1.1 Why did Patrick Duffy leave the show?
Patrick Duffy wanted to try new things, he had grown tired of playing the good brother and wanted to branch out in his career. He had been thinking about it for sometime and then broke the news in early 1985 to the Producers. He also urged them to kill Bobby off as he didn't want to be enticed back, his ideal exit was Bobby riding into Southfork on a white horse and rescuing the family from a fire of Southfork. The producers agreed to Patrick's demands but instead killed him off saving Pamela from her deranged sister Katherine Wentworth.
1.2 Why did Patrick Duffy return to the show?
Patrick's career had not taken off to the level he expected, Larry had continually joked about Duffy returning as he missed his old playmate on the set. Dallas had not been the same for Larry since Patrick quit and he wanted him back. Larry invited Patrick over to his home for a beer and a sauna and it was then that Larry asked Patrick to return. He agreed.
1.3. Who knew Patrick had returned?
Only Leonard Katzman and Larry Hagman knew that Patrick was once again going to play Bobby. Victoria Principal only found out when she watched the show air. She immediately screamed and phoned Patrick in shock. Please see script trivia for more information on the dream.
2.1 Why did Barbara Bel Geddes leave the show in 1984?
Barbara had suffered ill health due to a heart condition for sometime and decided to hang up her sack dress at the end of the 1984 season. Miss Ellie was last seen marrying Clayton Farlow.
2.2 Why was Miss Ellie recast?
Miss Ellie was a pivotal character in the show, Barbara's leaving left a huge gap especially due to the fact Howard Keel had recently joined the cast and his character could only remain if Miss Ellie continued to be a regular character. The only option was to recast the role.
2.3 Which actors were considered to take over the role of Miss Ellie?
Larry's mother Mary Martin was considered for the role but turned it down due to ill health. Donna Reed finally took over the role of the Ewing mother.
2.4 How did fans react to Donna Reed as Miss Ellie?
Not very well, the critics also slammed Donna's performance as wooden. It was hard to swallow another actress playing a role which Barbara had made her own. Miss Ellie changed from earth mother to glamour mother and the fans were not very accepting of this. Her first scene was at the airport returning to Dallas with Clayton.
2.5 Was Donna treated badly by the Production team?
Various stories on this one. Donna Reed's husband insists Donna was treated as an outcast by the shows producers. One accusation is that Patrick Duffy warmly welcomed her as 'Momma' to which Larry Hagman replied "She's not my momma" and stormed off. Donna Reed also accused the show of not using her key light on purpose, this would result in Donna looking much older than what she was. Other accusations include lack of storylines, all of which are denied by the Dallas Production team. Larry Hagman stated in an exclusive interview for Ultimate Dallas that he adored Donna and believes many of these rumors to be fabricated by the tabloid press.
2.6 Why did Barbara return?
A year after she quit Barbara was feeling well again, the story goes that Barbara was watching Bobby's death on TV and decided she wanted her role back "That's my role", she apparently stated and immediately rang up the Producer to say she wanted back in.
2.7 What happened to Donna Reed?
Donna originally signed a 3 year contract with Lorimar but was sacked after one season. Donna and her husband found out about her axing at an airport arriving back from France. Donna sued Lorimar for outstanding payment and won. She later died in 1986 from Cancer.
2.8 What is Donna Reeds side of the story?
According to her biography:
Larry Hagman got Donna Reed fired from "Dallas" because she was too good. That's the shocking claim of a new biography of the Oscar-winning actress. Reed was hired with much fanfare in 1984 to replace Barbara Bel Geddes as Ewing family matriarch Miss Ellie. But when she proved she could hold her own with Hagman, she started getting the cold shoulder from "Dallas" most powerful cast member. "There were muted signs that Hagman was not happy with her," says Jay Fultz, author of "In Search Of Donna Reed."
Once when Patrick Duffy playfully asked if he could call her "Mama," she overheard Hagman mutter, "Well, she isn't my Mama." Other cast mates, wary of upsetting Hagman, also began to shun Reed. The tension often drove her to tears until her husband finally suggested she
leave the show. "I am not a quitter!" she defiantly replied.
Producers drastically reduced her role and resorted to dirty tricks, such as refusing to let Reed view rushes of her early episodes. She quickly discovered why: They had filmed her to appear years older. "The harsh lighting is deliberate and mean as can be," Reed wrote. "She felt ambushed," adds Fultz.
Reed was fired in 1985, while vacationing in Paris. Producers not only made her agent deliver the bad news, but expected her to issue a press release saying she had only intended to be on the show for a year. In reality she had just signed a two year extension.
"Donna refused to participate in such dishonesty," says Fultz. She went to court and won every penny producers had promised her on her contract. Reed minced no words about who she felt was responsible for her firing: "I don't think Larry Hagman liked a strong actress playing his mother-he wanted A FAT WADDLING BROWN WREN OF A WOMAN WHO BLINKS A LOT," she wrote a friend. "Nobody ever said showbiz was easy, fair, fun or filled with nice people," she added, "'Dallas' is the pits, obviously."
3. Did Larry Hagman fire Phil Capice?
Larry didn't fire Phil but he was instrumental in his axing as Producer from Dallas. Leonard Katzman and Phil Capice did not get 'along', they has creative differences which led to Leonard leaving the show at the end of the 1985 season. Phil Capice then ran the show and took it in a direction that Larry did not like. Larry was unhappy with glam look and thought it was too 'Dynasty'. He was also immensely unhappy that his character had been toned down and the women were now getting stronger roles. He finally told Lorimar that he would leave if Phil Capice was not axed. They met Larry's demands and also brought back Leonard Katzman and Patrick Duffy to keep Larry happy.
3.1 Why did Susan Howard leave Dallas?
In Susan's own words from an exclusive Ultimate Dallas interview:
My being written out of the show, press releases that came out from the show, I assume from Lorimar, saying I had asked to be released from the show, I said this was not true. In fact the way I found out is I was sitting in the makeup chair one morning in March and my make-up man said to me "Have you heard Susan we are going to start back early this year" , I said "No I haven't heard", he said "Yeah we are gonna start back April or May", I said "Oh really". I immediately left and went over to Leonard's office and I said "Is something going on?" and he said "We have decided not to bring the character back" and I said "Why is that?" and he said "We really don't have anymore storylines", I said "Ok if that's the way it is, that's the way it is", I got up and left. To preface that what had happened the year before, the year Leonard was not on the show, that was the year we had the sequence with the handicap children, well the season Leonard came back Donna had found herself pregnant again, because the whole year was wiped out. Originally they had come to me at a party before the show had started that year and Leonard had said "You and Steve, keep talking about it, why don't you have a baby", I said "Yes but first of all how could we, we don't even have a bedroom, do you know Donna still hangs her clothes out on the line and she has millions of dollars, what's going on here?" (laughs), really this is the conversation, and he said "Well we have decided Ray and Donna are gonna have a baby", I said "Oh great , oh Leonard that's great", he said "Yes but she's gonna find out she's carrying a down syndrome child and she will have an abortion", well my heart fell to the floor.
I really went home and because I don't believe in abortion I called up Phil Capice, and I said "Phil I need to talk to you, I look back at the history of Dallas and there have been abortions already on the show, don't you think sometimes we need to show the other side, that maybe there would be someone who would want to have the baby, he said "but it's down syndrome, 98% of women who find out they are carrying a down syndrome child have an abortion" and I said "But there are 2% and what do you think they do?" and he said "Well I guess they want it", so I said "Why don't you consider Donna part of that 2%". So that's how the story went and then the dream sequence came and all of a sudden we are back and Jennas pregnant and she's hating Bobby and she's going to hate the baby she's going to have and Leonard comes to me and says "We have decided you are going to go to Jenna and say 'You know Jenna you really need to have an abortion' ", I said "Leonard why would Donna go to Jenna, the only reason should would want an abortion is because she was mad at Bobby, and tell her to have one?", I said "If you want anybody to tell her to have an abortion it would be J.R because he's got everything to loose".So in all honesty I believe I was written off the show is because I'm not a politically correct person and people can read into that anyway they want to , my faith had nothing to do with it, I was simply saying "Don't we ever show the other side", and I believe they did not want to live with that so it was much easier to write you off the show and continue in a genre of lifestyle they liked or justified rather than have them daily confronted with someone who challenged them on social and moral issues, that's the truth. It had nothing to do with me not wanting to have an affair with somebody, they did want me to get involved with the Senator and I said "Excuse me, Donna is pregnant with her husbands baby, she is not going to be running around having an affair with some Senator, you've lost your mind" (laughs). People ask this because they want to know the truth and this is the truth ok. Let me tell you, everybody else dances around that question, because they want to say "Oh well it had to do with this or that", no it didn't, this was what it had to do with.
3.2 Why did Victoria Principal leave Dallas?
Victoria became bored of playing Pamela, she said she had become like 'Mother Teresa`. She left at the end of the 1987 season in a car crash .Victoria was offered a huge sum to stay on the show, an amount of money which would of left her the richest woman on American television, but Victoria turned it down. The year before Victoria was excited that she could take Pamela in a new direction following Patrick Duffy's leaving. During the season without Duffy, Pamela became a major focus on the show taking star billing with Larry Hagman, some would argue she became the star during this season. Following Bobby's return the character of Pamela was dumbed down to be 'Bobby's wife'. Victoria was unhappy with this development so quit the show.
3.3 Was Pamela recast?
Producers played with the idea of recasting Pamela, Margaret Michaels was brought in for a one off episode to play Pamela. Due to the fans reaction to Donna Reed it was decided not to recast Pamela on a full time basis.
3.4 Why did Steve Kanaly leave Dallas?
Steve Kanaly was a result of budget cuts. Due to increasing pay demands from the major actors the show needed to cut back so the character of Ray was axed in 1988 and made a few guest appearances in the following season.
3.5 Did Linda Gray quit the show or was she fired?
Fired is a strong term, but Linda Gray was indeed 'Let go'. She was informed on the same day Steve Kanaly was told. For the same reasons, due to budget cuts, Linda was informed that the Producers felt they had taken Sue Ellen as far as they could. Sue Ellen left in 1989. As stated by Steve Kanaly, the salary of one major star could pay for 3 lesser known actors, hence the influx of younger stars the following seasons. Larry Hagman begged the Producers to let Linda stay, he also begged Linda to fight her corner and not go. Both declined his offer.
3.6 Why did Priscilla Presley leave?
Priscilla was pregnant in real life and wanted the time off to spend with her family.
3.7 Why did Sheree J Wilson get killed off?
Sheree J Wilson was pregnant so asked for time off, during the period Dallas was axed so it was decided to kill April off to progress the story of Bobby selling Ewing Oil. Sheree was contracted for this entire season so that is why she continued to appear in the opening credits and in flashback scenes. If Dallas had not been axed Sheree's pregnancy was planned to be written into the show. Sadly Leonard Katzman stated shortly before he died that the biggest mistake he ever made on Dallas was killing off April, he was extremely unhappy that the character of April could not be reprised for the Dallas Reunion Movie - JR Returns.
3.7 Why did Barbara Bel Geddes quit the show again in 1990?
The tabloid press reported that Barbara fell out with the Producers over pay, apparently the male cast members received substantial more than the women. She was also very happy how her character had developed.
4 Charlene Tilton left and returned and left again. Why?
The first time Charlene left, she was told by the shows producers they could not think of anything to write for her anymore. This was in 1985 and basically the problem was that Charlene had grown up and it was difficult to write for her once she had left those teenage years behind her. How many love life stories can one character have? Charlene was devastated at this news. As the ratings began to dip and the loss of major cast members, the Producers thought a face from the past would perk things up so in 1988 Lucy returned to Southfork. Press releases stated that this would be a new Lucy who would take on JR, but sadly that didn't happen and Lucy really didn't do very much until she was axed again in 1990 and was last seen heading to Europe.
5 Dack Rambo said he was fired because he was gay? What's the truth?
Dack was brought in to play the role of Jack Ewing, this was basically a role to fill the gap left by Patrick Duffy. When Patrick returned it was felt that Jacks role could be taken no further. Dack accused the show and Larry of being homophobic because Dack was openly gay. Larry Hagman stated to Ultimate Dallas that this accusation is untrue, he didn't even know Dack was gay in the first place.
6 Which actors have played more than one role on Dallas?
Miss Ellie- Barbara Bel Geddes and Donna Reed submitted by Barbara_Fan
Gary Ewing-David Ackroyd and Ted Shacleford submitted by Barbara_Fan
Kristin-Colleen Camp and Mary Crosby submitted by Barbara_Fan
Digger Barnes-David Wayne and Keenan Wynn submitted by Barbara_Fan
Amanda Lewis Ewing submitted by Barbara_Fan
John Ross Junior-Tyler Banks and Omri Katz submitted by Barbara_Fan
Christopher Ewing-Eric Farlow and Joshua Harris submitted by Barbara_Fan
7. Which characters have been played by more than one actor?
If you know the answer to this please use the form at the bottom of the page to submit the information to the database.
8. Which Dallas actors have died?
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