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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

How to Get Away With Murder To End After Its Upcoming Sixth Season

ABC has announced that Professor Annalise Keating (Viola Davis), and those cagey law students of hers, will receive some closure and exciting endings as How to Get Away with Murder will come to a conclusion after its season six. The upcoming 15-episode final season will premiere on Thursday, September 26 at 10 PM.

Series creator Peter Nowalk said in a statement released today: “Deciding to end this series was a brutal decision, but ultimately the story tells you what to do – as it did here.  For me, Annalise Keating’s journey has always had a clear ending.  Knowing I have 15 episodes left to finish her story, and the chance to give all the characters their own killer endings, is a gift rarely given to a series creator and I’m grateful to ABC and ABC Studios for the opportunity and creative freedom. I am so thankful to the brilliant cast, writers and crew for dedicating themselves to the most rewarding experience of my career over the last six years. I also want to thank our fans. The only reason this show exists is because of your loyalty and enthusiasm. I can’t wait for you all to see how it ends, with twists and turns and all the craziness we love to create every Thursday night. Buckle up.”

The final season will follow the perils of Professor Annalise Keating’s class through their final semester in law school with much deceit and murder going along with it!

Karey Burke, President, ABC Entertainment. said in a statement on the conclusion of the series: “Viola Davis made television history with her unforgettable portrayal of iconic female antihero Annalise Keating.  I am eternally grateful to her, Pete Nowalk and Shondaland for creating and bringing to life such a smart, sophisticated and groundbreaking series that has long been an integral part of Thursday nights on ABC.”

How to Get Away with Murder burst on to primetime TV screens back in 2014, and helped formed the Shondaland programming block along with Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal.

The final season stars Davis along with the current cast comprised of: Billy Brown, Jack Falahee, Aja Naomi King, Matt McGorry,, Charlie Weber, Liza Weil Conrad Ricamora, former ‘Bold and the Beautiful’ star Rome Flynn, and Amirah Vann.

Along with the big announcement, ABC released this trailer of the final episodes of the series and its season 6 called “The Beginning of the End”.  Check it out below.

Now, let us know … upset to hear that HTGWM is signing off?  How do you hope it will end for Annalise and her students?  Comment below.

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Breaking News

Catherine Bach Returning As Chelsea’s Mom Anita On Y&R

More returns slated for The Young and the Restless as they re-position the show.  Now comes word that Catherine Bach is due back as Chelsea’s (Melissa Claire Egan) money-grubbing, grifter mother, Anita Lawson.

In story, viewers have met the character of Calvin Boudreau (John Burke) this week, and are being cued into the back-story that Chelsea’s mother was first into Chelsea’s current hubby, so it makes sense that Anita would be back on the canvas.

The former Daisy Duke of The Dukes of Hazzard came on to The Young and the Restless back in 2012.

According to TV Insider, Catherine will be back on-screen as Anita come the August 8th episode of the CBS daytime drama series.

So, what do you think the return of Anita means for Chelsea et al? Comment below.

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Breaking News

‘Dynasty’ and ‘Santa Barbara’ Favorite Gordon Thomson To Y&R

And yet another new piece of enticing casting news from The Young and the Restless is coming your way.   Word from Soap Opera Digest is that Gordon Thomson (Ex-Adam, Dynasty and Ex-Mason, Santa Barbara)  has been tapped for a new role on the top-rated CBS Daytime drama series.

Thomson is slated to play the role of Daryl Tulane, who had an interesting connection to Chelsea (Melissa Claire Egan) while she was away and out of Genoa City.

Look for Gordon to first appear beginning on the Monday, July 29th episode, he is slated for a guest-star turn over several episodes.

In addition to Dynasty and Santa Barbara, Thomson had appeared on other soaps as well including: Ryan’s Hope, Passions, Days of our Lives, Sunset Beach and once before on The Young and the Restless.  The Canadian-born Thomson also appeared in the web series, Winterthorne in a key role.

So, just what will Daryl Tulane’s connection be to Chelsea Lawson?  Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

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