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Dallas Actors The introduction of Priscilla Presley

Discussion in 'Dallas - The Original Series' started by Sarah, Oct 25, 2016.

  1. Sarah

    Sarah Super Moderator EXP: 21 Years Staff Member

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    Was thinking about this last night as I was watching a programme about Elvis' last days.

    Dallas was doing fine in the ratings around the time to the best of my knowledge, so did the execs think that bringing Priscilla in was a bit of a coup? Would the public tune in to watch out of love for Elvis and her association with him? I know I have some press cuttings of that time that hinted at this but was that the idea - because she was married to him? What are your thoughts on her joining - did the fact she was married to Elvis draw viewers?
     
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  2. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat Enthusiast EXP: 12 Years

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    I think there were probably a group of viewers who thought "Wow, now we're going to get to see the woman Elvis married on Dallas! No we have even more reason to watch Dallas"!

    I think there were probably another, very different group of Dallas fans who had an extremely different reaction to Priscilla Presley becoming next in a long line of actresses playing the character. I imagine their reaction to be something along these lines: "Who is she? What did that (c word) ever do except screw Elvis? Elvis could've fucked lots of women. AND DID! Who is she"?

    Personally my reaction was "Wow, Elvis had a beautiful wife! Elvis married her a long time ago and she's still gorgeous! She seems to be a pretty fair actress as well. Wow, the girl they cast as her daughter looks just like her! What an amazing casting job. The resemblance between Jenna and Charlie is so cool!
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2016
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  3. Sarah

    Sarah Super Moderator EXP: 21 Years Staff Member

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    I thought everyone knew who she was lol

    Although it took me YEARS to figure out how to say Beaulieu.
     
  4. Karin Schill

    Karin Schill Super Moderator EXP: 15 Years Staff Member

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    When I first began watching Dallas my dad pointed out that "she is Elvis widow", so I'm sure the Elvis connection mattered to some viewers. Not to me however as my reply was. "Who's Elvis?" lol

    Later my dad convinced me to watch an Elvis documentary that Priscilla was hosting. So well for me it's the other way around. I began liking Elvis because of Priscilla. :)
     
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  5. Sarah

    Sarah Super Moderator EXP: 21 Years Staff Member

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    I remember my mum saying the same thing to me that she was Elvis' widow. I then spent twenty years trying to say Beau-lieu lol
     
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  6. Karin Schill

    Karin Schill Super Moderator EXP: 15 Years Staff Member

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    I can't pronounce that either. I think it's French but my French prounouncation has never been that good. When I first began studying French my teacher told me I had a Spanish accent on my French! lol
     
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  7. Angela Channing

    Angela Channing World Cup of Soaps Moderator EXP: 21 Years

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    When Priscilla joined Dallas I thought her acting was terrible, wooden and totally unconvincing, and it was clear to me that she only got the part because of the Elvis connection rather than her abilities as an actor.

    Until she appeared in Dallas she was always know as "Priscilla Presley" so it was surprising to me that she was billed as "Priscilla Beaulieu Presley". If she chose to use her maiden name as part of her surname then she should have been listed "Beaulieu Presley" and be first in the cast list, before Barbara Bel Geddes, when placed in alphabetical order in the opening credits. However, the show instead chose to list her as Presley, as if Beaulieu was a forename rather than a surname. I suspect this was to avoid the newcomer from heading the cast list.
     
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  8. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator EXP: 11 Years Staff Member

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    There was certainly some stunt casting involved, and I seem to remember her arrival was news in the UK (as was pretty much any Dallas-related news at the time). I'd say it was viewed as a coup.

    Whether it drew many more people in is another thing. As you said, it was a ratings success anyway. But it served as another reason for people to talk about Dallas.



    Is it pronounced the same as Beaulieu in the New Forest?

    I can manage that, but only because I asked a native when I was there.
     
  9. Sarah

    Sarah Super Moderator EXP: 21 Years Staff Member

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    :hair:PBP before BBG??! Can you imagine?:hair:
     
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  10. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator EXP: 11 Years Staff Member

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    I get what you're saying - lead with strength and all that.

    But isn't the point of the cast being billed "In alphabetical order" to stress that it's an ensemble and to prevent hierarchies? So it really shouldn't matter where Cilla or Babs are placed.

    Newcomer Alec Baldwin was in the titles of Knots Landing from his first episode and was billed first due to the alphabetical order. Very few people would have known who he was back then.
     
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  11. Don Howard

    Don Howard Soap Chat Fan

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    Y7.jpg Elvis' ex-wife or no, this is all the reason I needed to watch for her.
     
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  12. Barbara Fan

    Barbara Fan Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Priscilla Presley joining Dallas in 1983 was HUGE news here in UK and generated 100s of Dallas related articles and lots of publicity for the show
    Chris Atkins also joined at the same time and that was well covered also because of his Blue Lagoon (and bad perm) pics of wearing little

    Ah those were the days when Dallas dominated the tabloids on a daily basis! sadly long gone now! but Priscilla Presley is now the most written about cast member post Dallas
     
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  13. Vote4Cliff

    Vote4Cliff Soap Chat Member

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    Priscilla Presley was very pretty and I have nothing against her personally, but Jenna was like my all time most hated character. She just irked me. I feel she must have brainwashed poor Ray - otherwise what the hell was he thinking?? He could have done sooooo much better.

    But ya, I'm sure the network thought Elvis' wife would add some glamour and headlines.

    Just wish they would have given her some acting lessons. So painful to watch her on Dallas, truly out of her depth. Especially playing against Patrick Duffy and Steve Kanaly who are so natural in front of the camera.
     
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  14. Maryann

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    PBP got the part mainly because she was the former Mrs. Elvis Presley and she was pretty it sure wasn't for her acting talents because she had none!!!
     
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  15. Don Howard

    Don Howard Soap Chat Fan

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    This helped. Y7.jpg
     
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  16. Sarah

    Sarah Super Moderator EXP: 21 Years Staff Member

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    I think she was very good in The Naked Gun.
     
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  17. Don Howard

    Don Howard Soap Chat Fan

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    Yes, she was. In all three of them....which tells us the potential was there. Y7.jpg
     
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  18. Karin Schill

    Karin Schill Super Moderator EXP: 15 Years Staff Member

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    Actually I think Priscilla is a great actress. She can do comedy convincingly and I think comedy is harder than drama since you need to keep a straight face. Also I think she was just fine in the part of Jenna. True it was not the same interpretation of Jenna as Morgan Fairchild's but she made the part her own and I think Cilla's Jenna was likable.

    Also I was fortunate enough to see Priscilla live on stage in a panto two years ago and she was really funny. She own the stage in that performance. :)
     
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  19. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Mega Star EXP: 3 Years

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    I liked Priscilla's addition to Dallas. It may have helped I knew nothing of her since I had no knowledge she had been married to Elvis Presley. I also had no concern about her acting skills, in fact I think her lack of acting chops may have assisted the rebirth of Jenna. She had returned to Dallas and was quietly going about her business working at Billy Bob's and supporting her daughter Charlie. I could see Jenna's hesitation returning to Southfork and that Ewing family. Priscilla showed a certain shyness (after-all she was stepping onto the set of the most popular TV show of its day) which played well. I also believe she was a good fit opposite Victoria and her role of Pam. I'll never forget that look they shared as a fight broke out at the Oil Baron's Ball.

    It was only after the death of Bobby I don't think the writers knew what to do with the character and then after the dream season it appeared to go from bad to worse. I don't fault Priscilla at all in this circumstance, I blame the writers. Pairing her up with Ray was an odd fit also.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2016
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  20. Presea

    Presea Soap Chat Addict

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    I honestly had no problem with Priscilla Presley's acting and character in her first season. But once we reached season 8 (dvd), the dam broke, and she turned into a weepy, whiny disaster! It felt like it was always time to save Jenna or feel sorry for her! At that point, I would have welcomed her being killed off!
     
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