Joan Van Ark: From glamorous ‘Dallas’ and ‘Knots Landing’ actress to devoted mother and wife…

Joan Van Ark has had a long and successful career as an actress in Hollywood, but her role as Valene Ewing on the primetime soap opera Knots Landing was instrumental in establishing her reputation and securing her place in the industry.

Joan, who was born in New York City on June 16, 1943, was always convinced that she belonged in Hollywood. Her parents had no involvement with television in any way. She began acting at a young age and met Julie Harris, an actress who would have a significant impact on her life and career, at a Denver performance. Harris persuaded Joan to attend the prestigious Yale Drama School. Joan was the second woman to enroll at the time, thanks to her assistance in obtaining a scholarship.

«Harris wrote to the dean and asked him to meet with me, and he agreed. «To cut a long story short, my parents drove me to New Haven, Connecticut, to meet with the dean, who gave me a scholarship,» Joan explained. «The dean was extremely gracious. It had to happen.»

Joan began her career in television after working in the theater for several years. She appeared as a guest star on several popular television shows, including Temperature’s Rising, Spider-Woman, and Days of Our Lives, as well as Bonanza for a single episode. The following year, in 1978, she appeared on the television series Dallas in the recurring role of Valene Ewing, which would go on to become her most prominent role.

Due to the overwhelming success of Dallas, the network decided to produce the spin-off series Knots Landing, in which Joan reprised her role as Valene Ewing. In fact, Knots Landing was written before Dallas; however, when the producers had to choose which program to work on, they chose Dallas because they wanted a show about a «big rich family.»

Her husband was the one who eventually persuaded her to take the lead role in the television series Knots Landing, which lasted 13 seasons. Joan was already in the midst of working on two other projects when she was approached about being a part of the series.

Joan couldn’t have imagined in a million years that the part of Valene Ewing’s mother would be handed to the person who meant the world to her, and that person was none other than Julie Harris when the character was ready to be brought to the show.

«I held my breath when the producers informed me they had finally found someone to play my mother,» she said in an interview with Florida Today in 1984.

«Oh my God, I was hoping they’d mention Zsa Zsa Gabor or Phyllis Diller. My heart rate rocketed through the roof when I learned it was Julie Harris. I was taken aback when they chose her to be my mother. They had no idea we were so close.»

After 13 seasons and 327 episodes, the show was cancelled a season after Joan left Knots Landing. Despite knowing she was partly to blame for the cancellation, Joan felt compelled to take on new challenges.

«I’ve enjoyed the 13 years I’ve spent on that program more than life,» she said. David Jacobs, the creator of Knots Landing, has had a significant impact on my life and has taught me a great deal about a variety of subjects. Ted Shackelford is a big part of my heart and the other half of every breath I take on the show. These are my relatives. We’ve seen each other through marriages, deaths, and divorces. It was much more difficult to leave than I anticipated.»

Joan had guest appearances in a number of different television programs, the most notable of which being The Young and the Restless, in which she played Gloria Fisher.

Hollywood celebrities frequently marry other Hollywood celebrities, and these marriages are typically short-lived.

Joan Van Ark, who met the love of her life in high school, did not have that experience. She met her husband, John Marshall, while they were both students at Boulder. In 1966, the wedding took place on a military base in Germany. Vanessa Marshall, their daughter, works in the entertainment industry.

Despite being 78 years old, Joan still has a youthful beauty. Her estimated net worth is $10 million.

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