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Dorothy Malone as Miss Ellie?

Discussion in 'Dallas - The Original Series' started by Rove, Apr 16, 2017.

  1. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    So I came across a movie called "Written on the Wind" starring Rock Hudson, Lauren Bacall, Robert Stack and Dorothy Malone. I've always had an appreciation for these old movies and knew little of Dorothy Malone. Checking Wikipedia I discovered she was approached by Dallas Producers to take over the role of Miss Ellie but declined the role, it was then offered to Donna Reed. As I know little of Dorothy's career I was wondering if other posters had thoughts if she had taken on the role of Miss Ellie.
     
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  2. Chris2

    Chris2 Soap Chat Active Member

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    Eh, I'm not buying that story (Wikipedia is notoriously unreliable). Malone was more than willing to reprise her "Peyton Place" role around the same time for series revival pilot. So she was clearly looking for work. Hard to believe that she'd be willing to do Peyton Place again, but decline the opportunity to do TV's number one show.
     
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  3. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    The reference on Wiki alluding to Dorothy being approached by Dallas producers appears unreliable, still an unusual posting. I don't know much of Dorothy's career though after watching her in "Written on the Wind" she could certainly have mixed right in with Dallas.
     
  4. Mustard

    Mustard Soap Chat Fan

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    I haven't heard of this rumour about Dorothy Malone.

    From what I understand about that time, Larry Hagman found out about Barbara Bel Geddes' contract fallout with the Dallas bosses too late for him to intervene and keep Bel Geddes in Dallas for Season 8 (DVD), and Hagman then asked his real-life mother, Mary Martin, if she would replace Bel Geddes. Martin turned down her son's suggestion. Donna Reed was already in mind for the part with the powers that be, although my gut feeling is that Hagman wasn't impressed, neither with Bel Geddes being shoved out after her years of critical success in the role of Miss Ellie, nor with the choice of replacement.

    A rumour I've heard is that Hagman first got wind of something being wrong with Bel Geddes' situation when somebody suggested Reed playing Miss Ellie, and Hagman laughed and said "That will never work", thinking that the suggestion was a joke.
     
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  5. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    Malone would have seemed to much like Donna Reed, frankly.

    Howard Keel had reportedly recommended Nancy Olson who had, by the '80s, come to look and speak a little more like BBG -- in fact, you can see it as early as SUNSET BLVD (1950) where she played William Holden's and Jack Webb's love interest. (It's much less obvious in interviews with Olson, who's still alive at 88!)

    But the brass foolishly probably wanted more of a "star" and therefore went with Reed (as opposed to Olson or, better yet, nobody at all).
     
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  6. Barbara Fan

    Barbara Fan Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It was a national enquirer story back in the day.
    And she was to play miss ellies cousin it suggested.
    I took it with a pinch of salt.
     
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  7. Seaviewer

    Seaviewer Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Nancy Olson was in the short-lived Paper Dolls series. She reminded me a great deal of BBG then.
     
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  8. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    I recall that clearly, even from the promos. Funny the producers of PAPER DOLLS saw the parallel, but the DALLAS brass couldn't -- or, just as likely, weren't interested in what we would be interested in.

    Of course, if we'd had a better recast, like Olson, for Miss Ellie, then we might not have gotten Bel Geddes back.

    The irony is that the Donna Reed debacle wasn't part of Pam's Dream. Perhaps Pam or Bobby could wake up in 1986 and discover that their dream had started after Bobby was shot in 1984, the new Miss Ellie just a bit of Pam's underdone potato...

    Seriously. If you can turn one season into a nocturnal omission, why not two of them?

    Or maybe Miss Ellie dreamed both years while in the back of Lady Jessica town car??

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    Imagine if BBG had only come back for that season, only to be re-replaced by DR in the next season.
     
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  10. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    "There were three Jennas??"
    [​IMG]
    "The poor dear...!"
     
  11. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    "Well, at least she looks like me...!"
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    Martin Peyton had the best re-cast imo. Not because he was better than the original actor, but because I forgot he was a recast after 5 minutes or so.
    And I didn't mind Lola Albright as Kenzie MacConstance, especially since she was so kind to announce it, with that lovely voice of hers.
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    Nothing against Mary Martin but this reeks of nepotism. Much like all those Katzman's and in-laws which appeared after Phil Capice left. If I didn't know any better I reckon there was a little "clique" going on within those Southfork walls. Funny how those who thought what made Dallas great were the same people responsible for its downfall.
     
  14. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    I know little of Nancy Olson's work however from the snippets of youtube videos I've seen, she would have been my preferred choice in taking over the role of Miss Ellie.
     
  15. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    miguel_tulio_scream.jpg
     
  16. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    It's funny, when I think of an Texan oil baron's wife, she looks like this:
    [​IMG]

    But I guess Ellie Southworth was a ranch woman first?
     
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  17. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    Oh, for sure, Reed more looked the part. But you can't go from a melancholy, wistful, brittle BBG to a dithery, prissy hostess like Reed and expect it to work.
     
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  18. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    I like her opening credit when she looks angry (can't find it on YouTube)
     
  19. Mustard

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    Donna Reed died in January 1986, 3 months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. A lot of people don't realize that if Donna Reed had continued on in the role of Miss Ellie as originally intended into what became the Dream Season, she would only have done about 10 episodes or thereabouts before getting the cancer diagnosis. Had Reed done a Jim Davis and worked on as long as possible, she would not have finished the season.
     
  20. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    So...that means if Barbara Bel Geddes hadn't come back, there would have been a third Miss Ellie. Unless the character had been written out entirely.
     

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