20160922

DALLAS

"'Dallas' became the most successful television show of its time," Patrick Duffy remembered. Of its popularity, Larry Hagman believed, "This is television’s equivalent to those supermarket novels. Something’s happening every minute." Barbara Carrera conceded, "Something like 19 million Americans saw me in 'Never Say Never Again', but at least 30 million people in America alone will see me in 'Dallas' – week after week."

One distributor observed, "I think American programs in general do very well overseas. 'Dallas' is very much in demand and it's loved by just about everybody who watches it." On 'Dallas', Patrick played Bobby Ewing, "I would say I'm about 85% me in his makeup and there's 15% fiction." Charlene Tilton was convinced, "Some of the things I have learned from the roles I have played have helped me as a person. I don't think you can separate the two things in this business."

The distributor disclosed in 1983, "When Fran├žois Mitterrand became President of France, they dropped a lot of American programing, but 'Dallas' stayed. It was just too popular. In Germany the government has been critical of 'Dallas', but it's still the 1st or 2nd most popular show. Historically, the less talk the easier a show is to sell. The more the dialog the more you have to dub." Larry Hagman contributed the success of the series to "oil, that's the international currency. It's not the dollar. It's not the euro. It's oil."

Back in October 1977, Patrick Duffy spoke to David Houston. "I was born and raised in a totally non-science-fiction background (in Townsend, Montana)," he recounted. "The high points of my childhood were hunting trips with my father – at about 12 and 13 years old (Patrick was born in 1949). I lived in a place in the back of a bar and worked on a ranch of a friend of ours. That part of my life was very rural and farm-like. We moved to Seattle when I was around 13 (in 1962), and from then on things began to get more city-oriented for me. I started picking up sports in school – track, pole-vaulting, football. I was never any good at basketball. I was tall, but somehow I just couldn’t handle it. And I didn’t go out for baseball.

"I played football in high school until my junior year, and then I quit and became a cheerleader. Well, I found out I didn't like getting hurt. I just did it on a whim at first, but I found that I liked that atmosphere – being out in front of all those people. That plus the encouragement I got from my drama teacher led to my decision to go into theater. I did one play in junior high school called 'He Tried with His Boots On'. It was a total farce. One of your real heavy junior high plays, a western.

"Coincidentally, at the time my high school drama coach was trying to instill in me the confidence that I could probably make a go of it, a brand new program was being instituted in the State of Washington, called The Professional Actors' Training Program. Two men, renowned and reputable in the business, got a large grant and auditioned thousands, picked 12, and enrolled them in a 4-year intensive training program at the University of Washington. I was one of those 12 people.

"For the next 4 years, I was in this constant regime of 9:00 in the morning to 4:00 in the afternoon – fencing, juggling, voice, speech, training, circus techniques, singing, combat, anything that involved the acting side of theater. After classes, we came back in the evenings and either performed or rehearsed for the next play. In the summers, we were hired to do full summer-stock like seasons of usually about 5 plays and 2 children's shows.

"Also during that training program I collaborated with a man from 'The Seattle Times' on a series involving me as an actor-in-residence for the State. Like with the symphony, the ballet, the opera, I would write a program for school audiences to accompany visiting symphonies and ballets, to integrate the classics into the school programs.

"The last year of the program I ruptured my vocal cords and had to go on intensive care. I was doing an opera. I don't really sing, but I can belt out a song. I got laryngitis and rather than stop I kept on going and slowly the blood vessels started erupting. One day it all went ka-fatz and everything broke. That's around the time I met my wife. She was a ballerina with a ballet company I was narrating for. I was still recovering, but for that I could use a microphone.

"She whisked me off to New York. She said, 'You want to be an actor? Well, get off your ass and get out of Seattle!' She was actually right. In New York I did an off-Broadway play called 'Natural Affection', a very good William Inge play. I write to some people I knew who got some agents to come and see me. And that's how I got my agent, Joan Scott. At the same time, I was teaching a class in mime and a class in corrective exercises with my wife's ballet company – when her company opened up a workshop in Seattle. So I went back to Seattle. At that time, my agent opened up offices in Los Angeles. She called me in Seattle and suggested I try Hollywood."

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