Dallas actress Linda Gray opened up about her longtime friendship with former onscreen husband Larry Hagman.
“He was my gift,” Gray told Barry Kibrick. “He was the one who took me from all of the responsible stuff in life to joining the circus, and he was a magnificent actor, a delicious friend–so supportive and truly a friend. [Hagman] and his wife were wonderful to me.”
Additionally, Gray discussed the other lead star of the show: Patrick Duffy. Along with Gray and Hagman, the Dallas trio formed “the Three Musketeers.”
“I treasured them, you know,” Gray continued. “I didn’t have brothers, so they were like my brothers. Larry was the bad brother. I’m being the big sister and for some reason, I was always reprimanding him ‘Stop drinking. Don’t do this. Don’t eat that. Oh, for God’s sake, you’re doing that again.'”
“It was the Bickersons, if people remember the Bickersons,” said Gray. On the set of Dallas, Hagman and Gray’s marital spats were a recurring joke among the cast and crew. Of course, it was all good natured.
How Hagman Defended Gray Behind the Scenes on Dallas
Additionally, Gray revealed that Hagman was always in her corner. In fact, he once took a huge stand against the producers of Dallas on her behalf.
“In the 80s, I was getting bored Sue Ellen Ewing as an actor,” Gray explained. “She was drinking and having an affair, or having an affair and drinking, so I had two notes to play. I had always wanted to direct, so I think year eight it was, I approached the production staff, and I said I would like to direct one episode in the next two-year cycle. And they said, ‘Nope.’ I said, ‘I don’t want any more money, I don’t want anything–I would just like to direct. I feel like I’m ready; I’d like to direct one episode.’ ‘Nope.’”
“This went back and forth,” Gray added. “So then I wasn’t invited back for year nine. Because if that was my only request, they didn’t want me back. Mr. Hagman took a deep breath and said, ‘Well, now…’ This is what he tells me he said to them, ‘If Miss Gray is not coming back, I am not coming back.’”
Gray went on to direct five episodes of the show: “The Great Texas Waltz,” “Brotherly Love,” “Revenge of the Nerd,” “Just Desserts,” and “Things Ain’t Going So Good at Southfork again.” She never directed outside of Dallas.
“Knowing Larry the way I do, Larry probably never said that because he would always go back and play J.R. Ewing, with or without me,” said Gray. “But it sounded good, and it made me feel good.”