In the "television society" of 1980s, Patrick Duffy (born on March 17 also known as St. Patrick's Day) played Bobby Ewing, "the symbol of goodness on a generally wicked TV show ('Dallas')." Patrick pointed out, "I am not privy to future scripts – none of us is. We generally get scripts about 2 episodes ahead of what we're filming. About every 7 days we get a new script. 

"Certain characters, the victim characters, are able to go in and say, 'Hey, listen, what are you planning for my character? Give me an idea of what direction you want to go.' But a character such as mine basically performs the same function all the time anyway, so I really don't have that concern or interest." Patrick played Bobby for 7 seasons before deciding "to go on to other things". The season without Bobby, Leonard Katzman regarded "the season that didn't exist" and as televised, "was all passed off as Pam's dream." 

Without Bobby "('Dallas') lost 3 million viewers last season (1985-86). The only thing they're happy about is it finished ahead of 'Dynasty.'" Hence it was decided to resurrect the character of Bobby Ewing. The 'Chicago Tribune' conceded, "In TV terms, the returning of Bobby Ewing is bigger news than the return of General Douglas MacArthur, the return of the Jedi – even the return of Godot."

In total, Patrick played Bobby for 12 seasons. It was noted, "The names of the 12 disciples of Jesus were the foundation stones of His church, several even wrote portions of the Bible." Patrick told the press in 1997, "I'm one of the lucky actors in television. I don't make a lot of big waves, there's no tsunamis happening. But there's a constant activity, and that's the way I prefer to live my life."

Speaking to 'Gannett News Service' in 1988 about his movie, 'Unholy Matrimony', Patrick made the point, "That would be a trap, to try and go 180 degrees from Bobby. There are a lot of similarities in the natures of people who decide to do good. I'm not a good actor when it comes to how I figure on doing things. I'm not real set in my ways. If it works, I will go ahead and do it.

"With this role (Sgt. John Dillman), I just wanted to make sure that everything the character did, he did without thinking. Action first, then you can see him going through the process of thinking if that was a good idea. There’s the instinctual element. I treated the story like fiction, so I didn't have to avail myself of extraneous outside information. In other words, I avoided a sense of reality. That's something I've done all of my life.

"The story is 15 years old (dating back to 1973). Dillman now is off the force and pursuing private practice. Our story goes through this case, when his whole attitude changed." Directed by Jerrold Freedman, Patrick said of the movie, "It seems as if police officers on the beat go through a crisis period in their profession. They tend to think they put more garbage back on the street than they lock up.

"We still have the best form of law enforcement, but it's also a system that allows ample opportunity for the guilty to go free. At some point, (I found) in my discussion with officers, they have to decide whether it's all worth it or not. We fictionalized a beginning that would show Dillman at that crucial moment. Something has to change, or he has to get out. So it was not with panic, but with absolute determination, that he became obsessed with the case."

'Dallas' celebrated its 10th anniversary in March 1988. Leonard Katzman reminded, "We play it straight, although we sometimes take it to extremes. We've never taken ourselves as seriously as some other shows. 'Knots Landing' is the most reality-based show. We have our own reality, but it's a fictitious reality." In one episode, Gary Ewing said, "Are you playing both sides against the middle."

Derived from Faro, one of the most popular games in the U.S. after poker in the 19th century, the phrase "playing both ends against the middle" was said referred to the way the dealer provided for a double bet by a player, meaning to use each of two sides for one own purpose. According to the 'Pittsburgh Post-Gazette' editorial in October 1969, "But, while playing both sides against the middle is the name of the parliamentary – constitutional game, such efforts have their dangers."

Associated Press gave an example, "The price war began to play both ends against the middle on June 13 1951. A large New York department store, Gimbels, advertised cigars reduced between 28% and 48%. The same store in the same ad advertised a bargain price on a book titled 'How to Stop Smoking.'" In another example, a reader wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper in March 1953, "It seems to me that Karl Marx Communism and Big, Big Capitalism have at least one thing in common. They know how to play both ends against the middle. And the middle seems to be the United States government. It aways foots the bills."

It was understood "the intuitive and practical politician knew how to play both ends against the middle most successfully. A politician must learn how to play both ends against the middle on touchy issues so that no matter which way the ball bounces he will be able to say 'I told you so'. This is an essential part of his political hedge-ucation."

Rob Kyff of the 'Hartford Courant' Connecticut elaborated back in March 2011, "The term 'play both ends against the middle' describes a crafty ploy: either playing up to 2 opposing people or policies so that you'll be on the victorious side no matter who wins, or manipulating 2 opponents into a conflict with each other in order to benefit oneself. For example, a teenager goads her older brothers into a fight with each other; their parents ground them both; she gets to use the family car."

About 80% of the 'Dallas' exteriors were filmed on location before the crew returned to Los Angeles to finish shooting on the soundstage. "I do enjoy going to Dallas. It's like you've established a second life there. It literally becomes a second home. We rent houses instead of staying in hotels, because, I guess, we're still sort of an oddity … an attraction of sorts," Patrick recounted.

At the end of the 1983-84 season, Patrick spoke to the press, "Several years ago (back in 1979-80) I went to them with a viable argument that I was a frustrated person, the character was being shortchanged, and I asked to be let out of the show. They came back with offers of a bigger role for Bobby, but for Bobby to be the central part of the show would not make 'Dallas' successful. The show wouldn't be successful if I were the central figure. I don't think they even plotted the show with the idea that J.R. would be the central figure – that was just an accident, a very fortunate accident for all the people involved, myself included. I'm not looking for an enticement to stay. I’m just looking for ways to stretch."

On 'Dallas' Victoria Principal played Pam Ewing. In an interview after 'Dallas' dramatic 1984-85 season, Victoria shared, "I started out getting great parts like that in Judge Roy Bean (1972) but, over the years, the parts became increasingly less than what I wanted to do in terms of my acting ability. I wasn't happy about the parts I was doing, I wasn't happy with a lot of things. So I decided to change my profession. I became an agent. And I was good, very good. I liked it a lot. I love making deals.

"A friend of mine dropped off the pilot script of 'Dallas' at my house. He said I should read it and thought there was a part in it I would like. I read it that night and was absolutely entranced with the part of Pam. As I was an agent, I called the producers and made my own appointment to read for the role. I knew that this was going to be a hit. And, using partly my head and partly my heart, I read it and recognized that moment to be one of those times in life where you say: 'If this happens, my life will change.' And it really did.

"'Dallas' broke all the rules. It was a continuing show with no beginning, middle or end. It was the very first show in the U.S. to do that. I knew it was going to work from the very beginning, and I loved the character of Pam. For a time I thought Pam was very weak. It was an aspect of her character I wasn't comfortable with." Victoria then lobbied writers and producers to make Pam strong "and they did."

"In this last season where Bobby died, Pam grew – she became strong and as a personality had far more depth. While I'm playing Pam it is very real to me. I become Pam. I am not pretending. It's reality. But then I leave Pam at work and go home – and then I'm myself. My father was in the air force and I grew up all over the world. We traveled non-stop. For me it was rough, I think because we traveled around so much, always changing schools and friends, that probably fostered my ambition to be an actress. I lived in my own world. I had a fantasy universe."

Linda Gray played Sue Ellen. Her story, "The real Linda Gray is a million miles removed from Sue Ellen Ewing. While I am working all day long people are fiddling with my hair and my make-up. At weekends, I just wash my face, pull my hair back in an elastic band, get on my horse and ride to the top of the nearest hill. I even have a hammock up there to lie in and contemplate nature. The kids know to leave me alone when they see me in it." 

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