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‘Dallas’ star Ken Kercheval Dead At Age 83

Photo Credit: JPI

Sad news to report for fans of the iconic primetime soap, Dallas.  Ken Kercheval, who played the thorn in J.R. Ewing’s (Larry Hagman) side, Cliff Barnes, has passed away.   The actor was 83 and died at his home in Indiana on Sunday.   The cause of death is under wraps.  He had been previously open about being a lung cancer survivor after years of smoking.

Kercheval was on Dallas for its entire run on CBS from 1978 to 1991, and returned to the TNT reboot from 2012 to 2014 to reprise his signature role.

On Dallas, Cliff Barnes was always the perennial loser when he went toe to toe with ruthless J.R, but in the final season, Cliff beats J.R at his own game and takes over Ewing Oil.  Cliff was also hopelessly in love with Sue Ellen Ewing (Linda Gray) and was the brother to Pam Barnes, played by Victoria Principal.

As for Ken’s first big acting breaks, that came on daytime soap operas when early in his career he appeared on Search for Tomorrow and How to Survive a Marriage.

Later, he appeared on episodic dramas such as Starsky & Hutch, and Crossing Jordan.  His final role was in a movie, 2019’s Surviving in L.A. said to be a comedy/drama in which he plays the business manager of a former teen sitcom star who trashed her life through drug abuse and is fresh out of rehab.

Share your thoughts on the passing of Ken Kercheval in the comment section below.   But first, watch him as Cliff Barnes in this scene from TNT’s Dallas when he sees J.R. for the first time in years!

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James R. Poissant
James R. Poissant

RIP, Ken. I think I speak for all of us when I say that you were the best on Dallas!!!

Patrick
Patrick

he was, inarguably, the best actor outside of thee … Ewing Clan. his shenanigans, however much the writing slighted his demeanor. never stopped us from watching Cliff Barnes. watching JR and Cliff, adversarial … was like watching oil and water… yet the two never skipped a beat when it came to one upping takeover plotting conniving AND whatever was shared with both of these two sons from their respective family.

He kept coming back… AND for very good reason… Ken Kercheval was as solid as they come. Near tour de force , supporting AND sharing the spotlight with all the Ewing . I adored him… along with his love for his sister Pam.

Godspeed … You had that ride

“Ken Kercheval”

Charday
Charday

Thanks for reporting this–I hadn’t seen it anywhere else! He was a favorite on both the original and reboot DALLAS. Rest in Peace.

Charday
Charday

What I remember best about his acting style on DALLAS is that his character always had unique reactions in almost every scene he was in. His acting choices were frequently a bit unexpected, but it fit his character. What an incredible talent!

Shay
Shay

As one who fondly looks back to those heady days when the uber-popular Dallas and its happenings were a part of the country’s (okay, world’s) daily conversation, it’s impossible to imagine the show without its “ultimate loser,” Cliff Barnes as JR’s perennial whipping post! In the hands of a lesser actor, this character could have been a total laughing stock and completely pathetic fool, but Kercheval made him human, and even occasionally, worthy of sympathy. Although I admit I had little use for Cliff, his “underdog shtick” and his endlessly obsessive need to best JR and the Ewing clan, Ken Kercheval’s skillful portrayal of him as a tenacious man with an unquenchable mission will forever place him in the inner circle of those unforgettable players who contributed to the greatest and most memorable decade of primetime soaps we ever had the joy of experiencing. Thank you for your contribution to that still much-missed genre, Mr. Kercheval, and here’s to yet another epic rematch with JR….This time in the afterlife!

Jimh
Jimh

You always say it perfectly…

Shay
Shay

Thank you so much, Jimh! You are always such a sweetheart …❤️

Clb
Clb

Ken and Larry will always be the best ever for nighttime dramas. I will always remember watching Dallas on Friday nights. And you could add Jane Wyman in Falcon Crest and Michele Lee of Knots Landing to that best list. Thanks Ken for bringing the best to Dallas!

Janice
Janice

So sorry prayers out to family and friends. Great show. Wish they would run Dallas back on TV again. Was the most watch show back then. Cliff enjoyed watching you.

Breaking News

Ellen Pompeo Rips Into ‘The Bachelor’ Creator And Defends Kelly Ripa For Her Comments

Things just got juicy from daytime to primetime after Kelly Ripa let her thoughts be known about the current ‘Bachelorette’ Hannah Brown and the ‘Bachelor’ franchise during her morning show with Ryan Seacrest this week,

During a moment on the syndicated Live with Kelly and Ryan on Tuesday, Seacrest informed Ripa that the new ‘Bachelorette’ would be appearing on Thursday’s episode to which Ripa said: “You know how I feel about this show? It disgusts me. And I thought that I was disgusted because I couldn’t stand the idea of 25 exceptional women fighting over one ordinary fella, in my opinion. You know how we feel ladies! We are too special to be arguing over a guy.”  She also called the audience out for watching this “gross, gross, show.”

Following her sentiments, The Bachelor creator Mike Fleiss took to his Twitter account as did host and EP, Chris Harrison.  Fleiss said, “Easy, Kelly Ripa.  The Bachelor franchise pays for your salary.”  While Harrison tweeted: “Look out @KellyRipa⁩ is coming after you and your ‘disgusting’ Monday night habit.”

Next, none other than Grey’s Anatomy franchise star, Ellen Pompeo joined the fray.  She tweeted in defense of Ripa.  Pompeo wrote: “Okay @fleissmeister… that’s some handle bro! Your show does NOT pay @KellyRipa salary. Also we don’t attack successful women on our network and men certainly cannot take credit for their success. Don’t get me started on your show cuz I’m a savage….

And in the end on Thursday’s installment of the entertainment talk show, Hannah Brown made her guest appearance and she weighed-in on the situation expressing that she didn’t follow the franchise at first, but being on the show has changed her mind. Ripa maintained her disgust for the series.

Brown went on to say to Ripa: “Like you, I didn’t really follow the show, wasn’t a big fan, but being part of the show, it’s not women fighting against each other.  Some of my best friends came from the show and were really supportive.”

So what do you think about what Ripa, Pompeo, Brown, Harrison and Fleiss had to share with each other on their Twitter war? Comment below.

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Breaking News

Eva LaRue Joins The Cast of The Young and the Restless

Say what? Mario Santos Grey of All My Children is coming to Genoa City?   Well, not exactly, but longtime fan favorite Eva LaRue,who played Pine Valley’s Maria (from 1993-2011) is headed to The Young and the Restless in exciting casting news today.

On Y&R, Eva will play the mother of Rey (Jordi Vilasuso) and Lola (Sasha Calle) named Celeste Rosales.

According to EW.com who broke the casting news: Celeste “shares a complex relationship with her children”, Rey Rosales and Lola Rosales.”

LaRue will begin filming next week and will debut on the June 26th episode of the top-rated CBS Daytime drama series.

Currently, Eva is the host of CW’s Chicken Soup for the Soul’s Animal Tales.  LaRue is very familiar with being part of the CBS network family having played Natalia Boa Vista on primetime’s CSI: Miami. 

So, what do you think of Eva LaRue joining Y&R? Comment below.

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Breaking News

GH’s Daytime Emmy Winner, Vernee Watson In Cast Of New CBS Comedy ‘BOB ♥ ABISHOLA’

Today at the CBS Upfronts the network unveiled a new comedy series for its fall line-up from Chuck Lorre entitled Bob ♥ Abishola.

The series stars Folake Olowofoyeku as the love interest of Billy Gardell’s Bob, a middle-aged compression sock businessman from Detroit who unexpectedly falls for his cardiac nurse, a Nigerian immigrant.

Also in the cast is two-time Daytime Emmy winner, Vernee Watson (Stella, General Hospital) who will play Gloria.

The series will air in the fall on Monday night’s in the 8:30-9pm slot.

No word yet if this means less screen time for Stella on the Port Charles canvas … or Watson’s status with the series.

So, what do you think of Vernee’s new role? Let us know in the comment section below.

And check out our backstage interview with Vernee following her Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series victory during this year’s 46th annual Daytime Emmys just over a week ago.

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GH icon Genie Francis chats with Michael Fairman about her return to the soap as Laura after being taken off-contract earlier this year. Leave A Comment

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