‘Dallas’ cast, fans celebrates 40th anniversary

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PARKER, Texas — The theme song drew in millions of television viewers each week and it all began on this day 40 years ago.

The first episode of “Dallas” went on the air on April 2nd, 1978 and ran for 14 seasons.

Around 1,300 fans from 40 states and more than 30 countries came to Dallas for a 40th anniversary celebration, winding through corrals to take pictures with the stars of the show.

“We’ve watched them on telly all these years and it’s just going to be such a surreal moment,” said Hazel Oliver, a viewer from Scotland.

Fans also toured Southfork Ranch where the show’s exterior shots were filmed.

Steve Gentry has the Dallas theme song on his phone and came in from Louisiana with friend Nina Marie Williams.

“How big a fan are you?”

“As big as they come. As big as Texas!”

Meeting the stars was an emotional moment for Williams.

“I’m just awed I got to meet them in person.”

There’s also a museum here at Southfork and this is the highlight-the gun that shot J.R. The episode of “Dallas” that answered the question of who shot J.R. was the second most watched episode in American TV history, attracting more than 90 million viewers

The scene became one of the most talked about cliffhangers in television history, but the target is gone. Larry Hagman -who played J.R. – died in 2012.

J.R.’s brother Bobby was played by Patrick Duffy, a good friend who was there when Hagman died.

“I can’t think of Haggy without smiling. It’s not like I’m going, ‘oh I miss my friend.’ I think, oh, I remember that.”

Linda Gray played Sue Ellen Ewing. She was amazed by the fan support all these years later, but knows she was part of something special.

“It was a little bit of magic, I think a lot of magic. It was the cast, it was just magical casting. And the chemistry was just beyond.”

Memories that are still strong for fans – four decades later.


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