• Dans cette interview Charlène Tilton raconte qu'enfant elle passait tous les jours devant les grilles des studios de la Paramount afin de voir qui y entrait.Ce qu'elle avait envie de faire,c'était de passer cette fameuse porte et rentrer à l'intérieur des studios .                                                                                                                     A 17 ans,elle eut la chance de lire le script concernant le rôle de Lucy Ewing,une petite femme sexy et manipulatrice.Elle fut très emballée par le projet et y vit une formidable opportunité. Elle interpréta Lucy Ewing pendant 11ans.

    En 1982,elle épousa un chanteur de country,Johnny Lee ,et divorça 2 ans plus tard.Le couple eut une fille, Cherish.

    En 2001,Charlene entama une relation avec un photographe de cinéma, Cheddy Hart.Le 23 décembre 2009,son compagnon lui dit qu'il ne se sentait pas bien et qu'il savait combien elle aimait Noël,mais qu'il avait bien peur qu'il allait  ruiner celui-ci !    Il mourut  à l'âge de 54 ans d'une crise cardiaque.                                             Après cela elle n'avait le goût à rien jusqu'à ce qu'une amie lui parle des acteurs pour l'autisme.Elle s'impliqua dans cette action qui aide des autistes à se socialiser davantage.

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  • Interview de Ted Shackelford pour le site Knotslanding.net


    Ted Shackelford: No-Nonsense Thespian

    Ted Shackelford Knots Landing

    If television had a royal family, Ted Shackelford would be a member. The family would be the Ewings and Ted Shackelford would be “the middle son,” Gary. Of course, the name Ewing is synonymous with Dallas and Knots Landing, and Ted was there for virtually all of it, originating on Dallas in 1979 and riding the horse that was Knots until its trot into the winner’s circle in 1993.

    Ted Shackelford eschews gossip and doesn’t much care for speculation. This Oklahoman cares mostly about doing his job – getting a take right, finding the motivation for an elusive emotion and sharing insights into how a troubled character can grow. He prefers working in film to theatre, loves Joan Van Ark and owes everything to being Gary. He has been reminiscing a bit lately; in an October segment with Van Ark for Soap Net’s “Soap Talk” and here in this exclusive interview, featuring questions from Ultimate Dallas and Knots Landing Net web members. Let the memories begin…

    Jordan Tate from France asks,

    “Hello Ted, Kind regards from France! You were my idol when I was a little girl, and I’m glad to ask you this question: Do you remember the first time you’ve been noticed by a producer, the first scene you shot, and your feeling at that moment? Have you always wanted to be an actor? Was it a dream coming true?”

    Ted Shackelford: I’ll answer the second part of that first. Always from about 18 or 19, which is always in a lot of ways. I did theatre in college. I can’t really recall the first time I was noticed by a producer but the first time I was on television was doing Daytime for Another World, which I started in December ’75 and went until December ’76. In January ’77 I went out to LA and have been here 26 years.

    KnotsNet: What did you do before Another World?

    Ted Shackelford: I did a couple of commercials. A lot of dinner theatre. Thirty years ago dinner theatre used to be much more of a going concern than it is now. You could just do dinner theatre and do fairly OK. That kept me going for a while.

    KnotsNet:Where did you do dinner theatre?

    Ted Shackelford: All over the Southwest mostly … Colorado, Texas, Arizona. I came to New York and got a job at the Carlyle. Do you know where that is?

    KnotsNet:I’ve heard of it; I don’t know exactly.

    Ted Shackelford: It’s on 76th and Madison and is probably the best hotel in New York. There’s the Café Carlyle where Bobby Short performs.

    KnotsNet:Oh right, right. Sometimes I forget that these nightclubs are attached to hotels.

    Ted Shackelford: Well I was the room clerk there starting in September ’72 and then went on to be the night manager. After Another World I came out to Los Angeles and did more television.

    Kyle Biggums/Abbylexis from Long Island asks

    “I am so excited Ted, you were my favorite male character on Knots Landing, Thank you for answering our question. I am a BIG BIG BIG FAN OF YOURS 1)At this forum we had a debate about your character. I described Gary as a naïve, lazy playboy who was in love with women, horses and cars and who matured as years went on. Do you agree or disagree?”

    Ted Shackelford: (Laughing) In that order, too. Yeah, basically (I’d agree). The guy was an alcoholic who ultimately got sober and matured. He may have acted out a lot but he ended up good. The thing with being on a series that runs that long is that the writers run out of things to do. What happens if you’re the guy who’s been on the show ten years and is highly paid but they have nothing for you to do is that they bring in other people, and you become a supporting character to those people. So that may explain why it took Gary so long to become mature. Then again, if he were mature too early I wouldn’t have a part to play.

    KnotsNet:Kyle also has a second part to that question: “There’s been a big talk about a potential affair with Pat Williams and Gary on the show, would you have liked it?”

    Ted Shackelford: It was in the air. I vaguely remember Lynne Moody and I going to see David Jacobs, who was the creator and executive producer of the show and talking about it, but nothing happened.

    KnotsNet:Do you think it was because of the—

    Ted Shackelford: Racial aspect? I couldn’t tell you. If it was, I doubt anyone would cop to it. But it probably wasn’t because of that because David Jacobs was very open to everything. So who knows?

    Shari from Clermont, FL asks

    “What, in your opinion, made Gary tick? Was it working the land, or was it the approval he so desperately wanted from his family?”

    Ted Shackelford: Gary was a classic angry guy, and he got hooked on the booze. I think he wanted approval from his family more but in all he was very excitable and passionate. A good person but got carried away with some things. (Laughing)

    Ulysses from Germany asks

    “During your first eight seasons on Knots Landing you had uncountable shirtless scenes (shirtless at the gym, shirtless at home, shirtless at ranch work, and so on…). But then you even went to bed with your shirt on. Was it your own decision to stop the \”barechested\” acting :-), or was it a decision of the producers? (BTW: I always admired you for your great shape!)”

    Ted Shackelford: (hearty laughter throughout the reading of the question) Oh, Ulysses. You know what? I have no idea about any of that. Who knows why they had me not wearing a shirt in one scene and a T-shirt in another? Probably I had a look they liked for a while and as I got fatter and older they stopped showing off my body. They never told me one way or the other. I remember the actor Dale Robertson said he quit acting when he got tired of having to hold his stomach in. I feel that way sometimes.

    KnotsNet:(Laughing) You’re not fat by any means. The Soap Talk segment proved that yesterday.

    Ted Shackelford: Well, thank you. But as for why I wore a shirt, why did they have Lisa Hartman in a bikini? It’s all about entertainment.

    KnotsNet:I noticed your reaction when I said Ulysses was from Germany. Do you go there?

    Ted Shackelford: I have German Shepherds that I train and have brought back to Germany. I love going there.

    KnotsNet:But do you live there at all? Some of the other Knots actors have said you lived in another country.

    Ted Shackelford: (Laughing) My wife is Danish and we go to Denmark a couple of times a year. I’d love if I could live part of the year there and hopefully we’ll do that at some point. But no, I’m still living in LA and haven’t dropped off the face of the earth.

    KnotsNet:I think it sounded more dramatic to people that you have left LA behind for the wilds of another country.

    Ted Shackelford: (Laughing) Maybe I should have never come back. Like Eddie and the Cruisers. (Pausing) Oh hold on a minute. (A 20-second pause) Sorry about that. We’re in the path of the Burbank Airport and between 10-11 Monday through Friday we get planes flying overhead. What’s the next question?

    Tatianna from Virginia asks

    “Did the cast know ahead of time which characters would become the bad guy? For example, when you were first introduced to Jill Bennett, did you have any idea in the beginning that she would turn into a psycho and try to kill the mother of your children? Why do some characters start out to be good people and end up being evil?”

    Ted Shackelford: Because the writers get bored and decide to. It’s done to drive the stories.

    KnotsNet:Did they originally plan that for Jill Bennett?

    Ted Shackelford: No, not at all. That was done to drive her story. Sometimes it works, like in that case, and sometimes it doesn’t. (With Jill) it may have been done too quickly.

    KnotsNet:Was that because they wanted to kill her off?

    Ted Shackelford: No, I don’t think so. They just thought it would be a good story.

    Danny James from Essex, England – UK asks

    “Hi Ted, I live in England and loved you on both Dallas and Knots, would like to know if you have ever done or wanted to do any theatre work? We would love for you to come to our country for a visit sometime! Do you have any plans to? Thanks, Dan.”

    Ted Shackelford: Actually, I go there a lot. I was just there three weeks ago. My wife is a publicist and I was tagging along with her. I was probably there seven or eight days. And I worked there from ’94 to ’95 doing (the TV series) Space Precinct. I try to get back there as often as I can.

    KnotsNet:It’s amazing how big the following is for Knots Landing in Britain. I never expected it.

    Ted Shackelford: You think it’s big there? Try France. I was in a Paris for four or five days and I couldn’t believe the reaction I got there. It was just bizarre; people recognizing me left and right. In France it’s called Cote Quest, or “The West Coast” and in Germany it’s Unter der Sonne Kaliforniens or “Under the California Sun.” Some things don’t translate I guess.

    Krista from Orlando, FL asks

    “How did you feel about the dream season on Dallas and how it affected Knots Landing’s season?”

    Ted Shackelford: It erased most of Knots I think. It really was very weird and made no sense for us. I guess it was kind of like time travel. Once you go back in time if you touch anything, everything gets altered. Or better yet, like a sweater. If you pull that one thread the whole things unravels. That’s what happened with the dream season.

    KnotsNet:Not the least that Gary’s kids were named Bobby and Betsy in memory of Bobby’s death, which was wiped clean.

    Ted Shackelford: It was bizarre, that’s for sure.

    Danny James from Essex, England – UK also asks

    “Hi Ted, I would like to say well done on “Miracle Dogs” – I watched the movie when it premiered here on Sky TV a few months back, and I thought it was a wonderful film, it was a great family film and I really enjoyed it. It was great seeing you in the film, alongside others, especially Rue McClanahan. I loved the two movies in which you did with Rue entitled Father of the bride, and also the follow up – Mother of the bride, I want to ask you what was it like working with Rue again, and did you enjoy filming Miracle Dogs?”

    Ted Shackelford: I loved doing it. Rue’s another fellow Oklahoman and just a hell of an actress. I’ve worked with her before and she’s great. And the movie was great to film. We shot in Cleveland for about a month and the people were fabulous. It was just a great time.

    KnotsNet:Yeah it was on Animal Planet just a few months ago.

    Ted Shackelford: Is that where it was? I didn’t know when it was on. And obviously Sky TV over there.

    Sangeeta Joshi from Silver Spring, MD asks

    “I’ve just recently started watching KL on Soap Net, and noticed that in all the years that this show ran, the character of Lucy, who was Gary and Val’s daughter, was barely acknowledged or even talked about. Why was that?”

    Ted Shackelford: Well with Lucy … it probably gets too complicated. Having her in there would just be glomming up the story. There really wasn’t talk about bringing her over from Dallas. You have to remember that these were two very separate shows. We shot on the same lot but we had separate sound stages and everything else. In a case like Lucy’s, it’s not about show art, it’s show business. The story would’ve gotten bogged down.

    Alice McCarthy from Ireland asks

    “What was your favorite storyline in Knots Landing?”

    Ted Shackelford: It had to be the fourth or fifth year when Gary starts drinking again and Ciji gets killed. Gary may be responsible and then Ciji comes back seemingly as another woman and Donna’s behind the whole thing. It was a great story.

    KnotsNet:What made it so great?

    Ted Shackelford: It was unpredictable, good storytelling that brought you back each week. You really didn’t know what was going to happen with it. And I had a lot to play, which is what you want as an actor. Those were my best moments.

    Joshua Slow from Los Angeles asks

    “A lot of people on the forum think season thirteen was the most disappointing of all. Then again, the new writers gave you a big storyline with the whole Tidal Energy tale. But do you feel that in the process they ending up assaulting the integrity of the Gary Ewing character?

    I mean, wasn’t he worth over 100 million dollars or something? And after all he’d already gone through–alcoholism, Abby and Jill Bennett — it’s really sad to think he lost it all and even worked as a hand on his own ranch!!!”

    Ted Shackelford: I think we would all agree with that. It was just bad. That was our lost season.

    KnotsNet:What happened?

    Ted Shackelford: Who knows? It just didn’t work and the thing is, it was obvious from the beginning. I remember thinking that — “This is not going to work.” The show didn’t make sense and (the writers) didn’t maintain the character of the show.

    KnotsNet:Yeah Gary inherited 10% of Ewing Oil, which was a billion dollar company. It’s just not possible that he sunk all that money on harvesting the energy of the sea!

    Ted Shackelford: I know. It possibly could have made more sense if they focused more on why Gary did this, and what was inside Gary that could have caused him to throw all this money away, but they didn’t. They even shut the production down at one point.

    KnotsNet:What was that like?

    Ted Shackelford: It was in November or December of that year; don’t remember exactly.

    KnotsNet:I’ll be nerdy and say November 20, 1991 to be exact. Right before Thanksgiving.

    Ted Shackelford: So it was in November. Well, we were shooting in Hidden Valley, out in Westlake and I show up to the ranch and one of the (production people) says, “So, we’re going to shut down production.” Just like that. (Laughs).

    KnotsNet:Were you annoyed?

    Ted Shackelford: No! I said, “Thank you!” I think that was the reaction of everyone. We were saying, “Ah Jesus, what are we playing here?” So when they shut down I had an excuse to go to Germany. I think we were off about five or six weeks and David Jacobs fixed the show. We took a wrong turn that year.

    Chris Sumner Matheson from San Antonio, Texas asks

    “I see that you were in the Cruel Intentions TV series, Manchester Prep, which was deemed too hot for TV. When they edited into a movie, you were no longer in it. I was wondering what your part would have been had the show aired.”

    Ted Shackelford: I was the father of someone. It was one of the weirdest experiences of my life. I remember we filmed at USC and I did one day on it. Apparently someone got hold of one of the dailies and they showed it on E! When Rupert Murdoch saw it he said, “No way am I going to run this.” So it never made it on the air. I guess this happened because, well I really shouldn’t say I guess…

    KnotsNet:Was it because of it looked like underage porn or something?

    Ted Shackelford: Yeah, I think there was a shot of a 16-year-old having an orgasm and that didn’t sit well with the conservative element at Fox. Of course you don’t really think of Fox as being a very conservative network but that was the ostensible reason. The decision as to why a show makes it has to do with politics and money. So I’m not sure exactly what happened in this case but it was bizarre.

    Pauline from Glasgow, Scotland asks

    “Hi Ted, What was it like working on the Dallas set? Can you tell us stories about the Dallas actors?”

    Ted Shackelford: I really wasn’t on the Dallas set much. I did three or four episodes so I didn’t see too much. I’d say it was a little bit different of a set. It was more relaxed. For example, they might finish at 5:30 in the afternoon where we would go until 10 at night. It just had a different feel.

    KnotsNet:Did you see any evidence of the infamous practical joking on the Dallas set?

    Ted Shackelford: I heard about it but never really saw it. People thought we were tight with them (Dallas cast) but they were two separate shows and they did their own thing.

    KnotsNet:Were you ever competing with Dallas?

    Ted Shackelford: Oh, no. There was no need for competition when at the end of the day we were all getting paid to do our work.

    Doug Buffington from Tulsa, OK asks

    “I have two questions. First, where is the original Southfork from the mini series (the first five episodes) located?”

    Ted Shackelford: That’s where I’m from!

    KnotsNet:I knew you’d like it.

    Ted Shackelford: I’m not sure if the original Southfork was the one that became the place we know, the museum. I know that the one that I shot an episode at was in El Campo, which was outside Dallas but today might have gotten absorbed into Dallas.

    KnotsNet:Doug also asks “What high school did you go to in Tulsa?”

    Ted Shackelford: Tulsa Edison High School and I graduated in 1964. I bet you weren’t even born then.

    KnotsNet:No, can’t say that I was.

    Ted Shackelford: (Laughing) Oh, boy, I feel old. When were you born?

    KnotsNet:Well it’s funny because I was born in New York in November 1972, but I didn’t want to interrupt before when you said that you were at the Carlyle.

    Ted Shackelford: Yeah I got to New York in June or July of ’72, so that’s funny. Which hospital were you born at?

    KnotsNet:Flower Fifth Avenue.

    Ted Shackelford: Where was that? Obviously on 5th but where?

    KnotsNet:105th and 5th.

    Ted Shackelford: Wow I was so close, only about a mile away. I was probably working the night you were born. (Laughs more).

    KnotsNet:Small world, yes. Where did you go to college?

    Ted Shackelford: I went to the Westminster College for Men in Missouri, which is what it was called back then, and transferred to the University of Denver where I ultimately got my degree.

    Jock Ewing from Dallas asks

    “What the devil’s going on around here?”

    Ted Shackelford: What?

    KnotsNet:Oh look, Jock Ewing’s here!

    Ted Shackelford: Aha. I guess that goes back to the idea of “What does it all mean?”

    KnotsNet:I just saw Jock Ewing pop up into the mix and had to ask. Forgive the interruption. He was Gary’s father after all.

    Ted Shackelford: (Laughing) It’s fine.

    Mark Washington from Maple Heights asks

    “Gary was different from most male leads on soaps, he was weak and a little dumb, it did make him unique and fun to watch but did you ever wish they would have made Gary smarter and maybe have wised up to Abby’s ways sooner?”

    Ted Shackelford: I don’t think Gary was weak. He was an alcoholic and that made him a people pleaser. But yeah, he should have wised up to Abby sooner. He was not swift when it came to women. Not swift at all.

    Ashley from North Carolina asks

    “Hi Ted! What, in your opinion, was the most intriguing thing about the character of Gary Ewing? Thank you.”

    Ted Shackelford: In the first four or five years he was a lot more complicated. There was a lot more to play. What was intriguing was the aspect of alcoholism and his anger. That wasn’t explored after a while. It might have had to do with Knots being a nighttime soap, as opposed to a daytime show.

    KnotsNet:How so?

    Ted Shackelford: Nighttime has a certain verisimilitude that daytime doesn’t seem to have. On daytime they continue to revisit a lot of the same stuff while nighttime does move on and show development.

    KnotsNet:On nighttime they have to be quicker because it’s only once a week, too.

    Ted Shackelford: Right. They have to compress everything while on daytime you can stretch it out. I think nighttime is more about the story and the character development.

    KnotsNet:While we’re on the subject of character development and writing, both Joan Van Ark and John Pleshette told me that they didn’t approve of the way Lynn Marie Latham and Bernard Lechowick took the show in the later years. What’s your opinion of that?

    Ted Shackelford: There are two different approaches on a show like Knots. By the time Bernie and Lynn came on the characters were already established. In the first few years of any series you have to spend time creating characters. Bernie and Lynn were very good at driving the story and they did terrific work. I really enjoyed working with them. I can remember going to Bernie with a script and saying, “That’s not something Gary would say,” and he’d say, “You’re right,” and change it right in front of me. I had a good working relationship with them.

    KnotsNet:You probably had a good relationship with everybody. David Jacobs had said that you were the “saint of Knots Landing.” That you always showed up on time, you always knew your lines, and always did a good job. Did you know he thought that about you?

    Ted Shackelford: No, I didn’t and that’s very kind of him. It took me a while to get to that point. There was a time where I wasn’t a saint and I was a devil. I was going through a divorce and I acted out a bit. So that’s a very nice compliment. You know, it was a great job. And after a while I realized, who am I not to enjoy it? They don’t ask you to do much, to be truthful, they really don’t. We’re all very lucky and very fortunate. You can almost equate it with being a professional athlete. It was a treat, a gift and everything else.

    Chris Sumner Matheson from San Antonio, TX also asks

    “One of the best new characters in the later years of Knots Landing was Jill Bennett. I thought Jill and Gary were dynamite together, and even though “The Perfect Crime” was excellent, I would have loved to see Teri Austin stay on as a twin or look alike. What do you think? Did you enjoy working with Teri?”

    Ted Shackelford: I did enjoy working with Teri. But they knew it wasn’t going to work with Teri as a twin or look alike since they already did it before.

    KnotsNet:Were they ever considering her to be Sally’s Friend?

    Ted Shackelford: No. Lar (Park Lincoln) was Sally’s Friend and they were going to use her as Amanda but they thought she was too young for me, so they chose Penny (Peyser) instead. But I don’t think Teri was even on the show at that point.

    Joshua Slow from Los Angeles also asks

    “I can recall some very powerful scenes between you and Joan van Ark. For example, there’s a scene on the beach where Val is near tears and Gary is laughing boisterously. Soon they’re BOTH laughing uproariously. This sort of chemisty is very special. But often it comes with a price. I have heard, for example, that on the set of KRAMER VS. KRAMER, Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep fought a lot because they were both perfectionists. I get the vibe that JvA is also rather a perfectionist. I’ve heard that she always wanted retakes. In your opinion, was JvA ever difficult to work with? Come on, Ted, be honest, LOL.”

    Ted Shackelford: (Laughing) Who asked that?

    KnotsNet:Joshua, the one who asked the Tidal Energy question.

    Ted Shackelford: Oh, OK. Well, I personally never found Joan difficult to work with. If I could work with Joan Van Ark every day for the rest of my life I would. I was honored that Joan said in the interview with you that she thought I was her soulmate. We had a connection like we were soulmates. It was just so easy working with her. She was a perfectionist, yes, but I’m not so it worked perfectly. (Laughs) She knew exactly what she wanted and how to get there. Television is so dictated by time constraints that you have to make quick decisions and go with them. Joan was able to do that.

    KnotsNet:It sounded like the shooting schedule on Knots was so quick that it was like improv.

    Ted Shackelford: It was like improv, you’re right. You really had to make fast decisions. I prefer it, though. I’m a very lazy actor; I just like to get into it and do it. It might be better for my craft if I wasn’t so instinctive.

    KnotsNet:But you like the spontaneity of it better.

    Ted Shackelford: I like the spontaneity. Theater to me is acting but it’s more real on film. When you’re shooting there’s just something very personal; it’s just you and the camera.

    KnotsNet:Wouldn’t the “theatre elite” say that theatre is the more legitimate medium, and that it’s more real because you’re feeding off a live audience?

    Ted Shackelford: You do have the intensity of the audience and that is very important while on film it’s all about the moment and there is no audience.

    KnotsNet:Did you really feel there wasn’t an audience? Didn’t people come up to you when the show was running?

    Ted Shackelford: They did at times, but it’s delayed. They’re not there when the show is shot so the instant response is not there.

    KnotsNet:I would bet you didn’t watch the show when it was on then. Michele Lee sounded like as much of a fan as she was a star of the show while Joan Van Ark occasionally watched the dailies but not Thursdays at 10.

    Ted Shackelford: I watched the show in the first few years but then I stopped. I can see why Joan said that. It’s a totally different experience shooting the scene and watching it when it’s on. I hardly ever watch myself anymore. I act for the reality, for the moment, and most of all I do it for the process. Although I did Love Letters with Mary Frann and then Joan for a week and that was pretty real, I must admit. The emotions were there. (Pausing) That was a meandering answer.

    KnotsNet:That was a great response. If that was meandering, then please meander more. I don’t like the kind of one-line responses you get at press conferences that say nothing.

    Ted Shackelford: The reason that people say one line at junkets is that they’ve heard the same question 37 times. You get bored out of your mind. In a way, that’s like doing a play. You have to do it eight times a week, saying the same lines over and over again.

    KnotsNet:And you know, I just thought of something. With TV, especially what you did on Knots Landing, you never did the same thing twice. Whether you realized it or not, you took a 14-year journey as Gary Ewing. So no wonder you thought of it as more real than doing theater because it was. You created a character as a young man and followed him to be a middle-aged man.

    Ted Shackelford: That’s true, I never thought of that. When I started I was 33 and finished when I was 46, almost 47. Gary matured and inevitably grew up.

    KnotsNet:That kind of journey is something only a handful of people could talk about. We watched you develop over 14 years and we watched the rest of the core cast age as well. People would still be watching you in your 50s.

    Ted Shackelford: I think they would too. One of the things I was so glad that happened to me on Knots was that I learned to relax. Through the familiarity of doing it for years you learned to concentrate on what the scene is and your partner. On stage you can’t do that.

    Greg asks

    “Ted– I believe I remember you saying on Lifetime’s Intimate Portrait of Lisa Hartman-Black that the scene where Gary first saw Cathy roll the serving tray into the honeymoon sweet just after Gary married Abby was a remarkable scene because of all the emotion in it. I agree. I was wondering did you enjoy the Ciji/Cathy storyline? To me, it stands out as a great era on “Knots Landing.” Thanks!”

    Ted Shackelford: I remember that scene vividly – it was great! When we shot it, it gave me chills. Yeah, I knew what was going to happen, I read the script but still, there’s Ciji – holy shit! Gary was stunned, stunned. It was fabulous.

    KnotsNet:What were some other great scenes you remember?

    Ted Shackelford: Scenes when Gary starts drinking. One time when Gary gets drunk and Gary and Val have a huge argument. It was just a knock down kind of fight early on. Also when Val is going to have a colostomy and Gary freaks, he can’t handle it. He breaks down on the phone talking to Miss Ellie. It was a terrific scene. We tried to do it in one take, for obvious reasons, but wound up doing it in two. Another time when Joan’s dies supposedly and Gary has to tell the twins. That was tough emotionally to do … anytime you have to cry it goes somewhere that you don’t want to go. Whatever emotional trick you need to do, you do it. Everybody has a process and they get there, and yeah, it’s your job, but it’s not a usual thing to be doing.

    KnotsNet:But didn’t you know that Val was going to be brought back at the end of the season so she wasn’t really dead?

    Ted Shackelford: No she was gone. Off the show. We thought the character was really dead.

    Seaviewer from Australia asks

    “Ted, there’s been a lot of discussion here about your and David Ackroyd’s interpretations of Gary Ewing. Have you seen his episodes and, if so, did it influence your portrayal?”

    Ted Shackelford: I did see the episodes early on but it didn’t influence me. We worked from our scripts and these were two different performances.

    Chris from Winston-Salem, NC asks

    “Hi Ted, I actually learned a LOT about alcoholism and how it destroys you, thanks to your work on KL. It made me rethink a lot about my own behavior. I know this is rather personal… but did you have to do a lot of research for those episodes… or were you relying on personal (not necessarily yours) experience?”

    Ted Shackelford: Anytime you have to play any emotion like that you have to go get it. So I just tried to tap into what Gary would have been feeling. Some things you have to research but not that. All the research in the world can’t get to that emotion.

    Alex Wade from Detroit asks

    “Much was made in the beginning of Gary’s alcoholism, and it was handled with great honesty -especially the relapses and recovery. But what the hell was Gary doing for all those years he was drinking himself into oblivion and separated from Valene? Would you have liked the writers to explore Gary’s lost years in more detail, i.e. you could have had a bastard child appear from nowhere or a barfly wife whom you never legally divorced.”

    Ted Shackelford: (sustained, Gary-like, from the belly laughter) Those things aren’t relevant. It could be an interesting parlor game but I have no idea. I’m not a writer; I don’t have an objective eye. So it’s not for me to speculate about what happened to Gary before.

    KnotsNet:But wouldn’t it have been fun to know through flashbacks, like they did with the other characters?

    Ted Shackelford: Probably. But I just stick to acting, because I know I can do that. I have no interest in writing, directing or producing.

    KnotsNet:A bunch of the actors did other things on Knots Landing, but you never wanted to?

    Ted Shackelford: I never had that desire. And besides, all that other work is grownup work anyway.

    KnotsNet:So I should ask the obligatory, can’t-end-the-interview-without-it question. Is there going to be a reunion?

    Ted Shackelford: Nothing’s planned. But that could change. It all depends on the demographics and if there are enough viewers out there, money, politics, lots of things.

    KnotsNet:I don’t know if a full-scale reunion movie would be viable so much as a 25th anniversary retrospective with the cast involved. But either option would be great. Would you participate if they did something?

    Ted Shackelford: It hasn’t been 25 years, has it? (Pausing) Yes it started in ’79, so that’s ’04, wow it has! That’s amazing. Of course I’d do it! Knots Landing is the best thing that ever happened to me. I’d do it any time. Everything I have in life comes from Knots Landing. And after working on other shows, we look like a how-to manual to do television.

    KnotsNet:On that note, thanks Ted for answering our questions.

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  • Michele Le parle de sa participation dans la pièce "Wicked" et de sa carrière au théâtre,au cinéma et à la télévision.

    Michele LeeMichele LeeMichele Lee

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    Interview donnée par Kim Lankford en février 2015



    By Art Swift

    Kim LankfordKim Lankford now runs a successful horse business in Colorado. She also is skilled at Pilates and healing methods. But once upon a time she was original cast member Ginger Ward on “Knots Landing.” We discussed how she came to that point and reminisced about her years in Seaview Circle, married to Kenny (James Houghton). This interview took place February 7, 2005, and includes questions from members of Knots Landing Online.

    Joshua Slow from Northridge, California asks:
    I remember an early episode of KNOTS LANDING called "Constant Companion." It was well-penned and dealt with the controversial subjects of abortion and Vietnam. The subtext of this chapter is rather haunting and, like much on KNOTS LANDING, withstands the test of time. Today as well war and reproductive rights are big issues. By contemporary standards, the storyline may be tame; but nonetheless, America's political landscape became more conservative in the '80s. Fellow KNOTS LANDING alum Alec Baldwin is an outspoken liberal, and Lisa Hartman married country singer Clint Black who is vocal on the other side of the fence. I'm not really asking you to take a big stand on anything here, but what is your personal reaction when you watch something like "Constant Companion" today? Do you feel differently about it when you see it today than you did when it was first filmed?

    Kim Lankford: I have not seen it in quite some time. I saw it after we had done it. I don’t know that I’ve seen it in reruns. I remember the episode very vividly. For Ginger, for my character at that time, I think that was the right choice, besides the fact it was written that way. It was her choice because she was so young. She was 16 in the flashbacks to when she had that abortion. And though it haunted her always, I think the mother (Priscilla Pointer) was really pushing her to have this abortion but she really loved this guy, this was the love of her life. So in there, there’s the constant companion to me, the haunting of that. Then of course he was killed in the service and that left the mother without a grandchild. And the mother just speculated all this stuff but then it came out that this was really true, that Ginger was haunted with those flashbacks.

    It was a really meaningful episode to me because of all that, because it dealt with those kinds of things and for Ginger even though she went ahead and had this abortion, it was her mother who made her have this. She went on to marry Kenny and have a life and a child but that was something that has haunted her all her life.

    The person’s question is interesting to me because we can allow these things to be haunting or they can be embracing, and I think as the years go by you would want to be able to forgive yourself for that choice. Today it’s still an interesting controversy because we’re still talking about abortion as an issue. To me it should be a woman’s right to choose, there where I, Kim, stands. But I don’t think these things are easy decision. Even now we’re still talking about Roe v. Wade, so it remains timely. We as a society are still conflicted on how to deal with this. Now I don’t believe in abortion for birth control. That would be something I don’t understand and it’s an interesting concept of when does life start. Is it at that inception, the moment that you find yourself pregnant? Some people would say yes; is it when the fetus starts to develop and grow, no. I can see that it is something that we’ll always be talking about.

    In the writer’s question, it’s an interesting dilemma. And I think it still holds up. How do I feel about it? I’m proud of the episode.

    Art Swift: Now, at the time, when it was being filmed, was there a sense that you were doing something controversial, or was it a settled matter?

    Kim Lankford: I think we were doing something controversial. I thought there was a lot of sensitivity on the set. If I’m not mistaken, in that episode a few people had flashbacks, but then again, maybe they didn’t. (Thinking) Maybe it was just Ginger. I know there was an episode where Laura had flashbacks. But for us, we knew we were doing things that weren’t done on television. Though there was no turmoil about it.

    AS: And apart from the abortion issue, I think this was the first time – the first and only time – that the show in its 14 years mentioned Vietnam. So what was the sense about that at the time?

    Kim Lankford: For me, it was really personal because I had known boys who had been to Vietnam and didn’t come back. Or my cousin had been to Vietnam but came back quite disturbed from it, then ultimately ended up killing himself. So for me it was a very important episode on many different levels. My cousin had died from Vietnam, killed himself, taken his life. I knew other boys who came back, not whole, mentally. I knew one boy who came back, minus a leg. These guys were good friends of mine so I thought it was really important and I was really proud.

    As the show got more evolved, after ten years, it started to become kind of caricatured. I wish we had always continued to tackle those kinds of issues. I think it’s important to have a platform like Knots Landing. It’s entertaining but it touches on issues – like Vietnam.

    AS: I thought that was pretty noble.

    Kim Lankford: Yes … there were many things that I thought were noble about Knots Landing. I loved the show and that’s what I loved doing about the show, bringing issues to people that we were really tackling.

    AS: What else about the show did you find noble?

    Kim Lankford: The characters were all noble. The characters and how we dealt with things. It got to its soap opera stuff. It did have its soap opera where you found people cheating on people and sleeping with other people, but before Sid died … I wonder what would have happened to Knots Landing had Sid not been killed. Because he and Karen had been the Mom and Dad of the cul de sac. They had been the ones we all had looked to, especially Kenny and Ginger, because they were the young couple. So we wanted to be like Sid and Karen. You wanted to be successful and wholesome and good like that. I think in that first season Sid tried to bring a sense of dignity to the auto shop and dignity to his work. And that kind of atoned for the cul de sac. I think people wanted to be better, and that was noble. Even though Richard was an un-noble person, he was always trying

    Another question from Joshua Slow:
    How did you manage to land the role of Ginger Ward on KNOTS LANDING at such a very young age? IMDB lists your birth date as June 14, 1962. If this is accurate, it means you were only about seventeen-years-old at the beginning of KL. You did look young, mind you, but were you really THAT young? You don't have to reveal your real age, lol; I know actors don't like to do this. But were you actually still a teenager in the pilot? "Constant Companion" indicated that Ginger's son would have been eight-years-old had he lived so this means Ginger was designed to be a tad older than 17. And did you have much previous experience as an actress before KL came along?

    Kim Lankford (laughing): I love that, I love that. Yes, actors don’t like to reveal their true age. No, Ginger was not 17 nor was I 17; I was a bit older than that.

    AS: Did you realize this was on the Internet Movie Database? I know you said you’re not online but on www.imdb.com it has you as that age.

    Kim Lankford: Well I love it. It can stay there. It’s a little short of it, but that’s all right. One of the guys in my band said, “Kim, you’re one of the only ones who continues to get younger.” (Laughs) I say, good, just keep them guessing. So yes, I was a bit older, Ginger was not 17, Ginger was 22 but I was not 22. It doesn’t matter how old I was. I had done a series before that called “Waverly Wonders.”

    AS: Oh, with Larry Hagman.

    Kim Lankford: No, not Larry Hagman.

    AS: Larry Hagman was supposed to do that and … I had this whole story. He was given the pilot of “Waverly Wonders” and “Dallas” and guess which one he chose?

    Kim Lankford: Really? Well Joe Namath wound up doing “Waverly Wonders” and so I had done that series and I we had done 22 of those with Joe. My character was in high school and it was about a boy’s basketball team and I was the only girl on the basketball team. So I had done that show and I had done the show “Malibu Beach” before Knots Landing.

    AS: OK, so you did all that, and where’d you grow up?

    Kim Lankford: California.

    AS: Where?

    Kim Lankford: Santa Monica, La Mriada and Placentia. And I lived in the Hollywood Hills.

    AS: And what about your parents? What did they do while you were growing up?

    Kim Lankford: My Mom was an opera singer, so she toured around the country singing, and my Dad was personnel director for Purex Corporation at that time.

    AS: Any brothers and sisters?

    Kim Lankford: I have one brother and one sister. Steve and Laurie, both younger.

    AS: Did you just sort of drift into acting or is it something you always wanted to do?

    Kim Lankford: It’s something I always wanted to do. When I was in high school I worked at the Birdcage Theater in Knott’s Berry Farm. So I was always acting. My Grandma was a Ziegfield Follies girl and a vaudevillian. She was very flamboyant growing up. In fact, I had done this episode of “Happy Days,” right after my Grandma had died. Oh, it was so sad. My Grandma’s name was Stacey, and you know how they had all those banners around for “Happy Days?”

    AS: Sure.

    Kim Lankford: They had a banner for Stacey, and I thought, “Oh my God, there’s my Grandma on the set.”

    Alex Wade of Ferndale, Michigan asks:
    In hindsight, one of the problems with Kenny and Ginger was that they became sort of a one trick pony. Kenny being bad, and Ginger harping on him. Were you aware of this at the time? Were you in any position to change the course of your storyline?

    Kim Lankford: Well … I think I was. What happened was that Jim Houghton went to the producers and he wanted off the show. I did not know that. He told me after the fact. I believe that if they had let Ginger go ahead and have her affair and maybe if I had pushed for that affair, that might have changed the course of Kenny and Ginger. I did not want to leave the show.

    AS: You did not want to leave but they felt like both Kenny and Ginger had to go.

    Kim Lankford: Kenny wanted to go and they just couldn’t find a way at that time to fix it for Ginger. Now, my thing with David Jacobs was, “But you’re the god, you can find a way. And it can work like this: they get divorced.” How timely is that? Kenny can do his thing and Ginger can be a struggling single Mom and what would that invite into the cul de sac? But for a time David Jacobs wanted to spin off a show of Kenny and Ginger, but Jim didn’t want to do that.

    AS: Why not?

    Kim Lankford: I don’t know. He wanted to write. He wrote a couple of episodes, and like I said, I found this out after he had done this and we had our words about that. He and his sister had written a couple of episodes of Knots Landing and just … Jim I don’t think ever felt the feeling that we feel as an actor that you just need to perform. You know he never did stage. I don’t think in his heart of hearts that he was a performer. So to me, that’s the underlying thing of it. I think he was more comfortable writing and expressing himself that way.

    I wanted to stay on the show and David Jacobs and Michael Filerman, they knew that.

    AS: And was there ever a chance that you could have returned?

    Kim Lankford: Well I did. I returned for the reunion shows. But I don’t know, then Knots Landing went such a crazy way, I didn’t come back to the show. I would come back if there was another reunion. There was a great scene in the reunion when I was talking to Karen and Val where I said if I had any idea what I was missing when I was away I would have divorced Kenny long ago. (Laughs)

    Another question from Alex is: Do you ever watch the reruns and laugh at how hip Kenny and Ginger were?

    Kim Lankford: Yes I have. I have laughed at us. We were so hip. We were so hip we were square. I haven’t seen them in some time. But a couple years ago one of my friends was over and he found a video and put it in and I thought, yeah, look at this, we were so hip. So trendy, so cool.

    Floyd Smoot asks
    Were you disappointed that, as an original cast member, her character was relegated to a more supporting role as the years went by.

    Kim Lankford: No, I always looked at it as we were an ensemble. I mean, obviously, you want to have the big script all the time but that’s not the way we worked nor the way we supported each other. I never thought of myself as less than everyone else.

    AS: I don’t mean less than as an actress. It just seems that as time went on obviously Sid’s death allowed Karen to have a big storyline and the Abby-Val-Gary triangle took precedence, so you didn’t see any dropoff in your screen time or anything like that?

    Kim Lankford: Well, sure. I was aware of the fact when I wasn’t on camera, sure I saw that. But it wasn’t until the episode before we were told we were going to be let go that I figured it all out. It was a shock to me and I’ll say I didn’t want to leave the show. I wanted to stay and saw plenty of ways to have stayed and to have been prominent in it. We were a spinoff of “Dallas” so we had to have the Ewing thing, with Abby. Could I have seen Ginger more intertwined in that? Sure, I could have.

    AS: How so?

    Kim Lankford: She and Abby could have gotten together and she and Abby could have been cohorts. Then Ginger would have had another dimension because she would have seen how scheming Abby was. So there are just ways if it had been written that way. But according to David Jacobs and Michael Filerman people didn’t want to see Ginger being bad.

    AS: Even though there were elements in it in your last season. She started to get very jealous, jealous of Ciji, and I thought that was very well done. Kenny was spending his time with Ciji and Ginger was given short shrift so to speak.

    Kim Lankford: Mmm hmmm.

    AS: So obviously, Kim could have played that. If they had set the groundwork slowly, as they often did, it would have made sense to see Ginger play bad.

    Kim Lankford: Of course! I could have learned so much from Abby. So much from Abby. And Laura for that matter. It could be like, look, this is what you need to do with Kenny. There could have been another dynamic that could have been really interesting.

    AS: When you said you didn’t know until the episode before last, and then you “knew,” could you explain a little more about that process?

    Kim Lankford: There’s just gut instincts that one gets. Jim had told me that he had asked to be off the show. By that time I knew that. And David Jacobs had us in for a meeting and said he was going to have us in to do a spinoff of Ginger and Kenny, but Jim didn’t want to do that. So there were some little subtle things like that all in the spring. And then Michael called me in for a meeting, when we were shooting an episode, the episode before my last one, which was the one where I said I was moving to Nashville to record an album. So when they called me in for that meeting I knew that was what they were going to say.

    AS: How did that feel?

    Kim Lankford: Terrible. Terrible. I didn’t want to leave the show. In my own life I was living with Warren Zevon and we had been breaking up, and that was the only sense of security that I had, was that show. And I don’t mean monetarily, but a place where I felt wanted. And so, when I didn’t feel wanted there, it was really devastating.

    AS: Did you try to convey any of this?

    Kim Lankford: Oh yeah. It took a long time for us to get that scene because I didn’t want to do it. The scene where I said I was leaving I didn’t want to. And David Jacobs was there and I told him, I don’t want to, I don’t and he said, I know. I mean, he was friendly.

    AS: Do you think someone higher up than him told him not to keep you?

    Kim Lankford: I don’t know. It could have been higher-ups. Maybe the network didn’t like me or like the character. What I did know is that they did not want the character to go bad. Because Abby was Abby but Ginger could have been a different kind of bad than Abby. Go figure the great minds behind television, but I don’t think anyone would tell you the truth anyway. Nobody likes to say, here, I’m responsible for this decision. Which is something in my life that really ticks me off. I mean, what do I care? I care, but say what is the truth and then we can move forward. All I know is that I really liked David and I really like Michael and I felt like they were allies for me and then I didn’t have anyone.

    AS: I understand. What did you do immediately after that?

    Kim Lankford: I don’t know exactly what I did. I think I went into a hole. I continued going out for things I didn’t get and I was upset. I don’t know. I did an episode of “The Hitchhiker.” That was the thing that spiraled me back up. I was working with Bo Hopkins. Then I went to London and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. I then did “Murphy’s Law” with George Segal and being a recurring character on that show. I think that lasted a season or two.

    Floyd also asks…
    It's been said that she's in Sam Peckinpah's "Convoy," but I haven't ever found her in that film. Can you ask her where she is in that movie?

    Kim Lankford: They cut it out. It would be hard to find! I wanted the reel. Sam was really sick after that and I wasn’t able to get the reel. It must be somewhere, in Peckinpah’s archives. But I played with Burt Young there on location for so long with them. It must have been a month or two. It was a great time but a bit of fiasco though because Sam was really sick and so there were problems on the set that way. It was great that I was there but disappointing I wasn’t in it.

    Joe from Yonkers, NY asks
    I didn't get a chance to see your brief stint on the Fox show “Point Pleasant;” however, will we see you in any future developments?

    Kim Lankford: I didn’t know I was on the show. Must be a look-alike or my evil twin.

    Joe also asks: Do you keep in touch with any of the knots landing circuit?

    Kim Lankford: Mostly Julie Harris is the one I’ve kept in touch with and since she’s had her stroke, we’ve been less in touch. We’re all friends; I just don’t see them as much. And Tonya Crowe. I haven’t talked to her since I moved to Colorado, but we’ve been friends.

    Seaviewer from Australia asks
    Hi Kim, I have a couple of questions about "Terror Among Us", the TV movie you made with Ted Shackelford. It's always intriguing when something like this happens. I was wondering, were you cast together or was it just coincidence? Is it difficult for two actors who have been working together on a series to now react to each other as two different characters?

    Kim Lankford: It was a coincidence. And no it wasn’t difficult. Because you are different characters. But yes, it was a coincidence, but it was a wonderful coincidence. We had more camaraderie behind the scenes, but on camera, he’s not Gary, nor was I Ginger, so it was very easy to keep them separated.

    AS: What role did you play in that?

    Kim Lankford: I was an airline attendant.

    Cosmic Steeple from Weatherford Texas asks,
    One of the highlights of the reunion movie for me was your cameo appearance. Were you surprised when they asked you to appear?

    Kim Lankford: I was thrilled they asked me to appear. As I said before, I thought it was very clever how they had Ginger divorce Kenny and visit the cul de sac. Being on the set again was just a fun time. My part didn’t take very long to do but getting to see everyone at once again was great.

    Cosmic Steeple also asks:
    Did you enjoy the musical aspect of the show.... getting to sing as well as act?

    Kim Lankford: I loved it. I didn’t really get to do it until my last year but it just became an extension of my personality. I did like a lot that my character left to become a professional singer. Ginger really entered another level by doing that.

    Sunshine Boy from London asks
    Donna Mills has said that she received a frosty welcome initially, and that season 2 was quite tense.... Could you comment on this? Were people a little threatened at the arrival of a new female character?

    Kim Lankford: Frosty? I’m not sure. I know I like Donna very much, we’re still friends, and that I liked her when she got to the set. The show really needed someone like her and thought we benefited a lot. Donna brought a lot of glamour and a different perspective to things.

    AS: Were there any other characters that might have been threatening to people? How did you feel about Lisa Hartman coming on as Ciji?

    Kim Lankford: Well … Lisa was brought on as the hip person on the show. They put a lot of effort into bringing her out and building her up. Yet Kenny and I were the contemporary couple. So yeah, it was threatening to have Lisa come onto the show. I got a little blindsided. But then again, as a fan I love the Ciji character. And I really adore Lisa. She’s so good; we used to pal around and go shopping and stuff. I just don’t see why any character had to preclude any other character.

    AS: And you thought that the contemporary slot was going to go to Ciji?

    Kim Lankford: It seemed that way at first, but then her character went in such an obviously bad direction that I didn’t feel like she was brought in to be as similar anymore.

    Sunshine Boy UK also asks: Constance McCashin! A firm fan favourite - was she as popular on set as off?

    Kim Lankford: Yes, everybody liked Constance. She had many friends. In fact, after I left the show she was very supportive. She was the first person I told about that meeting, and that I was going to leave the show. She was afraid that she was going to leave the show. And I told her no, it was I.

    AS: What an awful feeling.

    Kim Lankford: Terrible.

    AS: He also asked, what’s your favorite season? Would you say it was the first one, because it had “Constant Companion?”

    Kim Lankford: The first season was a glorious season. The first season had all those things, you don’t know if you’re going to get picked up. There’s a different dynamic to the first season. So I guess in the purest sense of Knots Landing, it was its first season. Maybe then it was my favorite season; I don’t know. But I loved all of the seasons. I loved the opportunity of being able to work, knowing you had the ability to fix things that didn’t go right in the next script. You were always working on your character. That is what’s wonderful about doing a series.

    Art Swift can be reached at aswift@arthurswift.com

    Copyright © 2005 Knots Landing Online.



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  • En 1988,Donna Mills,Joan Van Ark,Michele Lee,Kevin Dobson et Ted Shackelford étaient les invités du Donahue Show.

    Le Donahue Show aussi connu comme Donahue, était un talk-show à la télévision américaine, animé par Phil Donahue .De 1967 à 1970 ,l'émission  était diffusée sur une chaîne locale  à Dayton, Ohio, puis elle a été  diffusée à l'échelle nationale entre 1970 et 1996.En 2002,l'émission été classée vingt-neuvième sur la liste du magazine TV Guide des cinquante plus grandes émissions de télévision de tous les temps. 


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