Joan Van Ark’s metamorphosis from ‘Dallas’ and ‘Knots Landing’ actress to adoring mother and wife

Joan Van Ark rose to prominence as Valene Ewing on Dallas, but she is best known for her work on the spinoff series Knots Landing. The actress returned to the show for one episode in 2012, and she is now happily married to her high school love, with whom she has one kid.

Van Ark is now 78 years old, yet he is still going strong. This is all you need to know about Joan Van Ark’s life – and why she says Knots Landing’s demise was all her responsibility.

Joan Van Ark was born on June 16, 1943, as one of four children to Dorothy Jean Van Ark and Carroll Van Ark in New York City, New York. She and her family relocated to Boulder, Colorado when she was seven years old, and the change of scenery aided her much later in her career.

Joan Van Ark’s Childhood and Career

Despite the fact that her parents, her mother a writer and her father in public relations, had never worked in the film industry, Van Ark knew she wanted to be an actor from the outset.

Joan told We Love Soaps that when her high school football team’s quarterback did not invite her to prom, she realized she wanted to work in show business.

“That became more in Boulder. I tried out for a role in a play at the Community Playhouse. Joan Van Ark stated, “When the quarterback of the football team didn’t ask me to the prom, I said, ‘Screw boys,’ and went to audition for a play.”

“I didn’t get the part for which I auditioned, but I did get the flower girl and the bug bit.” As my audition, I performed a monologue, and you could hear a pin drop. They were so complimentary that I exclaimed, ‘Who needs guys?’

Van Ark met actress Julie Harris while interviewing her for a local newspaper in Denver, and the actress convinced her to pursue acting and theater at Yale theater School.

As a result, Van Ark became the school’s youngest scholarship recipient and only the second female student to attend. Julie Harris was the first woman to help Van Ark get into the school.

“She wrote to the dean and requested that we meet. “To make a long story short, my parents drove me to New Haven, Connecticut, to meet the dean, who gave me a scholarship,” she explained.”It was meant to be.”

Valene Ewing in ‘Dallas’ and ‘Knots Landing’

Van Ark started her professional career at the Minneapolis Guthrie Theater, where she performed in Moliere’s The Miser. In 1963, she traveled down to perform with the national touring company Barefoot in the Park after roughly a year at the Arena Stage in Washington DC, which led to her Broadway debut. After acting in The School for Wives, she was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play in 1971.

Joan Van Ark had began working in front of a screen rather than on stage at that moment. She appeared in TV shows such as Temperature’s Rising, Spider-Woman, and Days of Our Lives, as well as one episode of Bonanza.

Even though Joan Van Ark had plenty of opportunities, she was still seeking for her big break as the 1980s arrived. In 1978, she made many cameos on Dallas as Valene Ewing, which led to the role of a lifetime.

Knots Landing, a Dallas spinoff, debuted in 1979, with Joan Van Ark reprising her role as Valene Ewing. She appeared in 327 episodes, co-starring with Michele Lee as Karen and Ted Schakleford as Gary, and rose to fame.

Despite the fact that it was a Dallas spinoff about the wicked but affluent Ewing Clan, it was first pitched to CBS years prior.

However, the network desired a “big rich family” show, and Dallas was chosen. However, once the studio discovered how popular Dallas had become, Knots Landing became a major success, and after only one season, it got to the top 20 in TV ratings.

How Joan Van Ark almost missed out on her biggest role

Knots Landing became the tale of Gary Ewing and his wife Valene – portrayed by Van Ark – and how they decided to build a new life in Knots Landing.

Van Ark, on the other hand, nearly lost out on the role of Valene Ewing. She claimed that she had a “three-way clash” in which she performed The Love Boat and a commercial in New York at the same time.

In the end, it was her husband, John Marshall, who we will return to in a moment, who convinced her to go to Dallas. And that was a huge – and crucial – choice.

“I got a call asking me to do a guest appearance in this show called Dallas, which was getting a lot of attention, but I told my husband, ‘John, why should I even read this script?'” “I can’t be in three places at the same time,” she told Express. “Then he read it and told me, ‘No, you’ve got to do it.'” It looks fantastic.'”

“Basically, he talked me into a schedule that had me in LA one day, then flying to Dallas for two days, then New York for two days, then back to Texas.” “However, looking at this old cast photo from Knots Landing, a Dallas spinoff, I’m so glad I listened to him,” she said.

Van Ark made a 15-year commitment to Dallas and Knots Landing, being defined by her position. As previously said, she and Julie Harris had a long relationship, and they reconnected in 1980.

“I could stay forever on the show and be safe”
Harris was cast in Knots Landing as the mother of Van Arks’ character, and it was almost too good to be true for the actress.

“I held my breath when the producers told me they had finally found someone to play my mother,” she recounted in a 1984 interview with Florida Today.

“‘Oh my God, are they going to say Phyllis Diller or Zsa Zsa Gabor, or who?'” Then they announced it was Julie Harris, and I nearly passed out. I couldn’t believe she’d been chosen to be my mother. They had no idea we were buddies.”

Joan Van Ark was on the show for 13 seasons and 327 episodes. Knots Landing was terminated in 1993, only one season after she left. Joan, on the other hand, did not leave because she did not enjoy it. Instead, she was focused on taking on new tasks.

“I could stay on the show forever and be safe,” Van Ark said to the Los Angeles Times in 1992.

“However, three years ago, I performed Night of the Iguana in Williamstown (Mass. ), and I had a quote from Tennessee Williams taped to my mirror, taken from an essay he wrote on success.” It stated, and I’m quoting, that’security is in the shape of a kidney-shaped pool in Los Angeles, where you sit waiting for your residual checks.’ On Knots, I was in a comfortable situation, and an artist should never be comfortable.”

Simultaneously, the television series became an important aspect of Van Ark’s life. Even though she felt at ease leaving, it was a difficult blow since she imagined it would be simpler.

She blamed herself for the cancellation of ‘Knots Landing’

“I have loved more than life the 13 years I’ve had on that show,” she went on to say. “[Knots Landing creator] David Jacobs has had a huge impact on my life, teaching me so much about so many things.” Ted [Shackelford] is the other half of every breath I take on the show, and he’s a big part of my heart as well. The individuals are my family; we’ve been through marriages, deaths, and divorces together. It’s much more tough to go than I anticipated.”

Without the strong chemistry between characters Valen and Gary, the program wouldn’t have worked as well. Joan, in reality, accepted responsibility for the show’s cancellation.

“It was all my fault.” “I went to NBC to do a pilot that didn’t sell,” she explained. “After fourteen years with the same lady, I was ready to go, so I auditioned for the pilot, and they cast me.” It was not as smoothly arranged as it could have been. When the pilot didn’t sell, they called me back, and I completed the show’s four-hour conclusion.”

Joan Van Ark departed the soap opera profession but proceeded to appear in a number of television shows. She appeared in several television shows, including Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and acted in a few television movies. Joan played Gloria Fisher in 55 episodes of the enormously acclaimed television serial The Young and the Restless between 2004 and 2005.

Joan Van Ark has a spouse and children.

Celebrities in Hollywood frequently marry other celebrities, and show-biz marriages do not usually survive long.

Joan Van Ark, on the other hand, met the love of her life while still in high school. She met her husband, John Marshall, while they were both students at the University of Colorado in Boulder. The pair married on a military installation in Germany in 1966.

“Believe me, it was nothing like the marriages [Valene Ewing] has gone through,” she was quoted as saying by UPI.

Vanessa Marshall, who also chose a profession in entertainment, was born in 1969. She became a well-known voice-over artist and abandoned her on-screen performing career. Vanessa Marshall has instead provided her voice for animated films, television programs, and computer games.

John Marshall went on to win an Emmy for his work on KNBC-TV and NBC. He’d had a successful career, as did his wife Joan, and as the couple worked hard to advance in their own industries, Vanessa was growing up.

It was difficult for Van Ark to become a mother while navigating the company. And she credits her husband, John, with keeping the family together during those trying times.

“He is the reason we have the most wonderful daughter in the world and that our marriage has stayed strong,” Van Ark told The Leader-Post in 1988. “I feel I am the committed person who can’t give up time for this or that.”

“He did not want to miss watching Venessa grow up, and he did not want to miss me,” he said. “He is aware that journalists live out of suitcases. I disagreed with John’s job choices because if it had been me, I would have packed my bags and been waving at the airport.”

Joan Van Ark’s net worth

Joan Van Ark enjoys jogging in addition to her acting career. The 78-year-old has done multiple marathons and revealed that she runs instead of seeing a psychotherapist. When it comes to her spouse, however, she has indicated that she would never go on a run with him.

Why? Because “it’s the quickest way I know of to get a divorce.” “You’re always criticizing the other person’s style,” Joan observed.

Joan Van Ark has continued to perform on stage in various theatrical plays over the last decade, as well as starring in television shows and films such as Watercolor Postcards and Psycho Wedding Crasher. But she will be remembered most for her outstanding performances on Dallas and Knots Landing.

Joan Van Ark has a net worth of roughly $10 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.


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