It was said Linda Evans single-handedly responsible for the baby-boomers' national awakening to the beauty and sexiness of women over 40. By July 1984, Bob Wisehart of 'Newhouse News Service' begged the question, "Is there anyone who doesn't know she plays Krystle Carrington?" At the time, 'Dynasty' and 'Dallas' were the 2 most popular programs on television.
Linda told Laurie Medjuck at the time, "It ('Dynasty') has become a phenomenon. It's not anything you even know how to experience until it happens to you. What's happened more recently, though, is something I really wasn’t prepared for – how successful the show has become all over the world. There's no privacy in terms of traveling. Paparazzi follow you everywhere."
"Krystle and I are a lot alike, which may be one of the reasons I got the part 4 years ago (in 1980)," Linda told 'United Press International' in 1983. Back in 1981, Esther Shapiro told Mark Goodman, "Krystle comes from a middle-class background. She marries a rich, older man. She has to run a mansion, deal with servants. There are stepchildren almost her age who resent her. She has to decide whether to have a child while there's still time. One day Linda came to me and said, 'This is out of my own life.'"
Linda continued, "I was separated from Stan (Herman) at the time (married 1976, divorced 1979) and I was frightened about adjusting to a new life … My goal was to be a wife and mother. Yet here I was, divorced and an actress. That was never my dream ... It was the era of 'Charlie's Angels'. Women who looked like Farrah (Fawcett) and Jackie (Smith) were getting all the work … It's wonderful being my age and playing a heroine in a top series ('Dynasty'). It gives women hope that their lives are not over when they reach 40.
"Krystle had to go from being a secretary to the wife of a powerful billionaire and was terrified about that adjustment. We shared the experience of growing up at the same time. Most women, God knows, grow up a lot earlier. But emotionally I hadn't. It's a realistic goal to think when we are 40, 50, 60, we can be incredible. We're all going to be over 30 longer than under, so why not enjoy it?
"When we're 20 we're irresistible, and when we're 30 it's over and we've got a lot of trouble for the rest of our lives. Since we are going to live to be 80 anyway, why get in a rut? The truth is, we get more interesting as we get older." At the time, "Krystle is getting stronger on the show ('Dynasty') and finding her strength. That happened to me a few years ago (back in 1978). It was the process of becoming stronger as a woman in her 30s and sharing that with people through television that appealed to me about the character.
"To say it’s never too late to grow up and to learn and change and get wiser. I discovered there's more to do in life at 40 than 20, and so has Krystle. She's stronger now (by 1983) and stands up for herself. There's a balance all women should try to reach, someplace between subservience and aggressiveness, to achieve their goals and be proud of themselves. Krystle and I are both doing that."
When the 'Linda Evans: Beauty and Exercise Book' was published in 1983, Linda insisted on the section 'Inner and Outer Beauty' be included in the book because "so many women identify with me and are happy for my success, I felt it was important to give something back. It's essential women understanding that 40 is just the beginning of a middle life, a time to set goals beyond their 20s and 30s.
"There are still a lot of places to go, things to see and achievements ahead. I wrote about the fears, anxieties and problems of growing up emotionally, all the things women must deal with that their mothers didn't tell them. And that includes the joys of growing older … I'm a very strong person. People don't realize that, and I didn't give myself credit for it until recently.
"Somehow, things just come later in life for me. I come from a middle-class family without a lot of money … I learned that I'm a person who needs to do something for myself. I just think that having activities not necessarily connected to the home is valuable. At 36, they were telling me I was too old to be an actress. It was never in my nature, then or now, to make the great career moves."
By1986, "the first wave of 'baby boomers' – a generation born in the aftermath of World War II – is turning 40, embracing a mixture of idealistic attitudes of looking at families, home and work and materialistic lifestyles. Statistics show those in the 35-50 age bracket control a whopping $504 billion in disposable income with some 16% of that available for non-essential purchases."
Market researcher Jerry Hamilton discovered, "The baby boomers have looked at things in different ways, often with an anti-bigness attitude that, in a large part, has fostered interests in running their own businesses and in the entrepreneur spirit. They're now (by 1986) settled down, fairly affluent and usually at a successful point in their work. The baby boomers who questioned the values of society still have their basic attitudes which were sublimated because of establishing careers. I don't see a pulling away (of buying top-of-the-line products including imported automobiles and clothing lines); they want high-quality goods and have the money to afford them."
However economist Richard Carlson made the point that "one big problem emerging is that the peak of the baby boomers won't occur for another 10 years (until 1996). People in the years 1957 and 1958 will be the high tide of the boomers and that this group will have the most difficulty in terms of buying land or homes and in finding good jobs."
Richard Carlson observed, "In terms of economic position, you're much better off not being part of the peak. There will be a kind of desperation because all of the goodies will be gone." At the time, Richard Carlson predicted "the peak of the baby boom hitting age 40 in about a decade on (around 1996) will be a lower income group paying sharply higher Social Security taxes for which they won't receive the benefits when they reach old age."
'United Press International' reported in 1983, "There are crowsfeet at the corners of her eyes, a few lines here and there and perhaps a touch of gray. But Linda (Evans) remains incandescently vital. Her poise and self-assurance are without pretension. She wears her beauty well. She takes great pride in the knowledge that she is an example for tens of millions of women who watch her every week (on 'Dynasty')."
"When we finished that first season," Linda recounted in 1984, "I went off to shoot a 'Love Boat' in Australia. I got a telegram that we'd been picked up and I started to cry. I really thought they wouldn't want us ('Dynasty') back. How can I describe something that changed my life? My car is paid for. My house is paid for. I travel. I have the freedom to do what I want to do whenever I want to do it. What would I possibly complain about?"
But "success is fleeting," Linda pointed out. Of 'Dynasty', "The public's going to decide how much longer we'll be on. I know how success can come and go better than most, I think. Success is of no value to me, so it has no power to tempt me. If I were to give it (fame) up tomorrow, I wouldn't miss it. When I've gained a pound or two, my typical diet menu is eggs for breakfast, salad for lunch, chicken or fish for dinner. Fortunately, I'm not a dessert person - raspberries or grapes are just fine ... When you become conscious of what's happening to you, what your life is all about – well, then you can begin to change it."