10 Questions About Dallas That You Can’t Answer

Illustration by Pablo Lobato

Our June cover story about the show Dallas, which returns to television on TNT starting June 13, is accompanied by a little quiz. How well do you know the series that, for better and worse, defines our city to much of the world?

1. Dallas episode 58, answering the question “Who shot J.R.?,” aired November 21, 1980, and was the highest-rated episode in television history, but it fell to No. 2 in 1983. What show beat it?

2. What role did Brad Pitt play on Dallas?

3. How did Larry Hagman end up at Weatherford High School?

4. Jenna Wade, the poor girl from the ranch next door who was Bobby’s childhood sweetheart, was played by Priscilla Presley in 143 episodes, but the role was actually originated in Season 2 by an actress from Dallas’ Theatre Three. Who was she?

5. Who was the only Dallas actor to win an Emmy?

6. Who designed the interior of Southfork?

7. What member of the cast was also a Hollywood agent?

8. Dallas was a massive ratings hit in 89 foreign countries and a failure in only one. What was the country where it was a flop?

9. What Texas governor was featured in the Ewing Rodeo episode?

10. Who is the father of the actress who shot J.R.?

Highlight the Space Below This Line When You Want to Know The Answers:

1. The final episode of M.A.S.H., which was two and a half hours long and aired February 28, 1983.

2. The 23-year-old unknown actor played Randy, the boyfriend of wild teenager Charlie Wade, in four episodes of Season 10 (1987-88). Charlie, the daughter of Jenna Wade (Priscilla Presley), was played by Shalane McCall in 92 episodes and would have been 15 years old during the season she hooked up with Pitt.

3. The 16-year-old Hagman was expelled from Woodstock Country School in Woodstock, Vermont, when his smoking and drinking resulted in a fire. His mother, Mary Martin, was touring with Annie Get Your Gun at the time, and she offered to let him live with her, but he despised the iron rule of his stepfather, Paramount executive Richard Halliday, so in order to finish his last two years of high school, he lived with his father, Weatherford lawyer Ben Hagman, on Hagman’s farm.

4. Morgan Fairchild, better known locally as Patsy Ann McClenny.

5. Barbara Bel Geddes, as Miss Ellie, for the 1980 two-parter about breast cancer in which she relived her own radical mastectomy from a decade earlier. Although praised by Betty Ford as a television first, there had been a previous TV mastectomy on The Young and the Restless in 1975.

6. The interior of the Southfork home is actually the Turtle Creek mansion of oilman and arts patron Bruce Calder. The inside of the Calder house was used for the first five episodes. Then it was re-created down to the slightest detail on Stage 18 at the old MGM Studios in Culver City, California, the same stage where Greta Garbo did the Chica Choca Rhumba, and where the miniatures were built for War of the Worlds, but known today as the stage where J.R. was shot.

7. Victoria Principal, whose business instincts always trumped her artistic ones. She was the least social member of the cast, keeping to herself much of the time, and once she left the show in 1987, she never returned, even for guest shots, until the 2004 Dallas Reunion: The Return to Southfork.

8. Japan.

9. Mark White. Even though Dallas was on the air during both terms of Bill Clements, he was never invited to be on the show. The creators and cast were mostly Democrats.

10. Bing Crosby.


  • Carol B

    I remember them filming a segment of Dallas in Titches at NorthPark. I worked in the Junior’s department and was scheduled early that morning so I got to see Victoria Principal. I was star struck for sure!!!! Those were the days that you planned your Friday night around watching Dallas and had watch parties at our apartment. We didn’t have VCR’s to record, you either watched it when it aired or missed it!!!