after experiencing AIDS-related renal failure. He was 38 years old at the time of his death.
Teri Austin played Jill Bennet for 5 years on "Knots Landing." She left the show in 1989 and went on to appear in "Quantum Leap," "Seinfeld,' and "Beverly Hills 90210."
In 2001, she officially retired from acting and is working as an animal rights activist in Los Angeles, California.
Michelle Phillips played Anne Matheson Sumner. She left the show to take on a role in "Beverly Hills 90210." Michelle is married to Steven Zax.
She has been married five times and has 3 children with 2 of her former husbands. Michelle has retired from acting and singing.
Claudia Lonow played Diana Fairgate on "Knots Landing." She left the show to pursue other areas of the entertainment industry. Claudia started writing and producing projects like "The War at Home," "Crowded," and "Less Than Perfect."
Her work bagged her the Audience Choice Award at the 2015 Los Angeles Indie Film Festival for the film project, "Bummed."
Kathleen Noone played Claudia Whittaker. Noone was already an award-winning actress before the show and went on to act in the primetime drama "Sunset Beach." She also had a recurring role on "Passions" and appearances in "Dexter," "The United States of Tara," and "About Fifty."
Kent King's breakthrough role was as Julie Williams on "Knots Landing." She was offered a role in "The Young and the Restless" but decided to take a role in "Port Charles." She also guest-starred in "General Hospital." She went on to star in "Night Shift" which is a spinoff of "General Hospital."
Alec Baldwin also had his break into the industry as Joshua Rush on "Knots Landing." He went on to gain mainstream success and has starred in many major productions including "The Aviator," and "The Shadow."
He has won multiple awards including 2 Emmy Awards, 3 Golden Globe Awards, and 7 Screen Actors Guild Awards.
Lar Park-Lincoln played Linda Fairgate. The American actress also appeared in the 1987 movie "House II: The Second Story" as Kate, the 1988 horror movie "Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood" as Tina Shepard, and a 1988 episode of the horror series "Freddy's Nightmares" as Karyn. She currently lives in Dallas, Texas with her 2 children. She was married to Michael Martin Lincoln who passed away in 1995. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008.
Hunt Block joined "Knots Landing" as Peter Hollister. He left the show in 1987 and went on to act in soap operas like "Guiding Light," and "All My Children." He then signed a 5-year contract to act in "As the World Turns." In 2010, he acted opposite Angelina Jolie in "Salt."
Victoria Ann Lewis
Victoria Ann Lewis was a veteran soap opera actress when she landed her role on the show as Peggy. She is now working as a support system for actors with physical ailments or disabilities. She also reprised her role for the reunion of "Knots Landing: Back to the Cul-de-Sac" in 1997.
Steve Shaw played Eric Fairgate on the show from 1979 until 1987. Before landing a role on the series, Shaw made earlier acting appearances in "Little House On The Prairie." His first appearance was during Season 3 Episode 22, as Sam Delona - an Italian couple's son.
He returned once again in Season 5, in an episode called "The Odyssey," playing Dylan Whittaker. He also appeared in a few episodes of "The Waltons." as George Simmons. He returned to "Knots Landing" occasionally, but in 1990 he passed in a traffic accident in Los Angeles at the age of 25.
Joseph Cousins played Bobby Ewing in "Knots Landing." After being featured in the show, Cousins also starred in the 1990 "Kindergarten Cop," as well as the 1992 "Intruders." He went on to retire from acting in 1995. He is now working as a stylist for the Orient Express Furniture company.
Appearing in the first 4 seasons of "Knots Landing," James Houghton played record producer Kenny Ward. After James Houghton left the show, he became a writer for "The Young and the Restless" and "The Bold and the Beautiful." He has won 4 Daytime Emmy Awards and 2 Writers Guild of America Awards for his work.
Before becoming the original Buffy, Kristy Swanson starred on "Knots Landing." She later went on to act in other series and films like "Flowers in the Attic." In 1992, Swanson starred in 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer." She is married to figure skater Lloyd Eisler since 2009. They have a daughter together.
Stacy Galina played Kate Whittaker. After the show ended she acted in a string of short-lived sitcoms including "Daddy’s Girls" and "Hidden Hills."
She also famously appeared in the 1988’s film "Children of the Corn." She has guest-starred in "Will & Grace," "Boston Legal," and "Friends."
Mark Haining played Mort Tubor in "Knots Landing." He then went on to star in "The Young and the Restless" and "The Taking of Beverly Hills." He retired but returned to the industry as a director in 2015.
Charlene Tilton played Lucy Ewing on "Dallas" and appeared for one episode on Knots. The shows made her a pop culture icon and she reprised her role in 2012 for the TNT’s revival of "Dallas."
She also competed on the British reality competition, "Dancing on Ice." She was engaged to Cheddy Hart from 2001 until 2009 when he passed of heart failure. They had a daughter, Cherish Lee together.
Nicolette Sheridan played Paige Matheson. Sheridan is an English-American actress, writer, and producer. She started her career as a fashion model, before landing her very first role in the primetime soap opera, "Paper Dolls."
The actress starred in various television roles through 1986 up until now, including "Desperate Housewives." Sheridan married Harry Hamlin in 1991, divorcing him just a year later. After marrying once again in 2015, to Aaron Phypers, the pair went separate ways in 2018.
The Cast Reunites
On the television show, Home & Family, five of the cast members had their own mini-reunion. The cast members, Joan Van Ark, Donna Mills, Kevin Dobson, Michele Lee, and Ted Shackelford, spoke fondly of their days onscreen together. They spoke about the legacy of their primetime soap and how it affected the trajectory of their lives.
Many of them rose to fame because of the show and owe a great amount of their success to it. On Home & Family, a special Skype call came in from Alec Baldwin, who played in the Dallas spin-off of their show in 1984. The actor even showed off his daughter Carmen. All of the cast members seemed elated to be together again and showed a true sense of friendship.
It looks "Knots Landing" wasn't the only place full of drama! Sometimes, it seems like a celebrity's life can be so much more dramatic than the series they're starring in. Did you have a favorite on the show? If so, share your thoughts in the comment section!