The Dal-List: Kristin Shepard’s 13 Greatest Moments

Dallas, Kristin Shepard, Mary Crosby

Thanks for the memories, darlin’

Dallas Decoder kicks off its newest periodic feature, “The Dal-List,” with a look back at the 13 most memorable moments featuring “Dallas” vixen Kristin Shepard, played by the magnificent Mary Crosby.

Dallas, Kristin Shepard, Mary Crosby, Rudy Millington, Terry Lester

Clothes call

13. Leaving Rudy. Feeling neglected by J.R. (Larry Hagman), Kristin turned to old flame Rudy Millington (Terry Lester) – and for a moment, it looked like she was going to allow him to make an honest woman of her. Then J.R. showed up, interrupting their post coital bliss. Before this embarrassing scene was over, Kristin had chosen J.R., leaving poor Rudy with a broken heart, no job – and possibly no pants. (“Return Engagements”)

Conundrum, Dallas, Kristin Shepard, Mary Crosby

Of vice and men

12. Scamming Judge Smith. A decade after Kristin’s death, an “angel” showed J.R. what life would have been like if he had never been born, including the revelation that Kristin became a cop. J.R. watched her bust grandfatherly Judge Smith (James T. Callahan) for solicitation – but it turned out the badge was fake: Kristin was really a con artist who preyed on powerful men. Guess she was destined to be bad. (“Conundrum”)

Dallas, Don Starr, Jordan Lee, Kristin Shepard, Mary Crosby

Daddy day scare

11. Bilking Jordan. After giving birth in California, Kristin sashays back to Dallas and makes a phone call. “The baby … looks just like you,” she coos. The audience is led to believe the person on the other end of the line is J.R. – so imagine our surprise when it turns out to be rival oilman Jordan Lee (Don Starr). It seems Kristin lied to Jordan, telling him he was her child’s father – just so she could bilk him for hush money. (“Full Circle”)

Bobby Ewing, Colleen Camp, Dallas, Kristin Shepard, Sue Ellen's Sister

Buckle up, Bob

10. Charming Bobby. Kristin (Colleen Camp) paid her first visit to Southfork just as Bobby and Pam (Patrick Duffy, Victoria Principal) were hitting a rough patch – so J.R. naturally encouraged his wife’s little sister to seduce his baby brother. Kristin obliged, charming Bobby with her clever wit and tight sweaters. Then Bobby and Pam made up, leaving Kristin free to pursue the brother she wanted all along. (“Sue Ellen’s Sister”)

Dallas, Kristin Shepard, Mary Crosby, Power Play

See what develops

9. Exposing Lucy. The only person Kristin despised more than Lucy (Charlene Tilton) was J.R.’s protégé Alan Beam (Randolph Powell), so when Kristin saw Lucy and Alan canoodling at a roller disco, she did what came naturally: She reached for the nearest Polaroid and started snapping pictures. Kristin hoped exposing Lucy and Alan’s secret affair would get them in trouble. It didn’t work out that way, but it still caused lots of drama. (“Power Play”)

Dallas, Knots Landing, Krisitn Shepard, Joan Van Ark, Mary Crosby, Valene Ewing

Lap it up, Val

8. Befriending Val. After wearing out her welcome in Dallas, Kristin headed to Knots Landing, where she got busy wrecking the marriage of those nice young suburbanites, Kenny and Ginger Ward (James Houghton, Kim Lankford). Soon, Valene (Joan Van Ark) was confronting Kristin, who confessed she was pregnant and afraid for her future. It was a rare and moving glimpse into Kristin’s soul. Who knew she even had one? (“Kristin”)

Dallas, Kristin Shepard, Linda Gray, Mary Crosby, Silent Killer

Sister, sister

7. Taunting Sue Ellen. Sue Ellen (Linda Gray) was suffering major post-partum depression when Kristin started flirting with J.R. So you couldn’t blame big sis for being suspicious when Kristin popped into her bedroom one evening to see if she’d be joining the rest of the family for dinner. “Were you thinking of occupying my chair?” Sue Ellen seethed. “Somebody will if you don’t pull yourself together,” Kristin sneered. (“The Silent Killer”)

Dallas, Divorce Ewing Style, Kristin Shepard, Linda Gray, Mary Crosby, Sue Ellen Ewing

Spill life

6. Drenching Sue Ellen. Oh, look: Sue Ellen and Kristin are in a posh restaurant, toasting their renewed friendship. Nice to see them getting along, isn’t it? Whoops, klutzy Kristin just spilled her cocktail in Sue Ellen’s lap. If she’s not careful, the Ewings are going to smell the booze and begin to suspect Sue Ellen has fallen off the wagon. Wait, what’s that you say? That was Kristin’s plan all along? What a hussy! (“Divorce, Ewing Style”)

Dallas, J.R. Ewing, Kristin Shepard, Larry Hagman, Mary Crosby

If smirks could kill

5. Seducing J.R. Once J.R. hired Kristin as his new secretary, it didn’t take her long to figure out his scheme to secretly mortgage Southfork. She threatened to spill the beans to Jock and Bobby – unless J.R. slept with her. Turns out she didn’t need to ask twice. “Kristin,” J.R. said as he took her in his arms, “with your mind and your body, it just might take me a lifetime to figure you out.” Cost him his life is more like it. (“The Kristin Affair”)

Dallas, Kristin Shepard, Mary Crosby, Nightmare

Move over, Florence Nightingale

4. Mocking J.R. While recovering in the hospital from his shooting, J.R. was surprised to receive a visit from Kristin, who was still in town after his goons failed to run her off. “Don’t you worry, Kristin. When I get out of here, you’ll get yours,” J.R. warned. “I know I will,” she smirked as she looked his paralyzed body up and down. “But not from you. That’s for sure.” J.R.’s under-his-breath response after she left the room: “Bitch.” (“Nightmare”)

Cliff Barnes, Dallas, Gone But Not Forgotten, J.R. Ewing, Ken Kercheval, Kristin Shepard, Larry Hagman, Mary Crosby

Is it really that black and white?

3. Scandalizing J.R. After giving birth to the son she claimed was J.R.’s, Kristin showed up at Southfork demanding more “child support.” Next thing you know, Cliff was fishing her dead body out of the swimming pool and claiming J.R. had murdered her. Before all was said and done, J.R. was being hauled into court to prove his innocence. Even in death, Kristin was still causing him trouble. That’s our girl! (“Gone But Not Forgotten”)

Dallas, Kristin Shepard, Mary Crosby, Who Done It?, Who Shot J.R.?

She bangs

2. Shooting J.R. No one knew whodunit when J.R. was gunned down in his office. Then the weapon was discovered in his bedroom closet. The cops arrested Sue Ellen, who figured out Kristin was framing her and made little sister confess. Of course, Kristin had a get-out-of-jail card: She was pregnant with J.R.’s love child. Fed up with her drama, J.R. finally exiled Kristin to California. Too bad she didn’t stay there. (“Who Done It?”)

Dallas, Kristin Shepard, Mary Crosby

Wait ’til you see him grown up!

1. Birthing Christopher. OK, we never actually saw this on screen, but so what? After miscarrying J.R.’s baby, Kristin got pregnant by sleazy Jeff Farraday (Art Hindle), who sold their child, Christopher, to Bobby after Miss Shepard took her deadly dive into the Southfork swimming pool. So when you think about it, Kristin is responsible for giving us Jesse Metcalfe on TNT’s “Dallas.” If that’s not a crowning achievement, I don’t know what is.

What do you consider Kristin Shepard’s greatest moments? Share your choices below and read more “Dal-Lists.”

Dallas Scene of the Day: ‘This is a Mistake?’

Colleen Camp, Dallas, Kristin Shepard, Linda Gray, Sue Ellen Ewing, Sue Ellen's Sister

Hell, or high water?

In “Sue Ellen’s Sister,” a second-season “Dallas” episode, Kristin (Colleen Camp) is in the Southfork swimming pool, lounging on a float, while Sue Ellen (Linda Gray) sits on the edge, dipping her toes into the water.

KRISTIN: You know, I could spend the rest of my life here, Sue Ellen, instead of a few days visiting you.

SUE ELLEN: No matter what Mama says, Kristin, money is not the most important thing in the world.

KRISTIN: That isn’t what you used to think.

SUE ELLEN: Well, I thought I could save you from repeating my mistakes.

KRISTIN: [Glancing around Southfork] This is a mistake?

SUE ELLEN: I might have made other choices – choices that would’ve made me happier.

KRISTIN: You don’t have to worry about me, Sue Ellen. I’ll be very happy. [Adjusts herself on her float] Happy and rich.

SUE ELLEN: You don’t like me very much, do you? Why? What have I ever done to you?

KRISTIN: You didn’t have to do anything. You were there. “Look how pretty your sister is, Kristin. Look how well-behaved she is. Why can’t you be well-behaved like that? No, you can’t have a new dress, Kristin. We’ll just make over one of Sue Ellen’s. It’ll be just fine.” No one paid any attention to me until after you married J.R.

SUE ELLEN: That’s not true, Kristin.

KRISTIN: Yes it is. I remember it very well, Sue Ellen, and I’m not playing second fiddle to you anymore. I’m not gonna be second best. I’m gonna get everything you’ve got and more – much more.

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 24 – ‘Sue Ellen’s Sister’

Colleen Camp, Dallas, Kristin Shepard, Sue Ellen's Sister

Little sister dontcha

If Sue Ellen could go back in time and give her younger self a good talking-to, the conversation would probably sound a lot like the lecture she delivers to Kristin at the beginning of “Sue Ellen’s Sister.”

In the scene, Kristin is resting on a float in the Southfork swimming pool and chatting with Sue Ellen, who is lounging nearby. The topic turns to the Ewings’ wealth, and Sue Ellen warns Kristin that “money is not the most important thing in the world.”

“That isn’t what you used to think,” Kristin says.

“I thought I could save you from repeating my mistakes,” Sue Ellen responds.

“This is a mistake?” Kristin asks, surveying their surroundings.

The exchange is part of “Dallas’s” effort to make Sue Ellen a more sympathetic character than she was at the beginning of second season, when the show depicted her as Southfork’s scheming lady-in-waiting.

While “Dallas” uses Kristin to plum the depths of Sue Ellen’s regret and reveal her caring, sisterly side, Kristin isn’t just a plot device. She turns out to be a pretty interesting character in her own right.

Frankly, some of this stems from the actress’s physical appearance: Colleen Camp is beautiful but in an unconventional way, lending credence to Kristin’s complaints in this episode about growing up as Sue Ellen’s “ugly duckling” kid sister.

Kristin is also a bit ironic: She dreams of marrying a rich man, but she could probably become wealthy on her own. She is planning to go to college to study architecture – she tells Bobby she’s “a great fan” of Louis Khan and I.M. Pei – and she is also clever, declaring her ace backgammon and tennis skills stem from the “geisha training” her mother puts her through.

“Sue Ellen’s Sister” marks Kristin’s final appearance until the third season, when Mary Crosby takes over the role and the character abandons her architectural ambitions for, um, lesser pursuits.

This lends “Sue Ellen’s Sister” unexpected poignancy, particularly in the scene where Bobby and Kristin frolic in the Southfork pool and he tells her she looks like a “drowned rat.”

On this show, have more prophetic words ever been spoken?

Grade: B


Colleen Camp, Dallas, Kristin Shepard, Sue Ellen's Sister



Season 2, Episode 19

Airdate: February 16, 1979

Audience: 15.7 million homes, ranking 23rd in the weekly ratings

Writer: Camille Marchetta

Director: Irving J. Moore

Synopsis: J.R. pushes Sue Ellen’s visiting sister Kristin Shepard into the arms of Bobby, who gently rebuffs her. Cliff makes Pam an unwitting accomplice in his attempt to sabotage a Ewing Oil deal. Bobby salvages the deal but Pam still refuses to come home.

Cast: Barbara Bel Geddes (Miss Ellie Ewing), Colleen Camp (Kristin Shepard), Jim Davis (Jock Ewing), Patrick Duffy (Bobby Ewing), Meg Gallagher (Louella), Linda Gray (Sue Ellen Ewing), Larry Hagman (J.R. Ewing), Ken Kercheval (Cliff Barnes), John McLiam (Wally Kessel), Jeanna Michaels (Connie), Victoria Principal (Pam Ewing), Charlene Tilton (Lucy Ewing)

“Sue Ellen’s Sister” is available on DVD and at and iTunes. Watch the episode and share your comments below.