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Steve Kanaly and Susan Howard

Discussion in 'Dallas - The Original Series' started by Grangehill1, Nov 29, 2019 at 7:23 AM.

  1. Grangehill1

    Grangehill1 Soap Chat Member

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    Did they like each other? In almost all
    Interviews Steve seems to suggest he would have preferred Ray to stay single before it became ‘Donna and Ray’

    Yet from a viewer point of view Ray and Donna were amazing on screen together
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2019 at 7:39 AM
  2. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    I would have preferred Ray stay single as I don't think that Ray and Donna were well suited for each other at all. Ray wanted a family but Donna was too busy trying to prove she was the best at everything to bother with having kids - the thing that meant the most to Ray - until it was too late for her to, as she put it, have a child, without significant risks to the health of the child -that's why when she found out their kid had Downs syndrome, she refused to try to get pregnant again in season 9. Then when she had a kid from Ray the next season, she took it away from him - what he'd been waiting for all that time and she just took it away to Washington DC where he'd barely ever see it!
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2019 at 7:35 PM
  3. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Mega Star

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    I've never heard that they didn't like each other, but who can say for sure?

    I thought Ray and Donna were great together -- great when they were happy, and great when they were making each other miserable. They were probably the show's most believable couple.
     
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  4. Snarky's Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come

    Snarky's Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come Soap Chat Oracle

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    I've never heard the actors disliked each other -- I think they even did an NRA commercial together, the two dears.

    But Kanaly did say that as much as he and Susan enjoyed working together, that, as an actor, it was more interesting to play Ray when he and Donna weren't together because he received a wider variety of things to do. But when Donna & Ray were together and happy, as much as the audience liked their little corner of the show, they tended to morph into "the Ray-Donna character" with Donna doing most of the interesting crusading stuff and Ray chiming in in agreement while cleaning his boots in the living room.
     
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  5. Chris2

    Chris2 Soap Chat Active Member

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    I can understand Steve’s POV. Donna was the more dynamic character in that couple. But I never realized how much I liked them together until we got Ray and Jenna, instead. Susan Howard was a good performer and had great onscreen chemistry with a lot of people on that show. I think she is underrated by Dallas fans.
     
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  6. Billy Wall

    Billy Wall Soap Chat Active Member

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    Ray and Donna we’re actually at Southfork together not to long ago. It’s probably on YouTube.

    “Ray and Donna returns to Southfork.”
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2019 at 11:01 PM
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  7. Miss Texas 1967

    Miss Texas 1967 Soap Chat Fan

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    I'm doing a rewatch now and am mid-season 5 (DVD). When they're happy they're good, but to be honest it seems like a relationship of constant hard work and at times I wonder if they wouldn't be better broken up or not ever married, just sticking to a fling. Ray has either too little self confidence or too much and Donna honestly probably would have been happier married to someone like Sam or Dave Culver or later Andrew Dowling. I think they spend too much time trying to set aside their differences to ever actually be happy in their own skins.
     
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  8. Jimmy Todd

    Jimmy Todd Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    I always liked the "Lady and the Cowboy" angle of their relationship, and I wish their marriage had lasted. Instead of their differences working against them all the time, I would have liked to have seen them complement each other's personalities. That may sound boring, but good drama doesn't always have to come from couples fighting and breaking up. Ray and Donna versus JR would have produced some nice storylines.
     
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  9. Barbara Belle Of The Ball

    Barbara Belle Of The Ball Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Ray and Donna kept Dallas grounded and i thought they were great working together, and as JFL says happy or unhappy.
    I loved when their marriage went thro a rocky patch in S4 after Jocks death and Ray starts acting like he doesnt care about anything and has a fling with Bonnie and I loved their scenes together when Donna found out she was having a child with Downs syndrome then miscarries.
    When she says THIS BABY IS ALIVE, it made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and when he says DOWNS SYNDROME, SAY IT, it was so powerful.

    I hate how they parted - Donna off with a dull senator and Ray off to milk cows in Switzerland with Jenna, half way up a mountain
    believable- NOT!!
     
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  10. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Star

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    Thoroughly enjoyed the dynamic between Ray and Donna. Credit to the writers and actors for offering another power couple to root for. As if dealing with the tumultuous relationship between JR/Sue Ellen and Bobby/Pam wasn't enough drama....

    ...but then the writers/producers had to ruin it by shipping Donna off to Washington and offering Jenna to Ray as some kind of consolation prize. Poor Ray. As if dealing with JR's constant taunts he was a half blood Ewing he also had to accept the Ewing boys hand-me-downs. Although in the case of Pam she traded up.
     
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  11. Kenny Coyote

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    Ray didn't have a wide variety of things to do while married to Donna because whenever he branched out into a different area of work besides ranching, Donna usually would say something negative about it like : "Where's that cowboy I married"? Donna repeatedly did that and strongly implied: "Being a cowboy is your station in life so don't try to rise above it; don't grow into anything beyond that."

    Meanwhile Dona kept taking on different careers as she went into writing, or the oil business which made it even more condescending and gave off a vibe "Do as I say - not as I do"
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2019 at 9:36 PM
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  12. Snarky's Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come

    Snarky's Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come Soap Chat Oracle

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    But he did the same thing to her. Plus, he kept screwing his other ventures up, and she mostly didn't.
     
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  13. Miss Texas 1967

    Miss Texas 1967 Soap Chat Fan

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    I can understand why Ray would feel boxed in, but Donna did have a bit more of an understanding of the world he was trying to get into. Ray was street smart, but he wasn't particularly good at business and jumping into a multi million dollar deal on his own was just ludicrous and Donna knew it. She let him do what he wanted, she didn't mother him, but he was cocky and prideful and it came back to bite him. One deal with Jock and Punk where he mostly just sat around and listened was not an adequate amount of training to know when to go it alone. Jock was a good teacher but even JR and Bobby had more time to sit and observe before they broke out on their own.

    On Donna's end, she was smart and capable but she also knew when to stop and ask for help. Ray could learn a few things from her.
     
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  14. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    If that's the impression you got from the show, that Ray is basically a screw up, is it hard to see why Steve Kanaly would have preferred they'd taken his character in a different direction?
     
  15. stevew

    stevew Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    TNT Dallas never explored this but I find it interesting that Ray would have got his family, Charlie (I’m guessing he would have adopted) and Lucas and maybe they have another kid for a total of three, like Jock. And hopefully he’d developed some sort of relationship with Margret, a sort of Ray character among his three children. I like to think Ray was happy with Jenna, who became more like Miss Ellie, on a quite farm in Switzerland.
     
  16. Snarky's Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come

    Snarky's Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come Soap Chat Oracle

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    Ray wasn't a screw-up, but he displayed signs of self-destructiveness and didn't do all that well when he dove into new things head first -- even Steve said Ray was "much too vulnerable."
     
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  17. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    I don't think Ray was a screw up either; his problem was he lacked self-esteem. It was that lack of self-esteem (no doubt caused by spending his formative years being known as the son of the town drunk) that made him impulsive when it came to business decisions. He was so eager to prove himself - to show that he could do more than be a ranch foreman - that he couldn't wait for Jock and Punk to get back home to do another real-estate deal with them. He'd had two successful deals with them and had he waited for Punk Anderson to begin another real estate deal, I think he could have done well. Had he had a sold sense of self-esteem, he would have waited to learn more about the business before going into a deal on his own.

    Had Ray had a solid sense of self-esteem, then when he decided he wanted to try to do something new and Donna responded with "Where's that cowboy I married" Ray would have had the strength to say "I'll always be a cowboy but I'm not going to always just be a cowboy. You're just going to have to accept that I don't want to be limited to doing only one thing anymore than you'd like it."

    It would have been interesting to see some type of storyline regarding Ray's self-esteem, where with Punk Anderson in a bigger role as Ray's mentor, Ray gradually goes through a growing process where he learns to build his self-esteem by learning how to do new things that would interest him. Personal growth is a tough process because you're going to make mistakes along the way, and some of those mistakes are going to be painful. That's why a lot of people don't get involved in personal growth. But as Punk Anderson once said: "We all make mistakes - that's how we learn"!

    Watching Ray go through that type of personal development would have been great to watch and I think it would have been rewarding for Steve Kanaly to go through an inspiring type of long term storyline like that with an arc to it where he goes from being a man with low self-esteem to a man with much greater self-esteem. A nice benefit of that would be that his marriage to Donna improves because he now feels good enough about himself that he no longer has any fear that Donna is outshining him.

    It would have been better if Donna had encouraged him to take that approach to life as opposed to trying to always try to talk him into staying "that cowboy I married." Donna said it herself in one episode around the time when they were breaking up: "People grow or they die"! She was talking about herself of course, and her need to keep trying to new career paths. It reveals a lot about her character that she would say that and mean it, yet always try to keep Ray from taking chances by trying something new. Doesn't "People grow or they die" include Ray too? Instead of protecting him from making mistakes - and "protecting" him from learning and growing too, I would have liked to see her encourage Ray to do things he expressed an interest in doing and in doing so let him know that she believed he had great potential, instead of sending the message "You're a cowboy; that's your place - the only place you'll ever belong." That's a destructive message for her to send to Ray because there's a heavy implication: I can to anything I want but you're not very capable and you'll just get hurt if you venture outside "your place in life." Besides, it's almost guaranteed to result in impulsive, ultimately self-destructive behavior coming from his desperate need to prove himself and now, his desire to prove her wrong!

    Rather than send that destructive type of message, she should have been encouraging him, acknowledging that there are certain things he's got to do if he's going to feel good about himself. Besides, their marriage would always be troubled as long as Ray had a low self-opinion. The constructive way of reacting to Ray's interests in doing new things would have been to tell him that if he wants to try that, great, but try it in a way that's most likely to end up successfully. If he talks about doing something impulsive, emphasize the value in waiting to learn more from Punk Anderson first, that ambition is great, but rushing into things half-assed isn't ever a good idea. Emphasize that he has more to learn before he embarks on a solo venture and that's not a slight on his abilities; it's a sincere desire for him to succeed at whatever it is he wants to do.

    I think that if the show had taken Ray's character, as well as the dynamics of Ray and Donna's marriage, in that direction, that there is a great story there to be told which would have been very satisfying for the audience as well as giving Steve Kanaly something it seems he was looking for - new directions for his character and the challenge it would present him to portray Ray doing that and doing it convincingly.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019 at 3:33 PM
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  18. Jon Ewing Jr.

    Jon Ewing Jr. Soap Chat Active Member

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    Slight change of subject and I have mentioned it before but why in the name of all that is holy did they move Ray Krebbs over to Europe? That was the dumbest thing I had ever heard of. I cant imagine him living in Europe....
     
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  19. Kenny Coyote

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    That was so out of character for Ray to move to Europe! I guess he could have raised cattle there, they need them there too, but why not have him move to Colorado or Wyoming?

    Do you know if Steve Kanaly and Priscilla Presley were fired, or did they choose to leave? I wish they had stayed on Dallas.
     
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  20. Snarky's Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come

    Snarky's Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come Soap Chat Oracle

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    Lorimar, obtained disastrously by Telepictures in 1986, began cutting budgets and slashing casts. Steve and Priscilla were released.

    I would have been okay with Ray and Jenna's rebound relationship if only the show had admitted that that's what it was.
     
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