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Patrick Duffy Reminisces About Dallas 30 Years After Its Finale

Patrick Duffy, Larry Hagman, Dallas

It's been three decades since the series finale of the original Dallas, and Patrick Duffy (ex-Bobby) is reminiscing about the mega-hit TV series. In a chat with TV Insider, the actor discussed filming with BFF Larry Hagman (ex-J.R.), playing a "golden boy," and when Dallas "went off the rails."

Duffy loved working with his on-screen brother - and off-screen pal - Hagman. He recalled:

We had the most fun doing those beause [sic] Hagi and I were the most irreverent two actors with each other, not with other actors, but with each other. We would try and screw each other up in rehearsal only and were never serious. We could screw with each other, even in a scene knowing that the other person would never break. A lot of times over the shoulder, shots were back of Hagman’s head and I’d be looking at him, acting my heart out and he would spit out a little piece of drool that would run down his chin, just to see what I would do.

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Bobby was the "good" Ewing; did Duffy ever want to see the character channel rogue J.R.? He answered:

No, I didn’t. Bobby had a job in terms of the overall thrust of the show and it was to be exactly who he was. But I wanted was to not have him be the one dimensional hero where he just waves in, solves things and rides away on a white horse. And Lenny (executive producer Leonard Katzman) was good. Lenny put a real person behind the good guy and that’s when Bobby had a temper, Bobby could cry. Bobby could do a lot of things as opposed to just clean up messes. And as a matter of fact, we never let Bobby have an affair. Other people could be attracted to him and maybe hit on him as a character but it was just a golden rule. Bobby never succumbed to those things and I was completely a hundred percent in favor of all of that.

Duffy felt it was time for Dallas to wrap after Season 14. He explained:

Now understand that, that last episode of Dallas, in my opinion, went off the rails. It wasn’t even Dallas at that point. And I was not in favor of that episode, so I don’t know how that happened. But at the wrap party, we were still anticipating a follow-up year. The idea was we knew that JR didn’t actually shoot himself (which he does in the last moment of the last episode). Lenny would say, 'The script is going to be that you come upstairs, he’s not dead. He shot the mirror.'

But when we went to the wrap party, dancing and singing and doing the thing, Leonard pulled me aside and just whispered, he said, 'We’re being canceled. Just so you know.' So I scuttled over to my wife and my sons who always went to the wrap parties and I said, 'Dad is out of work. Everybody stop spending money. Daddy’s out of work. So we’ve got to figure out what to do.' But it didn’t come as a shock. We had pretty much worn out the storylines and it was time. It was getting tired and it was time.