‘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: ‘Not This Time, Barnes’

Bobby Ewing, Dallas, Patrick Duffy, Whatever Happened to Baby John Part 2

You wouldn’t like him when he’s angry

In “Whatever Happened to Baby John, Part 2,” a third-season “Dallas” episode, Cliff and Pam (Ken Kercheval, Victoria Principal) are talking in his apartment when there is a knock at the door. Cliff opens it, revealing an angry Bobby (Patrick Duffy).

CLIFF: Wait a minute, before you start swinging, let’s talk.

BOBBY: Not this time, Barnes. This time, you’ve gone too far. [Enters and slams the door behind him]

PAM: Bobby –

BOBBY: And you knew he was here all along, didn’t you?

CLIFF: Wait a minute, I just got here. Can’t we talk?

PAM: He didn’t know anything about it.

BOBBY: You’d swear he could walk on water if he told you!

PAM: That’s not fair! Would you wait a minute?

CLIFF: I want my son, I’m gonna have him. I did not – I repeat – I did not kidnap him. [Bobby moves toward him, Cliff steps back] Now wait a minute, you can push me around the room all you want but that’s not going to solve anything. I think we should try to figure out who indeed took him. [Bobby growls and moves closer still.]

PAM: For God’s sake, listen to him!

CLIFF: I swear I did not kidnap him. I wasn’t even in Dallas.

PAM: He’s telling the truth.

CLIFF: Let’s stop wasting time. We can be at each other’s throats tomorrow but today – for today – let’s try to find my boy.

BOBBY: Okay.

CLIFF: Okay.

Critique: ‘Dallas’ Episode 31 – ‘Whatever Happened to Baby John? Part 2’

Dallas, John Ross Ewing, Whatever Happened to Baby John Part 2

Gone baby gone

One thing about the Ewings is certain: These people believe in doing things for themselves. When emergencies arise, the Ewings don’t dial the police, an ambulance or even a lawyer – they call each other.

Maybe this reflects the rugged, pioneering spirit the family represents, or maybe it reflects life after Watergate, when the nation’s faith in society’s institutions was shaken. Whatever the reason, the Ewings’ can-do spirit sometimes defies logic.

In “Whatever Happened to Baby John? Part 2,” when newly paroled Jeb Ames contacts J.R. and tells him he and fellow parolee Willie Joe Garr have taken baby John, J.R. doesn’t call the cops – he instructs banker Vaughn Leland to get him the $1 million he needs to pay the ransom.

Later, when an angry Bobby tells Pam he believes Cliff took the baby, Bobby doesn’t take his suspicions to law enforcement – he shows up on Cliff’s doorstep.

This might be the episode’s silliest scene. Bobby enters Cliff’s apartment, slams the door behind him, suggests Cliff is responsible for the kidnapping and growls at him – twice. It’s almost as if Patrick Duffy has turned into a paler version of the monster on “The Incredible Hulk,” one of “Dallas’s” Friday night companion series in the 1970s.

Eventually, Bobby, Pam and Cliff – looking a bit like “Dallas’s” version of “The Mod Squad” – head to the hospital, where they snoop around and discover baby John was taken by Priscilla Duncan, a mentally disturbed woman whose own infant died recently.

When Bobby and Pam bring baby John home, Rollins, the Dallas police detective who has been investigating the kidnapping, steps aside so the couple can enter the living room. It’s a symbolic gesture, signifying his deference to Texas’s first family of do-it-yourself crime-fighting.

Don’t feel bad, detective. The Ewings create a lot of work for your department. Be thankful they’re willing to pitch in and help clean up their own messes.

Grade: B


Dallas, J.R. Ewing, Larry Hagman, Whatever Happened to Baby John Part 2

Who’ll J.R. shoot?


Season 3, Episode 2

Airdate: September 28, 1979

Audience: 16.7 million homes, ranking 10th in the weekly ratings

Writer: Camille Marchetta

Director: Leonard Katzman

Synopsis: Newly paroled Jeb and Willie Joe tell J.R. they have baby John and demand a $1 million ransom. Pam determines the child was actually kidnapped by a woman whose own infant recently died. Bobby and Pam bring baby John home to Southfork.

Cast: John Ashton (Willie Joe Garr), Barbara Bel Geddes (Miss Ellie Ewing), Jocelyn Brando (Mrs. Reeves), Maryedith Burrell (Nurse Barker), Jordan Charney (Detective Rollins), Jim Davis (Jock Ewing), Patrick Duffy (Bobby Ewing), Meg Gallagher (Louella), Linda Gray (Sue Ellen Ewing), Larry Hagman (J.R. Ewing), Steve Kanaly (Ray Krebbs), Ken Kercheval (Cliff Barnes), Sheila Larken (Priscilla Duncan), Jeanna Michaels (Connie), Cliff Murdock (Lieutenant Simpson), John O’Leary (Dr. Freilich), Dennis Patrick (Vaughn Leland), George O. Petrie (Harv Smithfield), Randolph Powell (Alan Beam), Victoria Principal (Pam Ewing), Charlene Tilton (Lucy Ewing), Sandy Ward (Jeb Ames)

“Whatever Happened to Baby John? Part 2” is available on DVD and at Amazon.com and iTunes. Watch the episode and share your comments below.