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Ken Kercheval Has Died - Now Confirmed 21/04/19

Discussion in 'Dallas - The Original Series' started by garry, Apr 23, 2019.

  1. Miss Texas 1967

    Miss Texas 1967 Soap Chat Fan

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    Sad to hear this confirmed now. I can't say I've seen Ken in anything but Dallas but Cliff Barnes was certainly a memorable character on an iconic show and for that he'll always be kept relevant and remembered :)
     
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  2. bmasters9

    bmasters9 Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Well, however it happened, it happened, and I bet Larry, Jim, Morgan and quite a few other departed stars of O-R CBS Dallas will be there at that big Southfork up above to meet him.
     
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  3. Sarah

    Sarah Super Moderator Staff Member Original Member Since 1998

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    Ken has now made the BBC news:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-48046872

    [​IMG]

    Ken Kercheval, an actor who played oil tycoon Cliff Barnes in the popular soap opera Dallas, has died at age 83.

    A spokeswoman at Frist Funeral Home in Kercheval's hometown of Clinton, Indiana, confirmed his death to the BBC but was unable to give further details.

    Local newspaper The Daily Clintonian reports that he passed away on Sunday.

    He and Larry Hagman, who played rival character JR Ewing, were the only stars to stay with the series throughout its entire 14-year run.

    Victoria Principal who played his on-screen sister, Pamela Barnes Ewing, paid tribute on social media describing Kercheval as "supremely talented" and "a wonderful story teller, slyly humourous and always unpredictable".

    (Sorry I can't post the pic of Victoria as it's from Twitter)

    She went on to say she hoped that he and fellow late Dallas stars Larry Hagman, who played JR Ewing, and Barbara Bel Geddes aka Miss Ellie Ewing "are throwing a Texas style heavenly party!"

    "He was one of those guys who was going to be the next James Dean," the show's creator, David Jacobs, told the Hollywood Reporter.

    Actress Audrey Landers, who played Barnes' girlfriend, Afton Cooper, for several seasons, shared a memorable scene of her character saying goodbye to him in series eight.

    "A tribute to the great love affair of Afton and Cliff," she wrote.

    "Ken Kercheval, thank you for being a great friend, scene partner, and for making history on Dallas. You will always be in my heart ♥️"

    Kercheval, born in 1935, trained at Indiana University and the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York.

    He began his career as a stage actor, appearing with Dustin Hoffman in a 1959 production of Dead End and starring in several Broadway shows during the 1960s.

    In 1978 he was cast in Dallas' initial five-part miniseries, originally playing Ray Krebbs, an illegitimate son of Jock Ewing - JR Ewing's father.

    The series - about two wealthy, rival families in the oil industry - became one of the era's signature shows and won four Emmy Awards.

    It also had a huge global following, with episodes dubbed into 67 languages across 90 countries.

    After the show ended in 1991, Kercheval returned for reunion specials in 1996 and 2004, and for a series reboot from 2012-14.

    Kercheval was also a prolific film and TV actor. Before and after Dallas, he appeared on shows including Kojak, Starsky and Hutch and Diagnosis Murder.

    The actor confessed to smoking up to three packs of cigarettes a day, and had part of his lung removed in 1994 after being diagnosed with cancer.

    He was also a self-described "practising alcoholic" for 20 years before giving up alcohol.



    [​IMG]

    I'm off for another wee gurn. Great to see David Jacobs has commented too. This is just amazing guys. He was so loved and an extremely accomplished, trained, talented and highly regarded actor, even away from the Dallas set. :love7: I'm just overwhelmed.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
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  4. bmasters9

    bmasters9 Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    In remembrance: Ken's title card looks from O-R CBS Dallas--

    First one, from 1979-84:
    kenkerchevaldallas1.jpg

    Second one, from 1984-89 (modified around 1987):
    kenkerchevaldallas2.jpg
    kenkerchevaldallas3.jpg

    Third, from 1989-91 (full-screen shot seasons, and final seasons):
    kenkerchevaldallas4.jpg

    Fourth-and-final, from J.R. Returns in 1996:
    kenkerchevaldallas5.jpg
     
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  5. Frank Underwood

    Frank Underwood Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    I'm so sad to hear that Ken has actually passed away. He was a wonderful actor, and Dallas would have been much less without him.

    Rest in peace Ken. Thanks for the memories.
     
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  6. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Star

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  7. Englishboy

    Englishboy Soap Chat Fan

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    Sad to hear this news.

    He was easily a top 5 character on the original series of Dallas.

    Yet another of the great Dallas actors has left us.

    RIP
     
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  8. Adamski

    Adamski Soap Chat Member

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    I really want to re-watch an episode in honour of Ken Kercheval. Which season do you guys think has Cliff's best moments?
     
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  9. Sarah

    Sarah Super Moderator Staff Member Original Member Since 1998

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    I'd be going for the Dead Fish and A Pelican episode :) Love that one - and when he confronts Rebecca. There are so many good ones. He's great around the time Pam has her accident as well and when we see his frustration and pain. I could go on.
     
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  10. Sarah

    Sarah Super Moderator Staff Member Original Member Since 1998

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    Well...one of my radiators has started leaking oil......it's a sign.
     
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  11. JR Ewing Fan

    JR Ewing Fan Soap Chat Member

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    I don't even remember. It's had to have been over a decade though.
    He always said his favorite scene was the one where he confronted Rebecca. I agree it was a great scene.
     
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  12. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Season One for me. Election is one of my favourite Dallas episodes full stop, largely because of Ken's performance.

    Whatever one thinks about Kidnapped as an episode, Cliff was the best thing in it. The scenes with him awkwardly interacting with the Ewings on their home territory were great TV. We saw an assertive, decisive side to Cliff that worked well and there was also that lovely, brief scene on the porch with Ellie.

    And that's without even getting to the affair with Sue Ellen.
     
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  13. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Star

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    Hard to pick just one. He's really good and edgy in the first couple of seasons. Then he's brilliantly volatile -- scarily angry one minute, hilariously incompetent the next -- during the Gold Canyon 340 story of Season 6. His reaction to Mark Graison coming back from the dead in Season 8 is a gem, and I love how terrifically evil he is in New DALLAS. When he's rotting in that Mexican jail, it's like watching the soap equivalent of Marlon Brando in APOCALYPSE NOW.
     
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  14. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Star

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  15. Adamski

    Adamski Soap Chat Member

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    Lots of great suggestions for Cliff's best moments, thanks so much! Does anyone know the actual episode name/number where Cliff confronts Rebecca, please? I've found the scene on YouTube but would rather dig out my DVDs and watch it within the context of the whole episode. Thanks again.
     
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  16. Sarah

    Sarah Super Moderator Staff Member Original Member Since 1998

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    Season 4...Episode 22 is where he meets her @Adamski :)
     
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  17. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    Ken Kercheval was an excellent actor and I can't imagine anyone else playing the role of Cliff Barnes. From all accounts here, in person he was a very nice guy. so for Cliff Barnes to be so easy to hate says a lot about his ability. I loved the Ewing family. Cliff wanted to destroy the Ewings so the battle lines were clearly drawn from the beginning. It takes a great antagonist to bring out he best from the hero, and Ken Kercheval and Larry Hagman brought out the best in each other. It's like any sports feud - if the fans weren't booing one guy so much, they wouldn't be cheering for his opponent so much.

    It was sometime fairly late in the series when Cliff admitted to Pam that the real reason he hated the Ewings so much is because they were a strong, successful family that bonded together in a crisis but the Barnes family wasn't like that. Cliff envied what the Ewings had and it made him bitter. It's like that old adage: You like to hear somebody else is doing well but you don't want to hear they're doing better than you.

    The Barnes Ewing feud was the best feud I've ever seen in a TV drama and Ken Kercheval played his part very well. No matter how badly he got beaten by JR he would not go away. Toni posted an interview with Ken Kercheval where he said this: "From the very beginning, Cliff would always get defeated by J.R.," he once said. "Finally, I went to [writer-producer] Leonard Katzman and said, 'I'm not sure exactly how to play this, because for this guy to keep coming back again and again, he'd have to have gotten a lobotomy.'

    That's an excellent point and still somehow Ken Kercheval found a way to be believable in that role. It says a lot about his ability as an actor.

    I don't know what Ken Kercheval died from but I hope his death was relatively painless and that he wasn't suffering. R.I.P. Ken Kercheval
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
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  18. thomaswak

    thomaswak Soap Chat Active Member

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    May he rest in peace. My thoughts for his family.

    His death is a reminder that life and time are precious. No time for hate, fights and greed. We all need love, creativity and generosity. Giving and receiving.
     
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  19. Matthew Blaisdel

    Matthew Blaisdel Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    Many news and celeb magazines on TV honor him today here in Germany, i did not expect that. And although it brings tears to my eyes every time again, i do appreciate every single one of those so much! He was truly loved very much by his audience! I just hope he knew that. :kiss:
     
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  20. Karin Schill

    Karin Schill Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I am glad to hear that Ken is getting the recognition by the media that he deserves. :)
    The Swedish press is reporting about this too today.

    I agree that Ken was a great actor and that the Ewing-Barnes fued was central to the drama but I didn't really take sides in it since I loved all the characters.
    So I don't know about the rest of you but I never hated Cliff Barnes. I think that was the beauty of Dallas, that all the original characters were so complex that they seemed human somehow and therefore we could like them despite their flaws since we understood them.

    Then as for great Cliff episodes. There were a few in the later seasons too. The romantic in me loved the episodes when Afton came back and he didn't go on that business trip to Europe since he had realized that Afton was his true love and wanted to win her back. Then there was the tanker accident episodes when Cliff quit Ewing Oil and went back to his vengeful ways.

    Really early on there was also the Paternity Suit episode which did have most reprecussion on JR/SE but the whole who is the daddy drama was started by Cliff who was convinced that John Ross was his.

    Also dream season Cliff was really likable. It was the only time when Cliff was happily married on the show. But like others have said there were many great episodes to chose from.
     
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