While Linda Gray is most known for her role as Sue Ellen Ewing on Dallas, the actress also had an uncredited appearance on the poster for The Graduate. Starring Dustin Hoffman, The Graduate is an iconic piece of film history. Bolstered by incredible music from Simon & Garfunkel, the coming-of-age story was critically acclaimed.
“We did little bits of modeling for like an hour or two, and you were paid by the hour,” Gray explained on The Queen Latifah Show. “So a photographer friend of mine said ‘can you come over? I just need you for an hour.’ I said fine, and he said ‘I need a shot of your leg.’ Okay, great. 25 bucks, I got. 25 big ones. And so, then about a year later, a movie called The Graduate came out. That was my leg on there!”
In response, the show’s audience roared with a combination of laughter and applause. While some may have felt slighted, the Dallas star seemed proud of her little-known modeling job.
“He didn’t even say poster,” Gray continued. “He said ‘it’s for a movie campaign or something.’ So that was cool. That was in maybe 1967.” Queen Latifah then remarked that Gray’s legs still looked good nearly fifty years later.
Linda Gray Reflects on Dallas
Additionally, Gray discussed her tenure on Dallas. The highly popular show ran from 1978 to 1991, before being brought back for three more seasons from 2012 to 2014. Gray starred alongside Patrick Duffy and Larry Hagman as Bobby and J.R. Ewing, two brothers in a family of oil tycoons.
The series was wildly popular in its original run. In fact, Dallas is credited as the origin of the television season finale cliffhanger. In 1980, it sent fans into a frenzy when its third season finale saw J.R. shot by an unknown assailant. Because of his dastardly schemes, almost every character on the show had cause to shoot him.
Speculation ran rampant in the months between seasons three and four. Fans started wearing “I Shot J.R.” t-shirts, and everyone including Queen Elizabeth herself threw their guesses out there. The episode that finally revealed the culprit was called “Who Done It?,” and it set the record for most-watched broadcast in American television history. While that record was usurped by M*A*S*H, “Who Done It?” still remains in second place.
“During that time, we didn’t have TiVo,” said Gray “We didn’t have VCR. There were three networks, and that’s it. Now it’s a whole different game. It was lovely to be a part of TV history like that.”
Gray wasn’t wrong; a lot changed between the original Dallas and its revival. For example, the original aired on CBS, but the sequel series aired on TNT. Naturally, the viewership would be higher with fewer alternatives. Even so, Dallas remains iconic.