In Memoriam: Our 2016 ‘Dallas’ Tributes

Barry Jenner, Dallas, George Kennedy, Jim Gough, Maj Hagman

Dallas Decoder remembers the “Dallas” actors, crew members and other contributors who died in 2016. Click on each person’s name to learn more about his or her career at


Anthony Addabbo, Dallas, Jeff Peters

Anthony Addabbo

Anthony Addabbo

Died October 18 (age 56)

In the 14th-season episode “Smooth Operator,” Addabbo played John, a Hollywood wannabe who pitched Bobby on a TV series that sounded suspiciously like “Twin Peaks.” Eight episodes later, in the series finale “Conundrum,” Addabbo appeared as Sue Ellen’s slimy Hollywood agent, Jeff Peters.


Dallas, Janine, Patricia Barry

Patricia Barry

Patricia Barry

Died October 11 (age 93)

Barry made guest appearances on many episodic series from the 1950s through the early 2000s. In the 14th-season “Dallas” episode “Lock, Stock and Jock,” she played Janine, a married woman who refused to provide Carter McKay with an alibi after his arrest for Johnny Dancer’s murder.


Dallas, Peter Brown, Tom Flintoff

Peter Brown

Peter Brown

Died March 21 (age 80)

In the fifth-season episode “Denial,” Brown, a veteran of the 1960s western “Laredo,” played Tom Flintoff, the creep who tried to force himself on Sue Ellen shortly after her divorce from J.R. Brown’s nephew, Phillip Brown, played architect Brian Johnston on “Knots Landing.”


Dallas, Dr. McWright, Paul Comi,

Paul Comi

Paul Comi

Died August 26 (age 84)

Comi played Dr. McWright, the pediatrician who examined baby Christopher in “Waterloo at Southfork.” Comi logged many other TV guest shots during his 50-year career, including three episodes of “Knots Landing” and a memorable turn in the “Star Trek” classic “Balance of Terror.”


Dallas, Lydia, Ronnie Claire Edwards

Ronnie Claire Edwards

Ronnie Claire Edwards

Died June 14 (age 83)

Edwards, who is best known for her role as Corabeth on “The Waltons,” appeared in the eighth-season “Dallas” episode “Barbecue Five” as Lydia, the tarot card reader that Pam consults during her search for Mark. Edwards also did guest spots on “Falcon Crest” and “Dynasty,” among many other shows.


Knots Landing, Zsa Zsa Gabor

Zsa Zsa Gabor

Zsa Zsa Gabor

Died December 18 (age 99)

Gabor played herself in “Svengali,” a 1982 “Knots Landing” episode in which Valene appears on Mike Douglas’s TV talk show to promote “Capricorn Crude,” her fictionalized book about the Ewings. In real life, Gabor and Larry Hagman once appeared together on a 1979 episode of “The Mike Douglas Show.”


Congressman Oates, Dallas, Jim Gough

Jim Gough

Jim Gough

Died June 7 (age 85)

Gough appeared on “Dallas” as Senator Lee in “Barbecue” (Season 1), Congressman Oates in “Runaway” (Season 2) and the rodeo announcer in “Close Encounters” (Season 9). His other notable credits include a role in the film “JFK” and a guest spot on the Leonard Katzman-produced “Walker Texas Ranger.”


Dallas, Rick F. Gunter

Rick F. Gunter

Rick F. Gunter

Died August 31 (age 65)

Gunter served as “Dallas’s” cinematographer during most of the original show’s final three seasons. He later served as director of photography for several other series, including “Beverly Hills 90210,” “Charmed” and “The Wizards of Waverly Place,” for which he received an Emmy nomination in 2011.


Dallas, Maj Hagman

Maj Hagman

Maj Hagman

Died May 31 (age 88)

Hagman was married to Larry Hagman from 1954 until his death in 2012. Their daughter Kristina appeared in several episodes on the original “Dallas” and this year wrote a book, “The Eternal Party,” about her family, including her mother’s talent as a fashion designer, hostess extraordinaire and devoted spouse.


Dallas, John Hostetter, Paul Derber

John Hostetter

John Hostetter

Died September 2 (age 69)

Hostetter appeared in the 11th-season episode “Lovers and Other Liars” as Paul Derber, a poker buddy of Nicholas Pearce. He also did two guest spots as police offers on “Knots Landing,” was a semi-regular on “Murphy Brown” and voiced Bazooka on the 1980s “G.I. Joe” animated series.


Barry Jenner, Dallas, Dr. Jerry Kenderson

Barry Jenner

Barry Jenner

Died August 9 (age 75)

From 1984 through 1986, Jenner appeared on “Dallas” as Dr. Jerry Kenderson, Mark Graison’s physician and a Sue Ellen’s suitor. He also appeared in four “Knots Landing” entries as Jeff Cunningham, Abby’s ex-husband, and he was a semi-regular on “Family Matters” and “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” among many other roles.


Carter McKay, Dallas, George Kennedy

George Kennedy

George Kennedy

Died February 28 (age 91)

Kennedy, who won a best supporting actor Oscar for his role in 1967’s “Cool Hand Luke,” played villainous oil baron and Southfork neighbor Carter McKay during “Dallas’s” 12th, 13th and 14th seasons and two reunion movies, “J.R. Returns” and “War of the Ewings.” Dallas Decoder published a tribute to him in March.


Archie Lang, Dallas

Archie Lang

Archie Lang

Died February 17 (age 95)

Lang played a banking associate of Franklin Horner in the fifth-season episode “The Big Shut Down,” then returned for a five-episode stint in the 13th season as Senator Lee, a member of the panel that investigated the Ewing Oil tanker accident. Lang’s other credits include guest spots on “Knots Landing” and “The Waltons.”


Dallas, Leslie H. Hartinson

Leslie H. Martinson

Leslie H. Martinson

Died September 3 (age 101)

Martinson directed four episodes during “Dallas’s” early years: the classic “Julie’s Return” and the campier “Call Girl,” “The Heiress” and “Power Play.” He also helmed episodes of many other series, including “Maverick,” “Batman,” “The Brady Bunch,” “Eight is Enough,” “Wonder Woman” and “Small Wonder.”


James Sheldon, Knots Landing

James Sheldon

James Sheldon

Died March 12 (age 95)

Sheldon directed two episodes of “Knots Landing,” including the second installment, “Community Spirit,” which featured Larry Hagman. His many other directing credits include “Echoes of Love,” a “Family” episode written by David Jacobs, and episodes of “M*A*S*H” and the Katzman-produced “Petrocelli.”


Agnes, Barbara Tarbuck, Dallas

Barbara Tarbuck

Barbara Tarbuck

Died December 27 (age 74)

Tarbuck played Agnes, Cliff’s secretary at the Office of Land Management, in three episodes during the 1978-79 season. Her many other credits include guest spots on “Knots Landing” and “Dynasty” and recurring roles on “Falcon Crest,” “General Hospital” and “American Horror Story: Asylum.”


What do you remember about these individuals? Share your memories below and read our tributes from 20152014 and 2013.

The Art of Dallas: ‘The Big Shut Down’

Bev and Lucy (Tami Barber, Charlene Tilton) attend a garden party in this 1981 publicity shot from “The Big Shut Down,” a fifth-season “Dallas” episode.

Dallas Scene of the Day: ‘But It Was So Beautiful, Cliff’

Never upset this woman

Never upset this woman

In “Dallas’s” fifth-season episode “The Big Shut Down,” Cliff (Ken Kercheval) is in his office at Wentworth Tool and Die, discussing the hospitalized Pam with Rebecca and Katherine (Priscilla Pointer, Morgan Brittany), who’ve dropped by on their way to the airport.

CLIFF: You don’t need to worry about Pam. Mama and I will visit her. Although I must admit: I don’t relish bumping into a Ewing every time we go out there.

REBECCA: Cliff, the only Ewings who ever come to see Pam are Bobby and Ellie.

KATHERINE: [Smiling] I can understand why Pam fell in love with Bobby.

CLIFF: [Snickers] I’m sure you can. I must say, it wasn’t the greatest day in my life.

REBECCA: Cliff, I don’t want a replay of your problems with the Ewings. Besides, if we don’t hurry, we’re going to miss the plane. You know what the traffic’s like on the expressway in the mornings.

As Rebecca speaks, Katherine looks around the room quizzically.

KATHERINE: You know, everything in this office looks so different. I guess because I was three feet high the last time I saw it.

CLIFF: No, I don’t think so. It’s probably because I just had the whole place redecorated.

KATHERINE: Oh, I remember. [Pointing] Daddy had an antique cabinet right there. It was wood with a bold grain, probably oak or something.

CLIFF: Right, you’re right, yeah. I had it moved out because I just like kind of an openness.

KATHERINE: But it was so beautiful, Cliff.

CLIFF: It’s in the storeroom. If you want it, it’s yours.

KATHERINE: [Sighs] No, I’m just surprised you moved it. It always seemed to belong right there. [Smiles icily] Well, Mother, let’s go.

Katherine grabs her purse from a chair and she and Rebecca head for the door.

CLIFF: You all have a safe trip.

REBECCA: I’ll call you later.

After Rebecca and Katherine exit, Cliff surveys the room with raised eyebrows.

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 83 – ‘The Big Shut Down’

Here he goes again

Here he goes again

“The Big Shut Down” is the first “Dallas” episode John Parker has scored since the third season, and it features many of the compositions he created during that era of the show, including Ray and Lucy’s musical signatures and Bobby and Pam’s love theme. It’s always nice to hear these classic numbers, but does the show have to recycle so many old plotlines to go with them?

J.R. spends “The Big Shut Down” conspiring to buy up the oil supply to Clayton Farlow’s refineries so he can hold the crude “hostage” in exchange for John Ross, who now lives with Sue Ellen and the Farlows at their Southern Cross ranch. To finance this scheme, J.R. turns to smarmy banker Vaughn Leland – just like he did two seasons ago, when Vaughn arranged J.R.’s outlandish ploy to secretly mortgage Southfork.

“The Big Shut Down’s” climax – when J.R. signs the paperwork for his loan – even echoes “The Kristin Affair” scene where J.R. approves the deal that puts ownership of Southfork at risk. Both sequences take place in J.R.’s office and both end with him dismissing Vaughn’s ominous warnings. It’s less homage than outright retread.

“The Big Shut Down’s” other subplots feel just as familiar. In “Dallas’s” previous episode, “The Sweet Smell of Revenge,” the show seemed to go out of its way to suggest Pam’s depression wasn’t linked to her fertility problems. But in this installment, Pam is once again bemoaning her inability to have children. In the third act, she even recalls for Dr. Conrad the whole third-season storyline about her obsession with John Ross, reminding us how we’ve seen all this before.

Of course, not everything here is old news. “The Big Shut Down” marks one of the first appearances of Katherine Wentworth, who’ll go on to become one of the great “Dallas” vixens. Morgan Brittany is sublime in the role, right from the start. In this episode, I especially love Katherine’s deliciously bitchy reaction when she discovers Cliff has redecorated her daddy’s old office at Wentworth Tool and Die.

It’s the first time we encounter what becomes one of “Dallas’s” most enduring truisms: Never upset Katherine Wentworth!

Grade: B


Her too

Her too


Season 5, Episode 6

Airdate: November 13, 1981

Audience: 23.7 million homes, ranking 1st in the weekly ratings

Writer: Arthur Bernard Lewis

Director: Leonard Katzman

Synopsis: Vaughn agrees to finance J.R.’s plot to cut off the Farlows’ oil supply. Jeff Farraday, the mysterious caller who contacted Bobby, sells him more information about Christopher. Pam meets Katherine. Donna steps in as Ray’s partner when Punk drops out of their latest venture.

Cast: Phillip Allen (Lloyd Bettinger), Tami Barber (Bev), Barbara Bel Geddes (Miss Ellie Ewing), Deborah Benson (secretary), Morgan Brittany (Katherine Wentworth), Patrick Duffy (Senator Bobby Ewing), Tom Fuccello (Senator Dave Culver), Robert  Ginnaven (Chuck Williamson), Linda Gray (Sue Ellen Ewing), Laurence Haddon (Franklin Horner), Larry Hagman (J.R. Ewing), Art Hindle (Jeff Farraday), Susan Howard (Donna Krebbs), Steve Kanaly (Ray Krebbs), Howard Keel (Clayton Farlow), Ken Kercheval (Cliff Barnes), Audrey Landers (Afton Cooper), Leigh McCloskey (Mitch Cooper), Dennis Patrick (Vaughn Leland), Priscilla Pointer (Rebecca Wentworth), Victoria Principal (Pam Ewing), Debbie Rennard (Sly), Charlene Tilton (Lucy Cooper), David Tress (Walter Sher), Edward Winter (Dr. Frank Waring), Morgan Woodward (Punk Anderson), Gretchen Wyler (Dr. Dagmara Conrad)

“The Big Shut Down” is available on DVD and at and iTunes. Watch the episode and share your comments below.