Dallas star Pat Colbert, who played Dora Mae in the hit series, has died aged 77.

She is said to have died on 23 June at her home in Compton, California. Her sister Tami Colbert confirmed the news to The Hollywood Reporter. The star had suffered three strokes over the past decade. A funeral is set take place on 20 July.

Colbert played the glamorous Oil Baron Club host and manager on the final eight seasons of the long-running soap. The series ran for 14 seasons from 1987 to 1991 and became a classic of American television.

The star also had credits in 1987 movie Leonard Part 6, alongside Bill Cosby. Colbert played Allison Parker in the spy comedy that follows a retired spy running a restaurant. She also acted in ABC series The Fall Guy in 1981.

“As the only recurring African-American character on the series, Dora Mae never had a storyline, because Dallas never tried to pretend to be anything more than the saga of the Ewing family, but she played the role with elegance and intelligence,” Shaun Chang of the movie and TV blog Hill Place told The Hollywood Reporter.

“The leading characters, and the show itself, treated her with respect and without any sense of condescension. Dallas had many recurring supporting characters who helped create a sense of community for a show set in a major city, and Dora Mae was part of the fabric of the series.”

Airing from 1978 to 1991, Dallas revolved around a wealthy Texas oil family, the Ewings, with JR (Larry Hagman) becoming the soap’s resident villain and break-out star.

Viewers were left astounded by the season three finale “A House Divided”, which saw JR shot in the chest by an unknown figure.

The season was left on a cliffhanger, with viewers forced to wait eight months before the show returned and gave them an answer. During that time, the question of “Who shot JR?” quickly became a national catchphrase in the US.

It was also not an easily solvable question. JR’s unsavoury behaviour – The New York Times once described him as “the nastiest man on television” – meant that any of the show’s characters could have had the motive to stage the attack.

The culprit was finally revealed during the fourth episode of season four, titled “Who Done It”. An estimated 83 million viewers tuned in to find out the answer after months of suspense, with the episode airing on 21 November 1980.

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2024-07-10T10:10:41Z dg43tfdfdgfd