On the TV series, 'Dallas', Jenilee Harrison played a drifter from Alaska. In real life, Jenilee Harrison was said to be a person in control of her life, "I do a lot of investing. I've been investing since I was 14 years old (back in 1972). By the time I graduated from high school, I had $4,000." 'People Weekly' had reported Jenilee's parents were "divorced when she was 15. Jenilee paid her way through the University of Southern California by doing commercials. She graduated in 1980 with a degree in Liberal Studies."
Jenilee continued, "I was only in 'Three's Company' for 2 and a half years (she was 21 at the time), but from the money I made and invested, I could retire." 'People Weekly' added, "On 'Dallas', she earned a reported $15,000 a week, which she invested in real estate." Jenilee told fans, "I own shopping centers, apartment buildings, duplexes, things like that. I'm weird with money. I had a business manager for 6 months about 4 years ago (in 1980), but I stopped having one because I realized I was far ahead of him in managing my own money. It's a great feeling for a woman to be able to say I don't need you for support financially."
It was noted there were certain similarities between Jenilee and the character she played. On 'Dallas', Jamie was shown to be born on April 12, 1958 (an Aries). In real life, Jenilee was born on June 12, 1958 (a Gemini). In real life, Jenilee saved and paid her way through university. On 'Dallas', Jamie told her cousin, J.R., "If it hasn't been for money I saved, Daddy would never have a decent funeral."
Viewers learnt Jamie caught a bus from Alaska then hitchhiked, stopping at Laramie, Wyoming to work and saved up some more money in order to get to Southfork Ranch. Jenilee remembered, "I admit that when I first went on the show, I was scared about working with Larry Hagman, but as it turns out, he's a very nice guy. He really enjoys himself at work, always joking." At the time, Jenilee stated, "I'm still at Mom's house 4 days out of the week, and I'm with my brothers and sisters all the time."
Larry Hagman told 'The Guardian' in 2004 after the resurrection of the character Bobby Ewing, "Well, we lost some viewers but we kept going for another 5 years (1986-1991). My most profitable years! Until I was making $250,000 for one show. 'God give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change/The courage to change the things I can/ And the wisdom to know the difference.' (the Serenity Prayer). I love that.
"I was pushing 50. I thought, 'I better start making money out of this success because I'm not gonna have another opportunity.' The producers, studios, they were making hundreds of millions of dollars. So I just wanted a little piece of it. I'd either win this or I'd never work again in this industry." Speaking to the 'Sun Sentinel' in 1989, Larry Hagman discussed about 'Dallas' filming scenes on location in the Soviet Union and Europe. "I have no idea what the story will be.
"I don't think we'll know until Leonard (Katzman) finishes scouting the locations. But, Russia exports more oil than any other country, including Saudi Arabia and Iran. It's their only source of hard dollars. So I think J.R. may do a little dealing." Speaking to the 'Chicago Tribune', Larry Hagman added, "Merv Adelson (of Lorimar) made me an offer that I literally couldn't refuse. They paid me an enormous amount of money.
"Mr. Adelson said, 'How'd you like to be co-executive producer?' And I said, 'Why would I want to do it?' And he said, 'Because of the money we're going to pay you.' And he named a figure. And I said, 'That is the best idea you've ever had in your life, Merv. Boss. Sir. Your Grace.' I like money. Flat cash money in front. (Profit) participation is often participation in nothing. No matter how profitable a show may be, it doesn't mean you're necessarily going to see those profits, so I just take my money.
"We have 7 homes. I invested in things you could experience. (Once) I had a business consultant and investment banker, but when oil took a dive, I took a dive with it. That was a couple of years' work down dry holes. Now I don't want any more pieces of paper that represent what I've worked for. I wanted something I could touch, feel, taste, smell, lie on. You know what paper's good for? There's the bathroom."
Of the possibility of Mikhail Gorbachev appearing on 'Dallas', "Don't think we aren't trying! If we could just touch flesh just once, I'm all for it. It'll be fun. It'll generate some interest." In the 1988-89 season, Larry Hagman became co-executive producer, "They had to find some way to pay me more money. It makes me feel more powerful. I did pick my new leading lady this year. I auditioned all the women and selected Cathy Podewell. She's a joy. I enjoy it and I make a lot of money.
"I work 3 days a week and laugh all day long. They pay me what some countries make. Why move on? The chance of another TV show making it is awfully tough, and at my age, why risk it? I wanted to get the show back to the family. I think it's best when we're all together. The reason Bobby and J.R. went to Arkansas, where J.R. ended up getting married, was to get us out and doing something physical. It got us out of sitting around the board room making deals. There'll still be that undercurrent, but it has to be interesting. Maybe we can make a deal with the Russians."
'The New York Times' reported in 1991, "CBS executives complained that 'Dallas' had turned into a cash drain. 'Dallas' was a landmark series because it established the genre of the prime-time soap opera and made a convention of the season-ending cliffhanger. But 'Dallas' was also one of the last of a dying breed: the television show that becomes a cultural phenomenon."
Jenilee Harrison told the press in 1984, "I always have a boyfriend, someone I'm interested in. I have to have a love in my life. But I’m not interested in getting married right away. I'll do that when I'm ready to have a family (in 1993). I know it sounds corny, but I am attracted to athletes. I'm an outdoorsy, athletic girl and I like wind surfing and volleyball on the beach much more than wining and dining in Beverly Hills."
At one time, Jennilee Harrison dated Jeff Severson, Dennis Harrah and Reggie Jackson. In 1983 Jenilee Harrison dated Dennis (Herc) Harrah, the offensive guard for the Los Angeles Rams. Jenilee became a cheerleader with the Rams' Embraceable Ewes squad in 1978, "It seemed a way to get into Hollywood." Dennis Harrah told 'Sports Illustrated' in 1987, "Jenilee was great but we seemed to be at two different ends of the spectrum. She didn't want a house and a dog and a porch. She was into show business 125%." Jenilee was 25 at the time they were going out together. He, 31. Jack Youngblood theorized, "I think stardom got to Jenilee a little bit. Denny was unchanged by it all. He was the same in 1985 that he was in 1975."
'People Weekly' reported Dennis Harrah's "family was too poor to send him to college, so he parlayed his football skills into a scholarship to the University of Miami where, as a senior, he was All-American. He graduated in 1975 with a degree in business management and was the Rams' No. 1 draft choice that year" earning a reported $345,000 base salary.
The bachelor life of a pro football star on the beach, Dennis Harrah told 'Sports Illustrated', "I'll admit to a lot of things, but I won't talk about them. Put it this way, in my life, I didn't turn down much. There are a lot of things in my past I've shredded, and I'm not about to tell Congress. You don't know what fire is until you get burned. I was on a different road, going no-where. I was on the fun road. But fun turns into a problem when you have no control over it. If I'm in bad surroundings, I'll be bad. All I'll say is that through it all my mama and daddy have never stopped loving me."
Jenilee Harrison and Dennis Harrah separated after a year together. On reflection, "She was the first person I’ve ever gone out with who can afford a Rolex. She lets me be Denny 80% of the time." The other 20% "is like every woman who wants that control, who wants you to be what she wants. She is constantly on me about being lazy. We definitely do not agree on my beverage consumption. But she is not the best person in the kitchen I've ever met."
Jenilee recalled, "Whenever he has extra money lying around, he'll spend it on his family. We'll sit around, laughing, because here we are making more than a half-million dollars a year, and we're in a little two-bedroom apartment while we're buying our moms houses and cars. But Dennis and I, we don’t care what we own. Material things don't mean anything. Dennis is a very loyal guy. If I lose a man to another woman it would be because I let it happen."