‘Dallas’ Memoriam: Honoring Those We Lost in 2015

Carl Hardesty, Dallas, Edgar Randolph, Fritz Longley, George Coe, Lorimar, Martin E. Brooks, Merv Adelson

Here’s Dallas Decoder’s annual tribute to the “Dallas” actors, crew members and other contributors who died during the past year. Notable deaths among the show’s extended family also are included. Click on each person’s name to learn more about his or her career at IMDb.com.


Dallas, Lorimar, Merv Adelson

Merv Adelson

Merv Adelson

Died September 8 (age 85)

Adelson co-founded Lorimar, the producer of “Dallas,” “Knots Landing” and dozens of other popular shows from the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s. The studio’s name was created by combining the name of Adelson’s ex-wife Lori with Palomar Airport, where he used to fly airplanes.


Dallas, Old Acquaintance, Richard Anthony

Richard Anthony

Richard Anthony

Died April 20 (age 77)

Anthony played a waiter in the 1978 classic “Old Acquaintance.” His other credits include the 1968 “Star Trek” episode “Spectre of the Gun.”



Dallas, Edgar Randolph, Martin E. Brooks

Martin E. Brooks

Martin E. Brooks

Died December 7 (age 90)

Brooks played Edgar Randolph — a Sam Culver protégé who was later blackmailed by J.R. — in 10 episodes from 1983 to 1984. Brooks, who is best known as Dr. Rudy Wells on “The Six Million Dollar Man” and “The Bionic Woman,” also appeared in three 1992 “Knots Landing” episodes.


Carl Hardesty, Dallas, John Carter

John Carter

John Carter

Died May 23 (age 87)

Carter played Carl Hardesty, J.R.’s go-to man for setting up dummy corporations, in four episodes between 1982 and 1986. He also played a doctor in a 1984 installment of “Knots Landing.” His other credits include nine “Falcon Crest” episodes.


Al Checco, Dallas, Ewing Blues

Al Checco

Al Checco

Died July 19 (age 93)

In “The Ewing Blues,” Checco played the man who delivered food to Cliff’s townhouse, noticed J.R.’s appearance on the TV show “Talk Time” and expressed admiration for him. Checcho made guest spots on many other shows, including “Bonanza,” “Kung Fu,” “Growing Pains” and “Scrubs.”


Dallas, General Fritz Longley, George Coe

George Coe

George Coe

Died July 18 (age 86)

Coe played Fritz Longley, the retired general who inspired J.R.’s Middle East misadventures, in two 10th-season episodes, “Pari Per Sue” and “Enigma.” Coe also appeared regularly on “Saturday Night Live” during its first season and later voiced a character on “Archer.”


Dallas, Diana Douglas, Dr. Suzanne Lacey, Letter

Diana Douglas

Diana Douglas

Died July 3 (age 92)

Douglas played Dr. Suzanne Lacey, the child psychologist who treats John Ross after the Southfork fire, in the seventh-season classic “The Letter.” Douglas, who was married to Kirk Douglas, also played the physician who treated Gary Ewing after his fall from the wagon at the end of “Knots Landing’s” first season.


Dallas, Jay Gerber, Rosemont, Southfork Wedding Jinx

Jay Gerber

Jay Gerber

Died October 2 (age 86)

Geber played Rosemont, a sanitarium patient, in the 13th-season episode “The Southfork Wedding Jinx.” His other credits include “Knots Landing,” “L.A. Law” and “Gilmore Girls.”



Dallas: The Early Years, Ed Porter, Geoffrey Lewis

Geoffrey Lewis

Geoffrey Lewis

Died April 7 (age 79)

Lewis played Ed Porter in “Dallas: The Early Years.” The character actor’s extensive credits also include the Clint Eastwood film “Every Which Way But Loose,” a regular role on the “Alice” spinoff “Flo” and nine episodes of “Falcon Crest.”


Dallas, Riobert Magruder

Robert Magruder

Robert Magruder

Died January 2 (age 85)

Magruder, a Texas-based actor, played various roles in four episodes between 1978 and 1984, including a stint as a doctor in the third-season “Whatever Happed to Baby John?” two-parter.



Dallas, Ewing vs. Ewing, Gordon Oas-Heim

Gordon Oas-Heim

Gordon Oas-Heim

Died June 5 (age 88)

Oas-Heim appears in the credits of the fourth-season episode “Ewing vs. Ewing,” although he isn’t readily visible. The actor’s other credits include “The New Monkees” and a guest spot on “Diff’rent Strokes.”



Betsy Palmer, Knots Landing

Betsy Palmer

Betsy Palmer

Died May 29 (age 88)

Palmer, who is best known for playing Jason Vorhees’ mother in “Friday the 13th,” portrayed Valene Ewing’s Aunt Ginny on “Knots Landing” from 1989 to 1990.



Dallas, George Probert

George Probert

George Probert

Died January 10 (age 87)

Probert worked as a “Dallas” music editor on 74 episodes from 1979 to 1982. He also worked on “Lost in Space” and “The Famous Adventures of Mr. Magoo” and was an accomplished jazz musician.



Dallas, Geoffrey Ryan

Geoffrey Ryan

Geoffrey Ryan

Died September 20 (age 62)

Ryan served as a Los Angeles location manager for “Dallas” from 1981 to 1983. He also worked on several other Lorimar series, including “Knots Landing,” “Berrenger’s,” “Guns of Paradise” and “Bodies of Evidence.”


Dallas, Gregory Walcott, Jim Redfield

Gregory Walcott

Gregory Walcott

Died March 20 (age 87)

In 1980, Walcott appeared in “Who Done It?” and the following episode, “Taste of Success,” as refinery owner Jim Redfield. Ten years later, he returned in the 13th-season episode “Tale of Two Cities” as Jebediah Joyce, the Coast Guard commander who investigated the Ewing Oil tanker disaster.


Alan Weeks, Dallas

Alan Weeks

Alan Weeks

Died October 10 (age 67)

Weeks did one-time guest spots on shows such as “Police Woman” and “Fame.” His last credited appearances were two 1991 episodes of “Dallas” — “Designing Women” and “S is For Seduction” — in which he played Thomas, the judge in Carter McKay’s murder trial.


What do you remember about these artists? Share your memories below and read our tributes from 2014 and 2013.

Dallas Scene of the Day: ‘… A Clash Between Those Two Boys’

Dallas, Jim Davis, Jock Ewing, Ray Krebbs, Steve Kanaly, Taste of Success

Father knows least

In “Taste of Success,” a fourth-season “Dallas” episode, Jock and Ray (Jim Davis, Steve Kanaly) come to a stop while riding horses.

RAY: You all right?

JOCK: Yeah, why?

RAY: You’re riding awful hard. That usually means you got something on your mind.

JOCK: You know me real good, don’t you?

RAY: Yes, sir.

JOCK: Well, it’s Bobby and J.R.

RAY: I thought Bobby was working out all right.

JOCK: Well, he is. Of course, he’s got a lot to learn. But that’s not the problem.

RAY: Well, what is the problem then?

JOCK: Well, you know J.R. likes being president. He’s about ready to go back to work, as you can see.

RAY: So?

JOCK: Gonna be a clash between those two boys. Some kind of explosion. And I’ll be damned if I know what to do about it. I just wish that there was some way that I could get those two boys together. You know, work side by side.

RAY: Well, there ain’t no way. You know that as well as I do, Jock.

JOCK: Yeah, I know, but that’s not the worst part of it. After the clash, Bobby may pull out and leave Dallas. And if that happens, well, Miss Ellie’s gonna blame me. And so help me, I, I just don’t know what to do about it. [Pauses] I’ll see you. [Takes off on his horse]

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 59 – ‘Taste of Success’

Bobby Ewing, Dallas, Patrick Duffy, Taste of Success

His day has come

“Dallas” ties up the “Who Shot J.R.?” saga’s loose ends within the first 10 minutes of “Taste of Success.” Kristin confesses her crime to the Ewings, J.R. and Sue Ellen send her packing, and Miss Ellie breathes a big sigh of relief at the Southfork breakfast table. “Well, it’s over,” she says. Indeed, it is.

“Dallas” deserves praise for concluding things so elegantly. Having J.R.’s shooter turn out to be Kristin – and making her pregnant with his child – is genius because it allows “Dallas” to avoid a trial, even if courtroom scenes on this show tend to be entertaining. I also give “Dallas” credit for not trying to top itself with another sweeping storyline. The show knows it’s time to get back to normal, and in “Taste of Success,” that’s pretty much what happens.

Of all the post-“Who Shot J.R.?” plots, Bobby’s is the most interesting. His efforts to buy the Redfield refinery are surprisingly compelling, primarily because the storyline allows the character to step out of J.R.’s shadow. For once, Bobby is in charge and not merely reacting to J.R.’s schemes. It’s a nice change of pace.

“Taste of Success” also casts a new light on Lucy, who cooks dinner for Mitch, albeit with disastrous results. Besides being charming, Lucy’s efforts to woo the medical student make sense for her character. Now that this upstanding fellow has entered her life, of course she’s going to go after him with gusto.

The only Ewing who doesn’t seem to be changing is Sue Ellen. Following her triumphant confrontation with Kristin at the end of “Who Done It?” Sue Ellen reverts back to J.R.’s dutiful wife in this installment, even allowing him to “seduce” her in a scene that recalls the disturbing quasi-marital-rape sequence in “Black Market Baby.”

Sue Ellen also lets J.R. make up for his misdeeds by buying her a new car, giving the scene where he sends her out for a test drive more than a hint of irony. Her foot might be on the accelerator, but in this episode at least, Sue Ellen isn’t moving forward.

Grade: B


Charlene Tilton, Dallas, Leigh McCloskey, Lucy Ewing, Mitch Cooper, Taste of Success

Doesn’t taste successful


Season 4, Episode 5

Airdate: November 28, 1980

Audience: 26.5 million homes, ranking 1st in the weekly ratings

Writer: Robert J. Shaw

Director: Irving J. Moore

Synopsis: J.R. sends Kristin to California with the promise of monthly checks when their child is born. Sue Ellen is furious at J.R. but her anger turns to passion and they reconcile. Bobby buys a refinery, arousing J.R.’s envy. Pam, who fears Bobby is on a power trip, returns to work. Cliff pursues Donna, while Lucy continues courting medical student Mitch Cooper.

Cast: Robert Ackerman (Wade Luce), Barbara Babcock (Liz Craig), Tyler Banks (John Ross Ewing), Barbara Bel Geddes (Miss Ellie Ewing), Michael Bell (Les Crowley), David J. Bowman (Tom Selby), Jeff Cooper (Dr. Simon Elby), Mary Crosby (Kristin Shepard), Jim Davis (Jock Ewing), Patrick Duffy (Bobby Ewing), Tom Fuccello (Dave Culver), Linda Gray (Sue Ellen Ewing), Laurence Haddon (Franklin Horner), Larry Hagman (J.R. Ewing), Susan Howard (Donna Culver), Ken Kercheval (Cliff Barnes), Leigh McCloskey (Mitch Cooper), Jeanna Michaels (Connie), Victoria Principal (Pam Ewing), Paul Sorensen (Andy Bradley), Don Starr (Jordan Lee), Tom Taylor (Assistant District Attorney Martin Purcell), Charlene Tilton (Lucy Ewing), Warren Vanders (Harry Owens), Gregory Walcott (Jim Redfield)

“Taste of Success” is available on DVD and at Amazon.com and iTunes. Watch the episode and share your comments below.