Dallas took most people by surprise. The soap opera that first aired in 1978 was only supposed to be a five-part miniseries. There were no plans to continue after that, but the public was so into the story, and the ratings were so high, that they extended the show to a full season.

One of the main characters was Pamela Ewing, played by Victoria Principal. From the years 1978 to 1987, Victoria Principal played a significant role in the success of the show, winning two soap opera digest awards and one nomination for a Golden Globe.

Pamela Barnes Ewing was a character that had a pivotal role in the series. She held the family to some semblance of unity, despite never being taken seriously by the Ewing family. Stil, the character remained a bit of an outsider because she was the daughter of the Ewing’s arch-enemy, Digger Barnes.

In real life, Victoria Principal was also accused of being remote from the rest of the cast. Producer Leonard Katzman thought initially that maybe she just didn’t like them, and confronted her about it. Victoria responded that she actually liked the whole cast, but she wanted to feel like an outsider, just like her character Pamela Ewing.

The character returned in the season 12 premiere, where she was played by Margaret Michaels. Her difference in appearance is explained by plastic surgery after the burns. In that episode, it was revealed that Pamela had a terminal illness with only a year to live. Although the character was never declared dead, that was the last time we ever saw Pamela Barnes Ewing as she disappeared once again.

But the initial disappearance of Pamela Barnes, and the departure of Victoria Principal from the cast, was not entirely related to the plot of the series. In fact, it came down to Victoria’s dissatisfaction with the series.

This is because, after seven years of Dallas, the time came for Victoria to renegotiate her contract. By this time Victoria was a little disillusioned with the show. Many writers had left and the storyline for Pam Ewing was not what it once was. In the end, Victoria told the show that she would only stay for two more years and that would be it. But in the last days of that two-year period, the studio had second thoughts and tried to get her to stay. They even went so far as to offer a deal where she would be paid by the episode. This deal would have made Victoria the highest-paid actress in television, but she felt strongly about her decision to leave, and stuck with it.

In the 2012 revival of Dallas, there had been hope that she might return to the show but this was not to be, and Margaret Michaels played her role for one episode to tidy the loose ends.

Eventually, we finally found out that Pamela Ewing was dead. Until this point, some fans had hoped that Victoria Principal would still someday be convinced to return to the show.


Sources: Facts Verse

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