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What Happened To The Cast Of Dallas?

Dallas was never supposed to be as big as it was. The primetime soap opera originally aired in 1978 on CBS as a five-part miniseries with no plans to continue beyond that, but ratings were high enough that executives decided to commission a full season, and Dallas ran on from there. It wound up airing for 14 seasons during its original run, with its final episode airing in the spring of 1991. Well beyond the show's initial conclusion, audience interest persisted, leading to the three-season "revival series" that aired starting in 2012.

For years, Dallas was one of the most buzzed-about shows on television, known for its dramatic scheming and torturously suspenseful endings. The cliffhanger mystery of "Who shot J.R.?" was one of the most successful TV events of all time, and held records for years for how many people tuned in to discover the truth.

Eventually, like all things, Dallas ran its course. However, many of the actors from the series went on to star in many other popular television series and movies. Wondering what happened to the cast of Dallas? We're here to take a look at what they've done since, and where they are today.

Larry Hagman - J.R. Ewing

The early seasons of Dallas focused more on the rivalry between the Ewings and the Barnes family, but writers were quick to notice that fans were most interested in Ewing patriarch J.R., played by Larry Hagman. He was the only character to appear in every episode of the series (all 356 episodes!) and he would continue to play the character in spinoffs and related series over the years.

Hagman starred in I Dream of Jeannie before Dallas and, while he continued to act following Dallas' successful run, didn't quite reach the heights he once had. He had several one-shot television roles over the years, and he's also appeared in films like 1978's Superman, 1995's Nixon and 1998's Primary Colors. He continued to return to the role of J.R., appearing in TV movies, the spinoff Knots Landing and the 2012 Dallas revival. He also branched out a bit as an older man, landing recurring roles on shows like Desperate Housewives and Nip/Tuck.

Hagman passed away in 2012 due to complications with leukemia. He was 81 years old.

Ken Kercheval - Cliff Barnes

Every good soap opera needs a good rival, and that's where Cliff Barnes came in for Dallas. Played by Ken Kercheval, Barnes dedicated his life to getting one over on the underhanded J.R. Ewing. Occasionally, he would succeed, but J.R. usually got the best of him. Kercheval, like J.R. actor Larry Hagman, returned to his role as Cliff in Dallas TV movies and the reboot, and also appeared in several tv shows over the years once the series ended.

Kercheval slowed down quite a bit after Dallas finished — in fact, most of his major roles came before the show started or happened while it was still on the air. However, he also frequently booked guest appearances on a variety of shows: You might have caught Kercheval on something like Walker, Texas Ranger, ER, Murder, She Wrote, Crossing Jordan, or Diagnosis Murder. Interestingly, Kercheval starred in the TV movie I Still Dream of Jeannie — an interesting Dallas connection, given that Larry Hagman starred in the original run of the show.

Ken Kercheval died in 2019 at the age of 83. The 2020 film Surviving In L.A. marks his final screen credit.

Patrick Duffy - Bobby Ewing

Bobby Ewing was kind of the odd man out on Dallas — unlike his brother J.R., Bobby wasn't a horrible person. In the cutthroat world of oil tycoons that the show portrayed, however, that often put him in the crosshairs. He also was the focal point of one of the most cliched moments ever on the show — the infamous shower scene that revealed the entire previous season in which Bobby died had all been a dream.

Bobby was played by Patrick Duffy, who has had plenty of success outside of Dallas, although he also reprised the character in various spinoffs and TV movies as well as the 2012 Dallas revival. He had several long runs on other television series, including the 1990s sitcom Step By Step as well as an extended on-and-off run on the long-running daytime drama The Bold and the Beautiful. His soap opera and sitcom experience has come in handy, as he has landed several guest spots on shows like NCIS and All Rise. Some other notable projects include a run of made-for-TV Christmas movies and narrating the Pony Excess episode of ESPN's documentary series 30 for 30.

Linda Gray - Sue Ellen Ewing

J.R.'s wife Sue Ellen was originally envisioned as a small role, since the show was initially only set to be a five-episode miniseries. When Dallas was picked up as a full series, however, Sue Ellen's role in the show was increased dramatically, so it's a good thing a strong actor like Linda Gray had the part. Like most of the stars of Dallas, Gray reprised the role in several of the offshoots and spinoffs, but she also continues to act in a variety of other roles.

Dallas gave Gray plenty of experience in a soap opera environment, and she's leveraged that experience into several impressive television appearances. She had a short run on Melrose Place as Hillary Michaels, who ran a modeling agency. A spinoff featuring her character was later made, called Models Inc., which Gray starred in. She's also had runs on The Bold and the Beautiful, Hilton Head Island, and Hollyoaks.

Gray doesn't appear in many major movies, but she does have some experience on the film front. Some of her more recent works include supporting roles in Intuitions and Grand-Daddy Day Care.

Barbara Bel Geddes - Ellie Ewing

Miss Ellie Ewing had an interesting history on Dallas due to some real-world situations. Veteran stage actor Barbara Bel Geddes portrayed the Ewing family matriarch without issue until the 1983 season, but between seasons, Geddes had a quadruple bypass operation, putting her out of commission until late in the following season. Due to Geddes' health, Ellie was temporarily recast, and Donna Reed played the part from 1984-1985. Geddes recovered, and was brought back to the role until the series ended in 1991.

Geddes was known as a theater actor before Dallas — she received Tony Award nominations for her role as Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and the starring role in Mary, Mary. She also won several awards for playing Genevra in Deep are the Roots. Outside of Dallas, she is best known in Hollywood for her collaborations with Alfred Hitchcock: she was in a few episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents and had a central role in Vertigo.

Geddes retired from acting after Dallas, and she passed away in 2005 at the age of 82. Interestingly, she is responsible for the only major award Dallas ever won: she received a Golden Globe for Best Actress in 1982.

Steve Kanaly - Ray Krebbs

The illegitimate Ewing, Ray Krebbs never got the spotlight on Dallas that other members of the family did. Actor Steve Kanaly played the role well, however, and was game to play the character again in the sequel series as well as a few of the TV movies based on the show.

Kanaly himself never quite took off like several of his costars, either. At the same time, you've probably seen him in something else, especially if you like classic television. He's had guest appearances on a huge number of popular shows, including Starsky and Hutch, Charlie's Angels, The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, and Walker, Texas Ranger. He's also had a few recurring roles on several shows, including All My Children and Okavango: The Wild Frontier.

Kanaly's last acting credit came in the 2012 Dallas revival series, so it seems likely he may have hung up his acting boots. He lives with his wife in California and is a watercolor artist and philanthropist.

Howard Keel - Clayton Farlow

Though he wasn't part of the ensemble when Dallas first began, it didn't take long for veteran actor Howard Keel to win over fans as Clayton Farlow. Farlow was an interesting character, as he tried to navigate his attachment to the Ewing family while being overwhelmed by all the excess in front of him. Keel was the perfect actor for the role, as he had a long career before joining the series, acting in musicals and westerns.

Keel was a known commodity on Broadway before he made it to Hollywood. He sang in shows like Oklahoma!, where he played the lead role of Curly for a year and a half before moving to a contract with MGM. His first major Hollywood role was as Frank Butler in Annie Get Your Gun, and he also acted in other musicals like Show Boat, Kiss Me Kate, and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.

After Dallas ended, Keel only appeared in a few guest spots on various shows, including episodes of Murder, She Wrote and Walker, Texas Ranger. Keel passed away in 2004 at the age of 85; his last role came courtesy of the 2002 film My Father's House.

Victoria Principal - Pamela Barnes Ewing

One of the more intriguing roles on Dallas, Pam Ewing was always the outsider. She married Bobby to join the Ewings, but she was born into the Barnes family. This helped provide a lot of the drama, especially in the early seasons, as Pam was treated like a spy and an outsider. Actress Victoria Principal did great work in the role, receiving some major award nominations for her portrayal.

Principal has found success in several different avenues, including acting. Outside of Dallas, she's made several guest appearances on a variety of shows, including Home Improvement, Chicago Hope, Just Shoot Me!, The Practice and even Family Guy. She also appeared in Titans, an early 2000s show that clearly took some inspiration from Dallas. That series only lasted 14 episodes, and was Principal's last credit.

Outside of television, Principal started a successful beauty line called Principal Secret Skincare, which she left in 2019. She's also an author, she started a production company, and she works in support of several philanthropic efforts.

Charlene Tilton - Lucy Ewing Cooper

Lucy Ewing had a bit of a yo-yo run on Dallas. She was on the show at the very beginning, but was written out after the 1985 season. She returned a few years later, but was written out once again in 1990. She was mentioned here and there throughout her absences, and she also made a few appearances on the 2012 revival series. Throughout all this, the character was only ever played by one actress: Charlene Tilton.

The diminutive Tilton has found success in music as well as acting during her career. Before Dallas, she had small spots on Eight Is Enough and Happy Days, and her first film role came in 1978's Freaky Friday starring Jodie Foster. Afterwards, she appeared in several lowbrow parody films, including Silence of the Hams, Superhero Movie, Paranormal Calamity, and the like. She's also picked up several small film and television roles.

On the music front, Tilton's most well-known work was a European dance hit called "C'est la vie." (You should probably just check that one out for yourself.) Tilton's most recent role came in the 2019 film Starting Up Love, so she's still picking up acting roles as well.

Susan Howard - Donna Culver Krebbs

Donna Culver Krebbs got a bit of a raw deal on Dallas. One of her biggest storylines involved her pregnancy and subsequent miscarriage and the strain it put on her relationship with Ray. However, that came during the season after Bobby had been killed, when Patrick Duffy had decided he was done with the show. He then decided he wanted to return, and Donna's miscarriage was revealed to have been part of the "dream season." The character never really recovered, and actor Susan Howard left the show not long after.

Howard found plenty of success before appearing on Dallas: she had several guest roles on shows like Star Trek, Columbo, I Dream of Jeannie, Mission: Impossible, and Bonanza. She also starred on the series Petrocelli before being cast as Donna on Dallas. However, she essentially bid goodbye to acting once she left the series, only appearing in a handful of roles afterwards.

Instead, Howard started leaning heavily into politics. She held administrative roles with groups like the NRA and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission, and has worked closely with the Texas Republican Party.

Deborah Rennard - Sly Lovegren

J.R.'s longtime secretary, Sly Lovegren was definitely a lesser character when compared to the central crew of Dallas, but she still appeared in nearly 200 episodes of the series. The show marked Deborah Rennard's first role and helped her find plenty of success in Hollywood. She left acting for about a decade in the early 2000s, but started dabbling in film and television again starting in 2015.

Rennard booked a few major movie roles as Dallas came to a close. She starred alongside Jean-Claude Van Damme in 1990's Lionheart, and also appeared in Kazaam. She's also had several television roles, including a recurring part on Days of Our Lives and several guest spots on shows like Silk Stalkings, Family Law, Due South, and Kung Fu: The Legend Continues.

Rennard left film and television to return to stage acting, but has started appearing onscreen again in recent years. She had an uncredited role on the 2015 miniseries Show Me a Hero, as well as a supporting role in the 2020 Christmas film Deck the Heart.

Priscilla Presley - Jenna Wade

Jenna Wade was Bobby Ewing's first love, and she was most memorably played by Priscilla Presley. Presley was actually the third actor to play her, however. Jenna's first appearance came in a single episode, and at the time, Morgan Fairchild portrayed the character. A few years later, Jenna reappeared and was played by Francine Tacker for a few episodes. Jenna didn't become a regular character on the show until 1983, which is when Presley started playing her.

Presley has been involved in some high-profile romances over the years — she was married to Elvis Presley, and the two had daughter Lisa Marie 1968. Presley was also in a relationship with Robert Kardashian for a brief period in the 1970s. Presley has also had success as an actor outside of Dallas, starring alongside Leslie Nielsen in the Naked Gun film series and appearing in guest spots on several shows.

Even though Presley has focused on different interests over her career, she does still stay tied to Hollywood. She's reportedly developing a cartoon series for Netflix called Agent King, and is also attached to fantasy series Almythea: Rise of Wingtar.

Omri Katz - John Ross Ewing III

J.R.'s son with Sue Ellen, John Ross Ewing III, was played by well-known young adult actor Omri Katz on the original Dallas series. Even though John Ross is one of the central characters of the 2012 revival series, Katz's role was recast. However, Katz had quite a bit of success during his heyday, and a few major roles that nostalgic '90s kids are bound to remember.

After Dallas went off the air, Katz had another run on the television series Eerie, Indiana, where he played Marshall Teller. Even more memorable, he played Max, the tie-dye clad protagonist of 1993's Hocus Pocus. He had guest spots on a few popular television shows afterwards, including Freaks and Geeks and General Hospital.

Katz's last role came in 2018, when he reprised the character of Marshall Teller for an episode of Childhood Thoughts. This came after a 16-year gap in acting credits. Katz is listed as a retired actor, but with a Hocus Pocus revival still in the works, we'll see if he comes out of retirement once again.