'Dallas', Larry Hagman believed, "is television's equivalent to those supermarket novels. Something's happening every minute." Patrick Duffy added, "'Dallas' became the most successful television show of its time." At that time, 'Dallas' started out with 25 share. It gradually extended that margin to 30, then to 35 before amassing the 42 share in the 1979 and 1980 season. 

"For a series to work," Lee Rich explained, "you have to know what you're going to say in the 10th and 20th show." Leonard Katzman insisted, "In all of television production there is creation and there is execution. Creation is what gets the show on the air; execution is what keeps it on the air. I think I've executed the show." Philip Capice pointed out 'Dallas' was "entertainment, not real life. We don't sit around and analyze this program and what it means, or we would eventually be mad." 

Linda Gray was "light-years removed from Sue Ellen". She told 'United Press International' in 1982, "Southern California is ahead of the rest of the country in accepting the changes in women's position in our cultutre. New ideas are cultivated earlier here and we're challenging the system constantly. Heck, I even cut my hair last month (back in 1982), which fired up Sue Ellen a little bit, getting her out of her rut." 

In its first run, 'Dallas' was regarded a phenomenon throughout the Western world. Linda told Diane Holloway of 'Cox News Service' and Harry Robinson, "The intensity of the family all living together under one roof, I think, is what makes the show work … I suppose the secret is that 'Dallas' is all the evils of our society concentrated in one family. In the show, America has found new heroes – ones they love to hate. It's reassuring to ordinary people to see that even the very rich have their own brand of misery." 

On reflection, "I think Sue Ellen is the most interesting female character on television (at the time). My agent said, 'Linda – you're not going to do this show.' I said, 'Well, why not?' and she said, 'Read this script. You've got just 4 lines and you're married to this guy who's not really terrific.' And I read it and I figured well, it beats unemployment; I'm gonna go for it. This is a very difficult business. People are so lucky to get a weekly series that stays on the air even for 13 weeks! I'd love for it to keep going; 7 years would be wonderful. 

"At the beginning, Sue Ellen did so many terrible things and had absolutely no redeeming values, and she was married to a guy with even less. People would write to me and say, 'Of course, you should have an affair, he treated you so badly.' I think the fact that J.R. was so bad and Sue Ellen was so vulnerable made her sympathetic. I love playing the character who has become TV’s biggest bitch. 

"When we started, Sue Ellen was meant to be a minor figure in eye-catching clothes. Then I decided to build the part up, using bits of all sorts of people I've met in Texas. There are plenty of Sue Ellens there with so much jewelry on their fingers that they can hardly move. Sue Ellen is so mixed-up, bitchy, and unpredictable and I want her to stay that way. I never want to make her nice. I want people to turn on their TV sets just to see what on earth she is going to do next.

"One of my great lines since 'Dallas' began (in 1978) has been 'I don't know,' and I really don't. We get our scripts from week to week. It keeps you on your toes, and it's more fun that way, but I would love to be invisible during one of those story conferences. I was born practically next door to the MGM studios (in Santa Monica) and I always wanted to act. But my parents were strict Catholics and were strongly opposed to the idea. They did all they could to discourage me from joining what they thought was an evil profession."

"Linda plays Sue Ellen with a smoldering sexiness coupled with an intriguing bitchiness that fascinates viewers the world over," Larry Hagman observed. "We've been totally forgotten, totally ignored, when it comes to winning Emmys and other awards," Linda lamented. "I mean, we've been on the air for 9 years (to 1987), and we're solidly in the Top 10." Between 1981 and 1985, 'Dallas' was either No. 1 or the second highest rated show on American television. "I love the scripts. I'm here to entertain, we ain't doin' Shakespeare." Linda had said. "Sure, when you read some of our scripts, you have to laugh at the situations. But I defy you to give those scripts to a lot of other actors and tell them, 'Hey, make this thing magic.' Some of our dialog is pretty strange and yet the stories are usually very down-to-earth and the actors all give such life to their characters."

'Who Shot J.R?' became a pop cultural phenomenon attracting some 76% of all viewers watching TV on that Friday November 21 in 1980. "In television terms," Leonard reasoned, "it was the equivalent of Columbus discovering America. Except he didn't have to go out again the next year and find another country." One historian remarked, "The far-reaching media impact 'Dallas' had in the (North America) summer of 1980, we may never see again."

At the time, Linda told 'United Press International', "Neither I nor Sue Ellen can speak for all women. They have to do what they have to do. I don't want me or Sue Ellen to lead any adorable little housewives down the garden path. Sue Ellen's life is very different from mine. She was programmed from childhood to be beautiful, well dressed, socially prominent and to marry the richest man in Texas. Her values were one-dimensional.

"In many respects she fulfils a lot of women's fantasies. My life is a contrast. Sue Ellen represents a tiny segment of American women but most prime time female roles don’t accurately reflect any women I know. Sue Ellen is at one extreme and Joyce Davenport, the lawyer played by Veronica Hamel on 'Hill Street Blues', is the other extreme, the efficient, cold, driven professional woman. Sue Ellen gives women viewers a different perspective of themselves."

Linda also made known, "I'm not a drinker and I don't understand how people can get themselves drunk. I think the first and only time I ever got drunk was at a slumber party in my senior year of high school. We threw in a little bit of different kinds of alcohol in a pitcher and drank it all. We wound up on the floor, throwing up. It was awful!"

Linda studied acting with Charles Conrad. She told the Associated Press, “He was more than my coach. He was my guru and my shrink. He was very pivotal in my life. It’s amazing how people come into your lives when you need them. He really made me take a look at what was inside me so that I could bring it out. I was in my early 30s before I became an actress. You’re supposed to be finished at that age, not starting.”

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