Poll: Who is ‘Dallas’s’ Greatest Villainess?

Alexis Smith, Angelica Nero, Barbara Carrera, Dallas, Hillary Taylor, Jessica Farlow Montford, Judith Light, Katherine Wentworth, Kristin Shepard, Mary Crosby, Morgan Brittany, Sheila Foley, Susan Lucci, TNT

“Dallas” has given us lots of great villainesses over the years. Time to choose your favorite!

 

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The Dal-List: Classic ‘Dallas’s’ 5 Most Shocking Shootings

Dallas, J.R. Ewing, Larry Hagman, Who Shot J.R.?

The one heard round the world

TNT’s “Dallas” delivered a shocker at the end of “Sins of the Father,” this week’s episode: Ann (Brenda Strong) shot her ex-husband Harris (Mitch Pileggi) and left him bleeding on his den floor. It was the latest example of “Dallas’s” long tradition of using gunplay to throw viewers for a loop. Here’s my list of the five most shocking shootings seen during the original series.

Dallas, Fat Lady Singeth, Linda Gray, Sue Ellen Ewing

She bangs

5. J.R. Ewing (1988). “Dallas’s” 12th season ended with Sue Ellen and boyfriend Nick Pearce (Linda Gray, Jack Scalia) bursting into a high-rise hotel room to confront J.R. (Larry Hagman) over his latest misdeeds. J.R. pulled a gun, Nick lunged at him and before you knew it, studly Mr. Pearce went tumbling over the balcony. That’s when Sue Ellen picked up J.R.’s gun, fired three shots at him and dialed the police to report “a double murder.” Even though this was the fourth (!) time J.R. was shot on the show – and even though there was no doubt he’d survive – you have to admit: Seeing Sue Ellen plug him was pretty surprising.

Dallas, Don Starr, Jordan Lee, Terminus

For whom the booth tolls

4. Jordan Lee. This longtime Ewing frenemy had a penchant for hooking up with shady women – we’re looking at you, Kristin – but when Jordan (Don Starr) got involved with mysterious Sheila Foley (Susan Lucci), he paid the ultimate price. Jordan helped Sheila with her convoluted scheme to masquerade as Bobby’s wife because he believed Sheila merely wanted to make a big speech criticizing OPEC at a Parisian oil conference. When he realized she had deadlier aims, he ducked into a phone booth to call J.R. for help – but before Jordan started dialing, one of Sheila’s goons shot him, ending his 12-year run on the show.

Bobby Ewing, Dallas, End Game, Patrick Duffy

Twist of fake

3. Bobby Ewing. The last episode of “Dallas’s” eighth season felt awfully familiar: The whole world was mad at J.R., and one by one, his enemies were vowing revenge. (Peter Richards: “I swear I’ll kill you!”) As the hour drew to a close, we were given a first-person perspective as someone entered the darkened Ewing Oil suite, walked into J.R.’s office and fired three shots into the back of his chair. A body slumped to the floor, but it wasn’t J.R. – it was Bobby (Patrick Duffy)! Was this a shameless rip-off of the “Who Shot J.R.?” cliffhanger from four years earlier? Absolutely. Was it also one of the show’s best-ever fake-outs? You bet it was.

Dallas, J.R. Ewing, Larry Hagman, No More Mr. Nice Guy Part 1, Who Shot J.R.?

Big shot

2. J.R. Ewing (1980). Hold your fire, fellow fans. I know what you’re thinking: How can this one not be ranked first on a list of shocking “Dallas” shootings? Because CBS spoiled the surprise. Before the network broadcast “A House Divided,” the serial’s most famous cliffhanger, it aired promos that showed J.R. getting shot. As if that wasn’t bad enough, CBS also ran a half-page ad in TV Guide with a screaming headline (“It Had to Happen – J.R. is Shot!”). So yes, even though J.R.’s shooting was a stroke of storytelling genius – and even though it cemented “Dallas’s” spot in the TV Hall of Fame – it wasn’t much of a shock.

April Ewing, Bobby Ewing, Dallas, Patrick Duffy, Sheree J. Wilson, Terminus

French twist

1. April Ewing. Did you see this one coming? I sure didn’t. Like Jordan’s death, this shooting was part of the storyline about Sheila masquerading as Bobby’s kidnapped wife April (Sheree J. Wilson) during their Parisian honeymoon. April was supposed to be released to Bobby’s custody at the OPEC conference – but when gunfire broke out, she got caught in the crossfire. The scene ended with Bobby weeping as he cradled his dead bride’s body. Wilson had become “Dallas’s” leading lady at this point, making this the first time the show had killed off one of its main characters (not counting Jock, of course). Her death remains one of the show’s boldest – and most heartbreaking – plot twists.

Which “Dallas” shootings shocked you most? Share your choices below and read more “Dal-Lists.”