From Dallas to Knots Landing

Joan Van Ark, an actress, became well-known in the 1980s for her portrayal of Valene Ewing on the hit television series Dallas. However, her role on the spinoff series Knots Landing was what really cemented her as a household figure. Van Ark is still going strong at eighty years old, and she is happily married to her high school boyfriend, with whom she has a daughter.


Van Ark accepted full responsibility for Knots Landing’s final demise in a recent interview. She admitted that although though she only had one appearance in the 2012 revival of the show, her greatest achievements came during its initial run.

Van Ark’s family relocated to Boulder, Colorado when she was a child, and this change of environment had a significant impact on her subsequent career.

Van Ark knew she wanted to be an actor since she was a little child. Her resolve was strengthened when the quarterback of the football team declined her invitation to the high school prom. Despite not having any experience in the film industry, her parents encouraged her and provided support throughout her journey. Van Ark has had a prestigious acting career spanning more than 50 years, appearing in both motion pictures and television shows.

After being rejected for another role, Van Ark’s acting career started when she was chosen for the role of flower girl in a play. She chose to take acting seriously after having a good time with the experience. Acting quickly became her passion and a vital aspect of her life.


Van Ark met famous actress Julie Harris after seeing a show in Denver, and Julie urged her to pursue acting studies. Van Ark was the youngest student to be awarded a scholarship at the esteemed Yale Theatre School and the second woman to enroll there.

Van Ark reflected on those early days and said, “After I wrote to the dean in New Haven, Connecticut, my parents took me to meet him. It was fated that he would award me a scholarship.

Van Ark debuted as an actress in The Miser at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis in 1963. She traveled south to become a member of the national touring company of Barefoot in the Park after working for a year at the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. Van Ark made the switch to film acting during this period. In 1971, she made her Broadway debut and was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance in The School for Wives. In addition, she had notable cameos on a number of well-known television programs, including Days of Our Lives, Temperature’s Rising, Spider-Woman, and even a Bonanza episode.

Joan Van Ark was still waiting for her big break as the 1980s drew near. She had multiple cameos as Valene Ewing on Dallas in 1978, which eventually helped her land a role on Knots Landing.

Knots Landing was a popular Dallas spinoff that enthralled fans from 1979 to 1993. In 327 episodes, Joan Van Ark portrayed Valene Ewing. Van Ark became well-known as one of the show’s central characters, along with co-stars Ted Shackelford (Gary) and Michele Lee (Karen). It’s interesting to note that Knots Landing debuted on CBS years before the well-known Ewing family did.

Dallas was initially intended to be the lavish, magnificent family drama that the network has long yearned for. Still, Knots Landing’s phenomenal success made the studio realize how popular Dallas and its offshoot were becoming. Knots Landing ranked among the top 20 TV shows in terms of ratings after just one season.

In the end, Joan Van Ark struggled with her decision to leave Knots Landing after 13 seasons. Even though it was hard to leave the exhibition, she understood that artists have to push themselves and keep developing. Although she was appreciative and at ease on the program, she understood the value of pushing her limits.

Joan Van Ark has continued to showcase her extraordinary talent in a number of movies and TV series after leaving the soap opera business. She has made appearances in popular television programs like The Young and the Restless and Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. From 2004 to 2005, she played Gloria Fisher in 55 episodes of the latter show.

As many superstars get married in the business, Joan Van Ark and John Marshall’s story took a different turn when they were still in Boulder, Colorado, high school sweethearts. On a German military installation, they exchanged vows in 1966, and in 1969 they welcomed their daughter Vanessa Marshall. Like her parents, Vanessa chose a career in entertainment as a well-known voice actor, contributing her skills to a number of animated movies, video games, and TV series.

Joan Van Ark has received praise from critics for her work on Dallas and Knots Landing. Please leave a comment below if you would want to share your ideas or see more of Joan’s work in the future. While you wait, please help share this message and honor Joan Van Ark’s extraordinary ability!

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