‘Dallas’ Stars to Reunite at Autograph Show

Dallas, Linda Gray, Patrick Duffy

Ewings reunite! (Getty Images)

Patrick Duffy, Linda Gray and several other “Dallas” stars are slated to participate in a Los Angeles autograph show next weekend.

The Hollywood Show will be held from Friday, October 30, through Sunday, November 1, at the Westin Los Angeles Airport Hotel.

The other “Dallas” alumni scheduled to participate are Ken Kercheval, Charlene Tilton, Christopher Atkins, Morgan Brittany, Mary Crosby, Morgan Fairchild, Jenilee Harrison, Leigh McCloskey, Sasha Mitchell, Sheree J. Wilson and Morgan Woodward.

More than 60 additional actors are slated for the event, including Corbin Bernsen, Annie Potts and Kevin Sorbo. The list also includes Patty McCormack, who guest starred in three “Dallas” episodes during the 1981-82 season as Evelyn Michaelson, the woman who came between Lucy and Mitch.

Ticket prices vary; a two-day pass costs $40. There are additional fees if you want to be photographed with individual actors or groups, including a $250 charge to have your picture taken with the “Dallas” cast.

More information is available on the Hollywood Show site.

Will you attend the Hollywood Show? Share your comments below and read more news from Dallas Decoder.

One Year After ‘Dallas,’ Cast and Crew Keep Busy

Dallas, Josh Henderson, TNT

Josh Henderson in August (Getty Images)

The final episode of TNT’s “Dallas” aired one year ago today. Here’s an update on the show’s stars and key players from behind the scenes.

JOSH HENDERSON has been cast as the male lead in “The Arrangement,” an eagerly anticipated E! pilot about an actress who is offered $10 million to marry Hollywood’s biggest star. Filming began this month in Vancouver.

Patrick Duffy, June (Getty Images)

Patrick Duffy in June (Getty Images)

PATRICK DUFFY will appear in “Trafficked,” a forthcoming feature film based on the best-selling book “Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery.” Duffy also led the TV series jury at the prestigious Monte Carlo Television Festival, and he guest starred on NBC’s “Welcome to Sweden” and ABC Family’s “The Fosters.”

LINDA GRAY published her memoirs, “The Road to Happiness is Always Under Construction,” guest starred on CW’s “Significant Mother” and appeared in the Hallmark Channel movie “Perfect Match.” She also stars in “Wally’s Will,” an independent short slated to play at film festivals.

JESSE METCALFE will be seen in “God’s Not Dead 2,” a Christian-themed film now in production. He also appeared in Hallmark Channel’s “A Country Wedding,” which drew big numbers in June, and the online flick “Dead Rising: Watchtower.”

JORDANA BREWSTER reprised her role as Mia in the latest “Fast and Furious” flick, “Furious 7,” which has grossed $1.5 billion since its release in April. Next up: Brewster will appear alongside John Travolta and Cuba Gooding Jr. in FX’s “American Crime Story,” a 2016 series about the O.J. Simpson trial, and then she’ll star in the second season of the ABC crime drama “Secrets and Lies.”

JULIE GONZALO has roles in two forthcoming films: “Waffle Street,” which stars Danny Glover, and the romantic comedy “The List.” She also stars in the independent film “I Did Not Forget You,” produced by Brenda Strong.

Brenda Strong, Dallas, TNT

Brenda Strong in July (Hallmark Channel)

BRENDA STRONG has joined the cast of “The 100,” a CW fantasy series that will return for its third season next year. The newly married Strong also co-stars in “Ice Sculpture Christmas,” a Hallmark Channel holiday movie.

MITCH PILEGGI will reprise his role as Walter Skinner in Fox’s six-episode “The X-Files” revival, slated to debut January 24. He also can be seen in the film “The Girl in the Photographs,” and he did a guest stint on CBS’s “Blue Bloods.”

EMMA BELL has been cast as the young Emily Dickinson in “A Quiet Passion,” a film starring Cynthia Nixon as the adult poet. Bell also stars in the short film “BYoutiful” and has roles in two other projects, “The Good Ones” and “See You in Valhalla.”

JUDITH LIGHT plays a grandmother in the recent release “Digging for Fire,” starring Orlando Bloom. She’ll also continue to be seen in Amazon’s Emmy-winning series “Transparent,” which will begin its second season December 4.

JUAN PABLO DI PACE played Jesus in NBC’s “A.D. The Bible Continues,” which aired in the spring. Di Pace will next be seen in the feature film “After the Reality” starring Matthew Morrison and Jane Lynch.

KEVIN PAGE has opened a gallery in Dallas to showcase artworks created through three-dimensional printing. His website is http://kevinpage3d.com/.

CYNTHIA CIDRE (Executive producer) is now an executive producer of ABC’s “Dallas”-esque drama “Blood and Oil,” which debuts September 27.

RODNEY CHARTERS (Cinematographer) is shooting director Zach Braff’s feature film “Going in Style,” which stars Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin as three retirees who plan a bank heist.

RACHEL SAGE KUNIN (Costume designer) has brought her talents to CW’s “Jane the Virgin,” which will begin its second season October 12.

CHARLES YUSKO (Hair stylist) is now hair department head for “From Dusk Till Dawn,” a series on the El Ray channel.

Which projects from the “Dallas” cast and crew are you looking forward to? Share your comments below and read more news from Dallas Decoder.

The Dallas Decoder Interview: Linda Gray

Linda Gray, Road to Happiness is Always Under Construction, Ryder Sloan

Linda Gray (Photo by Ryder Sloane)

Linda Gray’s eagerly awaited memoir, “The Road to Happiness is Always Under Construction,” includes her reflections on life, her memories of “Dallas,” and lots of fun anecdotes — like the time Elizabeth Taylor jokingly referred to her as “the bitch with the long legs.” I spoke with Gray recently about the book, which will be released Tuesday, September 8.

Am I speaking to the “b” with the long legs?

[Laughs] You’re so funny. I think so, the last time I looked. Yep, that’s me.

I can’t bring myself to use the actual “b” word to describe you, but I guess Elizabeth Taylor could get away with it.

Yeah, she could. I just thought it was so funny because when she said that, everybody in the room fell down and laughed.

Well, before we get into that, let me just say: I love this book.

You sweetheart.

No, seriously. This book makes me want to be a better person.

Oh, bless you. I really spoke from my heart, and I wanted people not to become better people. I wanted to sort of put them on a little leash and yank them a bit and say, “Come on, people. You got a short life here. Instead of whining and complaining about everything, you could be doing something else, and here’s what helped me over my speed bumps.”

That’s what I took away from your book: You have to choose to be happy yourself. It’s such a simple thing, but I think we sometimes need to have someone else point it out for us.

We forget. All this stuff [in the book] is not earth shattering. It’s not new. This is just a loving reminder that we all have speed bumps. We all have things in our lives that aren’t perfect, but we get over them, and it’s the way we choose to get over them that makes a difference.

One of the things that struck me is that you have a few things in common with Sue Ellen. You both struggled in your marriages, for example.

We had things in our lives that were parallel, but J.R. and Sue Ellen were much more volatile. My marriage was just kind of — I should never have married him. He should have been the funny, great guy that everybody loves — the life of the party — but I shouldn’t have married him.

I think that comes through in the book. Your marriage wasn’t the happiest, but it wasn’t as dramatic as Sue Ellen’s.

My ex-husband was just like, “Oh, she’s off working.” He didn’t quite get it. It was like he was trying really hard to understand what was happening, but he didn’t like it. He wanted me to stay home, and then when this whole “Dallas” thing came about, it threw him. But he wasn’t a bad guy. It just wasn’t meant to be, and I knew it early on.

It seems to me as if you and Sue Ellen had similar experiences, but you came out of them as very different people.

Oh, brilliant. Yeah, absolutely.

Dallas, Linda Gray, Sue Ellen Ewing

Playing Sue Ellen, 1978

And in a way, Sue Ellen helped you deal with your mother’s alcoholism.

Sue Ellen on many levels was a huge gift to me. “Dallas” allowed me to confront my mother in a lovely way.

When you were cast on the show, you showed her your scripts so she could see how drinking affects families.

That’s what I mean. That’s my gift. I was able to physically hand them to her and say to her, “Please read these. This is TV, everything is over the top, but I want you to see that the issue is still here.”

And that wasn’t easy for you.

It was the put-everything-under-the-rug, never-talk-about-anything generation that I grew up in. Alcoholism was never mentioned because “everybody drank.” So that’s something Sue Ellen really gave me — the healing I got with my mom.

In a way, Sue Ellen also paved the way for you to meet your idol, Bette Davis.

She was like my acting coach in my head because I thought she was the most authentic. I thought, “Wow! This is who I would like to emulate.” And when I was doing “Dallas,” they approached me about playing her role in a remake of “Now, Voyager.” I thought, “Oh, come on. No. I’m not doing that.”

And then she called you.

I will never forget it. I was feeding the cats in the kitchen, and they were crying, and I had the can opener in my hand, and then this voice says, “Miss Gray? Miss Davis here.”

You do a good impression of her!

She said, “My assistant will call you, and we’ll have a meeting,” and I said, “Fine.”

So what was it like when you finally met her?

Oh, my God. This was my idol. I’m sure I was incoherent. But she was wonderful, and she took me over to the window to look out at the water, and that’s when she said, “I’ve been watching [‘Dallas’].” And I thought, “Oh, no. Bette Davis is watching me act?” But she was a huge fan of the show.

In the book, you write that she proceeded to give you her opinion of the entire cast — but I noticed you left out what she said.

It wasn’t anything shocking. She was just so astute — so aware — that she could tell who people were just by watching them act.

That’s one of the fun stories in the book. You also write about hard things, like missing your son’s high school graduation because you had to work.

That was just so awful. My son is this angel. He’s very forgiving. And I had to call him to tell him that I wouldn’t be able to be there. And I kept telling him how sorry I was, and he’d pause and say, “That’s okay.” It made it worse. I mean, it was just one of those horrendous, horrendous moments.

“Dallas” fans are going to want to know what episode this was. You write that it was a scene that involved the whole cast.

I remember we were shooting it in the Southfork driveway, but I don’t know exactly what show it was or which scene it was.

Dallas, Just Desserts, Linda Gray

Directing “Dallas,” 1986

I also love the chapter where you write about directing your first “Dallas” episode. You really had to fight [executive producer] Leonard Katzman for that.

It had nothing to do with him as a person. That’s just how it was at the time. It’s like, “Well, a woman directing? How can this even be?”

How do you feel about Mr. Katzman today?

I feel I know him much better now in retrospect.

That’s interesting.

I think he was genius at the time. He was totally responsible for every single character on “Dallas” and how they were interwoven in the whole scheme of things. He could write an episode over a weekend and turn it in Monday, and it was brilliant. You have to marvel at that.

Oh, definitely.

Did I get along with him? No. Did I respect him? Yes, because of what he did. But it was a very chauvinistic show. The women were the bookends, as far as I was concerned. But still, underlying that, I think he was a genius.

You also have a fun story about one of the other geniuses in your life — Mr. Hagman.

The Bora Bora story.

Yes. You and Mr. Hagman and his wife get stranded on the side of the road, and when you go to a house to get help, the family is watching “Dallas.”

That’s one of my favorite Larry Hagman adventures. Funniest thing ever.

And then you received a marriage proposal from a handsome young man on that trip.

He was just such a cute little flirt. But Larry and Maj [Hagman, Larry’s wife] were watching me like I was their teenage daughter. Larry was very protective. It’s like, “Who is this guy? What’s he doing?”

Your appreciation for young men is something else you have in common with Sue Ellen. As soon as I read that, I thought, “This is going to fuel the fantasies of many ‘Dallas’ fans.”

Oh good. [Laughs]

And I love the chapter on the Larry Flynt letter.

Isn’t that hysterical?

He wrote to you in 1983, offering you $1 million to pose for Hustler, and you respond in your book, saying you’ll do it if he donates $25 million to charity.

I said the only way I’ll do it is if he gives $25 million to end senior hunger, which is an issue I’ve worked on for years.

So what are you going to do if he says yes?

That’s what I said that to [my publicist]. He said, “Oh, yes, darling. We will have photo approval.” I said, “Photo approval?” No. I’ll have to be wrapped in gauze or something!

Author, 2015

On “The Road,” 2015

Speaking of photos: We should point out that no animals were harmed in the making of the book’s cover. That’s faux fur you’re wearing.

That’s a shot from People magazine. My grandson [Ryder Sloane] took another photo of me with L.A. in the background, holding a yellow hardhat. I was in a really short, cute black dress. It was fun, flirty, fabulous, and it went with the title.

I love that shot. It appears inside the book.

At one point, that was supposed to be the cover. My husband shot the back cover at the beach when I was 23, and so I thought, how fabulous: My grandson gets the front cover; my ex-husband gets the back.

That would have been cool.

The people in New York really like the shot with the fur, but I love the shot my grandson took.

I know you’ve got to get to your next interview. We never did get to the Elizabeth Taylor story. I guess everyone is just going to have to buy the book.

You’re so sweet. Yes, buy the book!

Share your comments below and read more Dallas Decoder interviews.

The Dallas Decoder Interview: Patrick Duffy

Bobby Ewing, Dallas, Patrick Duffy, TNT

Patrick Duffy as Bobby Ewing

Patrick Duffy is everything you would expect him to be: smart, thoughtful, funny and above all, kind. I was honored to interview him recently, and I’m excited to share our conversation with my fellow “Dallas” fans.

It’s been eight months since “Dallas” was canceled. How’s life treating you?

Well, it’s been more than a year since the show ended because we were canceled long after we finished filming the third season. It’s been a year of catching up with your own private life, which you never put totally on hold when you’re working, and spending time in the place that you really love to be. I do miss the day-to-day experience of being with those close friends of mine from the show.

Let’s talk about the cancellation. Why do you think TNT dropped the show?

I think it’s not even a secret as to why it was canceled: the regime change at TNT. We had two very strong advocates in [executives] Steve Koonin and Michael Wright. They both left, and in that vacuum, other people wanted to make their mark. They thought “Dallas” harkened back instead of leaning forward. They wanted to clean house, and we happened to be one of the victims.

Bobby Ewing, Dallas, Linda Gray, Sue Ellen Ewing, TNT

The unexpected

It’s still heartbreaking for fans. How about you?

As Linda [Gray] will tell you, this isn’t our first day at the picnic. We’ve both had shows canceled before. It was a bit of a shock because it was more unexpected than in previous cancellations, where you know the ratings are dying and it’s just a matter of time. This one caught most of us by surprise.

The ratings did drop in the third season, though. What do you attribute that to?

I think everyone would assume part of it was Larry [Hagman] dying. I would not even assume that. I would take that as a definite. [TNT] also split the third season, and we were doing very well under the old method of airing a full season at a time. I don’t really know what to think. I feel the quality of the shows — oddly enough — improved in the third year. Larry’s passing made everybody up their game, which is why I was more than a little surprised and disappointed that we weren’t picked up.

I agree that in a lot of ways, the show was only getting better.

I really thought we had the potential to prove to the world that the show is not about one person. Larry said that year after year. The show is “Dallas,” and “Dallas” can be anything if it’s done correctly. He said that when I left the show, he said it when other people left the show, and he would have said it when he left the show. It would have been harder for him to say it. … [Laughs]

Some fans cite the drug cartel storyline as an example of the new “Dallas” straying too far from its origins. What’s your take?

I don’t know if I agree with that. We see a lot of news about the influence of the drug trade in mid- to southern Texas. So I didn’t object to it. I thought it was a viable subject line. I think it might have been overemphasized. It might have been better as a tangential story instead of an absolute focus, and I think we expanded our cast a bit precipitously. I loved every regular cast member we added, but “Dallas” has always been about the Ewing family, and when you expand it too much and too soon, I don’t think the show stayed as “pure” as it might have been. But those are little things.

Bobby Ewing, Dallas, Patrick Duffy, TNT

Fired up

You inspired a lot of fans during the #SaveDallas campaign. What was it like to see so many people rallying behind the show?

I had a double feeling about it. I was so encouraged that so many viewers saw value in our show. At the same time, it was bittersweet because I was more than 75 percent sure nothing was going to happen at TNT. I knew that they weren’t going to say, “Oops” [and reverse the cancellation]. And I knew just enough of the financial complexities of making “Dallas” that it would be next-to-impossible for a new network or entity to take it over. So I felt it was wonderful [that #SaveDallas] was so wishful and positive and hopeful, and yet the Titanic is going down. You can bail as much as you want — and God love everybody who had a bucket — but it’s still going down.

A lot of fans haven’t given up.

I know. I go on Twitter and see how many people are still hashtagging #SaveDallas. And I don’t want to deter anybody from fulfilling every conceivable idea they might have. I live my life that way. I encourage everybody to do their best. I’ve had both my boys in competitions of various sorts over the years, and as a parent you sometimes think, “Oh my God, they’re going to lose so bad.” But what do you do? You don’t say to your kid, “You know, you’re going to lose son, but. …” So you just say, “You can do it. Come on!”

You weren’t involved in the behind-the-scenes discussions, but as far as you know, was there ever a point where the show came close to finding a new home?

I know that [showrunners] Cynthia [Cidre] and Mike [Robin] were desperately meeting with people — bona fide executive meetings all over the place. And Peter Roth at Warner Bros. was devastated when the show was canceled. He wanted to do everything conceivable to see if there was a place where it could reside. But when I would talk to them and they would report with ever-increasing regularity how this conversation fell through, and how that deal couldn’t happen, I started to just think, “Well, I have a feeling we’re putting this one to bed.”

It sounded as if the CW was a real possibility at one point.

Yeah. I think the reason is because of the CBS and Warner Bros. affiliation and the connection to Les Moonves [the CBS president and chief executive officer who once worked for Lorimar, producer of the original “Dallas.”] There were a lot of historical lines there. If a family member was going to bail you out, maybe that would be the one. But again, I think the financial complexity just doomed us.

Ann Ewing, Bobby Ewing, Brenda Strong, Dallas, Linda Gray, Patrick Duffy, Sue Ellen Ewing, TNT

The end?

So you think “Dallas” is over for good?

I’ve learned to never say never. I died once and came back, but I don’t see the situation resolving itself. You would have to gather together the same group of people who’ve been spending the past year moving forward with their careers. But if it happened and I were available, I’d be the first person in line for wardrobe.

Bobby was the steward of Southfork. Would you be interested in taking a creative role behind the scenes — becoming the steward of “Dallas”?

I don’t know if I’m the type of creative person who can do that. “Dallas” is unique. If I understood it and if Larry understood it, the final reunion movie [1998’s “War of the Ewings”] would not have been the turkey it was. We were in charge of that one and it was terrible. I’ll be the first to admit that. So no, I don’t believe I could pick up the reins and produce a continuation of “Dallas.” Cynthia could, and I think she would do it in a heartbeat if she were available and somebody asked her to pick it up again. But I don’t think I know anybody else that could do it.

Do you have any idea what was in store for Bobby? There were a few scripts written for the fourth season. Everyone is dying to know what was in those storylines.

[Laughs] Nothing ever crossed my desk to read for the fourth season, but Cynthia and I were very close and hopefully will remain so for the rest of our lives. And she was telling me what would happen and a lot of it had to do with Christopher’s death. What does it do to Bobby to lose his adopted son, and then what’s in the history of “Dallas” that would eventually bring him out of that? And there are a lot of characters invented in the first incarnation of “Dallas” that could be brought in to play on the new show in a very appropriate way.

Ooh. Can you give an example?

I know Steve [Kanaly] was going to be brought in for a lot of episodes in Season 4. Cynthia knew that he was a definite positive for the show.

So maybe we would finally have seen Bobby’s other son, Lucas, who was raised by Ray Krebbs?

Well, I think that’s got to be the elephant in the room whenever you talk about Bobby losing one son — who is an adopted son. Family was the most important thing to Bobby. So where is the handoff in his mind of who takes over when Bobby dies? That’s his mission, to find that person. So I can’t imagine that they would leave that stone unturned.

I’m also curious about this half-sister of John Ross’s. Any idea who J.R.’s daughter was going to be?

I don’t know at all what they had in mind in terms of casting. I can’t imagine. It’s not uncommon for Texas oil billionaires to have dual families. H.L. Hunt had two families simultaneously for years. And Larry talked about the idea when he was alive. What if J.R. had an entire second life?

Bobby Ewing, Dallas, Patrick Duffy, TNT

Simmer down now

So when you look back on the new “Dallas,” what are the highlights?

For me, personally, I loved the maturation of the character of Bobby. I thought Cynthia hit the right note with his aging process, who he was after we saw him after that length of time. She maintained Bobby’s essence, but she gave him that sort of calm outlook. “I’ve lived long enough now. I’m not quite as fiery as I used to be. I know the drill.” I really liked that. I felt very comfortable in his shoes at that time. And speaking of shoes, when the new show was starting production, I went back and thought, “Well, maybe Bobby’s not so cowboy anymore.” And I told wardrobe, find me a really nice pair of Italian slip-on shoes for Bobby to wear. And I put them on the first day of work and went back to Rachel [Sage Kunin, the show’s costume designer] and said, “Dear God, get me the boots. I cannot be Bobby Ewing in these shoes!”


Really! It didn’t feel right. Linda told me years ago that she can’t be Sue Ellen in flats. She’s got to wear high heels. Sue Ellen wears heels. Bobby has to have boots, and once I came to that realization, then I was okay. [Laughs] But I agreed with everything that Cynthia put him through in the course of those three years. Certain things I objected to, but I know they were right.

Can you give an example of something you objected to?

Well, the thing that I thought was devastating to the character of Bobby was in the reading of [J.R.’s] will when we find out Mama gave half of Southfork to John Ross.

Bobby Ewing, Dallas, John Ross Ewing, Josh Henderson, TNT

Enemy mine

Yeah, what’s up with that?

Yeah, well, that’s exactly what I said when I read it in the script! First, I called Cynthia and said, “What the hell?” [Laughs] I thought, “Nooo.” First of all, how did that stay hidden for 30 years? But it added such a tension in the storyline. It made me as an actor find different things to do. But I never would have entertained that if I had been in charge and somebody would’ve suggested it. I would have said, “No, that can’t be. That wouldn’t happen. Mama wouldn’t do that. I’m sorry.” But it was the right thing to do.

It really helped elevate Josh Henderson’s character to be Bobby’s new adversary.

And he had one of the hardest parts. How do you be the new J.R. Ewing? But Josh’s growth pattern as an actor playing that part for three years was probably the largest bell curve. And he really filled that responsibility. Brenda Strong had the other hardest part. How do you replace Pamela?

She also had to replace Miss Ellie, in a sense.

She had to replace everybody! [Laughs] She had to replace Sheree [J. Wilson], she had to replace Pamela, she had to replace Mama. My favorite horse, my dog. She had a thankless job and she did it. She was the perfect choice and the perfect rendition of who could fill those responsibilities on “Dallas.”

You’ve mentioned Larry. Do you miss him?

No, I don’t. I’ve said that from the day after he died. I don’t think I’ll ever miss him in the sense that — right now, I’m looking at a picture of the two of us. I’m sitting at my desk and there’s a picture of him and me here, holding a big fish between us that we caught in the river that runs through my ranch.

Bobby Ewing, Dallas, J.R. Ewing, Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy, TNT


I think we saw that picture on the show.

Probably. We donated a lot of pictures for the show. But I think until the day I die, I will be so satiated with my relationship with Larry. There are no empty spots. There is a sense of longing for the day-to-day connection. That I miss. I miss the phone ringing and he’d go, “Hi-ditty-ditty.” He would always do a little Irish tune before he would say, “Hey.” Those are the moments I miss. But just as I was telling you that, I hear it in my ear. I hear it as clear as if the phone had just rung and he had done it.

I know you remain close to Linda, who’s getting ready to publish her book. Will you write one?

Nope. I admire Linda for writing her book. Larry wrote his. I am too private a person. My private life and my private feelings are exactly that, and if you write a book, it should make you want to be honest. I’ve always had the title of my autobiography, which is “What I Choose to Recall.” I stole the lyrics from Merle Haggard song.

I love that song.

Yeah, and to me it’s the perfect title for an autobiography that’s not totally honest.

That song played during “J.R.’s Masterpiece” during the memorial sequence.

Really? [Singing] “Everything does change, except what you choose to recall.” [Laughs] Had I written it, that would have been the title of my autobiography.

Share your comments below and read more Dallas Decoder interviews.

Linda Gray Tackles New Roles — and a New Book

Dallas, Hallmark Channel, Linda Gray, Perfect Match

Linda Gray

Linda Gray has spent the past six months playing four roles on two continents.

The iconic “Dallas” star appeared in a London stage production of “Cinderella” during the holidays, then came home to California to film a cable movie, an independent feature film and a new online soap opera.

She also wrote a book.

Hey, you weren’t expecting to Sue Ellen Ewing’s alter ego to slow down, were you?

“It’s been fabulous,” Gray told Dallas Decoder last week. “I feel very fortunate because I got to have all these different experiences, one right after another.”

Gray’s fans will begin to see the results of her busy schedule on June 20, when her Hallmark Channel movie, “Perfect Match,” debuts. She plays Gabby, the mother of the groom in a story about dueling wedding planners who fall in love.

Gray describes the movie as “very Hallmark-y,” right down to the happy ending.

In other words: Don’t tune in expecting to see a Southfork-style wedding.

“No, not at all,” she said with a laugh. “Nobody gets dunked in the pool.”

Gray donned heavy makeup for her role as an eccentric, elderly matron in the feature “Wally’s Will,” which will be shown at film festivals this year.

She also plays Joanna, the matriarch of a wealthy candy-making family, in the online soap opera “Winterthorne,” debuting August 27.

“She’s weird and wonderful. She wears all these feathers,” Gray said. “It’s one appearance, but I would say she’s an important character.”

The Write Stuff

Hallmark Channel, Linda Gray, Perfect Match

“A Perfect Match”

Gray’s most intriguing project might be her memoir, “The Road to Happiness is Always Under Construction,” which will be published September 8.

She began writing the book while working in London last year. In between performances, she Skyped with her editor in New York City and wrote a chapter at a time, dashing off drafts via email.

The book will cover her experiences as a mother and grandmother, as well as her career. She writes about playing Sue Ellen on both incarnations of “Dallas,” as well as her longtime friendships with co-stars Larry Hagman and Patrick Duffy.

Gray promises lots of candor. She doesn’t want to give too much away, but the book will include her experiences working with the original show’s executive producer, Leonard Katzman, who she said wasn’t always nice to her.

She also writes about a scene she felt Sue Ellen should never have been part of, along with other behind-the-scenes revelations that are bound to fascinate “Dallas” diehards.

“I wanted to write about the good and the not-so-good,” Gray said. “I don’t write anything mean or dismissive — I just share what I’ve learned. Everyone may not like it, but I can’t worry about that. As I get older, I find that the things that used to worry me don’t worry me anymore.”

‘The Trampoline Effect’

Linda Gray, Wally's Will

“Wally’s Will”

One passage in the memoir will detail what Gray calls “the Trampoline Effect,” a period last year marked by high points, like her return to the London stage in “Cinderella,” and low moments, including the death of her beloved cat and “Dallas’s” cancellation.

She also writes about the fan-driven #SaveDallas campaign to rescue the series, which she found inspiring.

“I still believe we should have been given another season — even if it was something like eight episodes,” Gray said. “They could have billed it as the end of ‘Dallas.’ The fans invested so much in the series. They don’t deserve to be kept hanging.”

The cancellation was “like breaking up a family,” Gray said. She stays in touch with friends from the show, including Jordana Brewster, Julie Gonzalo and costume designer Rachel Sage Kunin, who all got together with Gray for lunch recently.

“Everyone is moving on, but we all miss working together,” she said.

Above all, Gray misses Sue Ellen.

“I always say she was the most interesting woman on television in the ’80s. I had to wait 20 years to play her again, and then I got her back and they took her away from me,” Gray said.

Although the “Dallas” writers penned several fourth-season scripts before TNT pulled the plug, Gray doesn’t know what was planned for Sue Ellen. She suspects the newly sober heroine was going to throw herself into her career and clash with her estranged son, John Ross (Josh Henderson), and his new ally Judith Ryland (Judith Light).

“I think we would have seen Sue Ellen and Judith go at it, which would have been such fun,” she said.

Gray believes “Dallas” remains a viable brand with worldwide appeal, although she doesn’t expect the series to return anytime soon.

“I never say never,” she said. “If it happens, it happens and that would be wonderful. I just don’t want to have to wait another 20 years to play Sue Ellen.”

Are you looking forward to Linda Gray’s new projects? Share your comments below and read more news from Dallas Decoder.

Back to the ’80s! Dallas Decoder’s Classic Critiques Return

Dallas, J.R. Ewing, Larry Hagman, Linda Gray, Sue Ellen Ewing

Back for more

Starting today, Dallas Decoder begins critiquing the classic show’s eighth-season episodes. It’s the era that brought us Mandy Winger, cousins Jamie and Jack Ewing and, of course, Donna Reed as Miss Ellie Ewing (er, Farlow).

I plan to post a new critique every Monday and Wednesday, at least for the next few weeks. I hope you’ll come along and share your thoughts about these episodes, which aired from 1984 until 1985.

I also invite you to share your ideas and suggestions for this site. Which posts do you enjoy reading most? Do you prefer episode critiques to Dal-Lists, or are you most interested in news articles and interviews with the “Dallas” cast and crew? If it’s the latter, who would you like to see interviewed?

Dallas Decoder is my hobby and I enjoy it, but I want it to be fun for you too. Your feedback matters a lot to me, so please share your views in the comments below or send me an email at dallasdecoder-at-gmail.com.

Additionally, I hope you’ll connect with Dallas Decoder on social media — including Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr and Twitter — where I’ll share classic eighth-season photos, publicity stills and more throughout the summer.

As always, thanks for reading and sharing your love for “Dallas.”

Join Our Next #DallasChat on April 13

Dallas, J.R. Ewing, Larry Hagman

Heels over head

Dallas Decoder’s next #DallasChat on Twitter will be Monday, April 13, from 9 to 10 p.m. Eastern time.

The theme: “Two-timin’.”

New to #DallasChat? Here’s how it works: During the hour-long discussion, I tweet 10 questions from my Twitter handle, @DallasDecoder. Fans respond to the questions and comment on each other’s answers, making each chat a fun-filled group conversation.

Here’s a sample exchange:

Q1. Why did J.R. have so much trouble staying faithful to Sue Ellen? #DallasChat

A1. J.R. was addicted to the chase — whether it was other women or his next big deal. #DallasChat

Here are three tips:

• Each #DallasChat question is numbered (Q1, Q2, etc.), so your responses should include the corresponding number (A1, A2, etc.).

• Include the hashtag #DallasChat in your tweets.

• During the discussion, enter #DallasChat in Twitter’s search field. This will help you watch the search results so you can follow the conversation. Click “All” to see all the related tweets.

This will be our first #DallasChat in three weeks. I promise to make it worth the wait!

Got suggestions for #DallasChat questions? Leave them in the comments section below.

‘Dallas’s’ Third-Season DVD is Now Available

Ann Ewing, Bobby Ewing, Brenda Strong, Christopher Ewing, Dallas, Dallas: The Complete Third Season, Elena Ramos, Jesse Metcalfe, Jordana Brewster, Patrick Duffy

They’re back

“Dallas: The Complete Third Season” arrives on DVD today. You can purchase the three-disc set from Amazon and other retailers.

Dallas Decoder shared an exclusive deleted scene from the DVD yesterday, along with a review of the extras and a poll on the third season’s best scene.

Also, if you were unable to join the DVD discussion during last night’s #DallasChat, visit Dallas Decoder’s Twitter page to read the my questions and the fans’ responses.

Happy viewing!

Will you buy “Dallas: The Complete Third Season”? Share your comments below and read more news from Dallas Decoder.

Season’s Greetings, ‘Dallas’ Fans

Dallas, Jesse Metcalfe, Jordana Brewster, Josh Henderson, Julie Gonzalo

Still standing

The only thing I enjoy more than watching “Dallas” is writing about it, so I want to take a moment to thank everyone who read Dallas Decoder in 2014. Please know much I appreciate your support, feedback and enthusiasm.

This is the first December in a while that we don’t have new “Dallas” episodes to look forward to, but I hope none of us will allow that to dampen our holiday spirit. That’s why this post is accompanied by an image from the cast’s 2012 Christmas-gone-awry Funny or Die video. Patrick Duffy, Josh Henderson and the rest may look a little beat up here, but they’re still standing — and by golly, so are their fans.

In that spirit, I look forward to joining with you next year to continue sharing our love for “Dallas.” Thanks again, and happy holidays.

Classic Critiques Return to Dallas Decoder

Dallas, Barbara Bel Geddes, Bobby Ewing, Charlene Tilton, J.R. Ewing, Larry Hagman, Linda Gray, Lucy Ewing, Pam Ewing, Patrick Duffy, Ray Krebbs, Steve Kanaly, Sue Ellen Ewing, Victoria Principal

Tanned. Rested. Ready.

Dallas Decoder is resuming its coverage of the original “Dallas” series, starting today. I’m picking up where I left off earlier this year — about two-thirds of the way through the seventh season. Look for a fresh episode critique and “Dallas Scene of the Day” transcript each Wednesday for the next few weeks.

These are the episodes that brought us Lady Jessica Montfort’s arrival, Peter Richards’ farewell, the Gold Canyon 340 imbroglio and the “Who Shot Bobby?” cliffhanger. I hope you’ll take the trip down memory lane and share your thoughts about these storylines, which debuted during the winter and spring of 1984.

I’ll continue writing about TNT’s “Dallas” too, including a final batch of “Dallas Parallels” posts. I also have some fun stuff planned on social media, so if you haven’t liked this site’s Facebook page or followed the Twitter feed, I hope you’ll do so.

As always, please know how much I appreciate everyone who reads Dallas Decoder and shares their love for “Dallas.” If you have ideas or other feedback, I encourage you to share them in the comments section below or by e-mailing me at dallasdecoder-at-gmail.com. I always love to hear from my fellow fans.

Thanks again, and welcome back to classic “Dallas”!