Morgan Fairchild: TV's Go-To Blonde Power Broker Of The '80s, Then And Now

By | February 2, 2020

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Actress Morgan Fairchild poses for a portrait in c.1985 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Donaldson Collection/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

On shows like Falcon Crest and Flamingo Road, Morgan Fairchild cornered the market on a certain type of TV persona -- the beautiful, ruthless and powerful woman. In TV land of the '80s, of course, a rich and powerful woman had to have a magnificent mane of hair and beauty-queen looks. "They're not paying me to play a chairwoman," Fairchild said of her on-screen roles. "They're paying me to show up looking glam and, damn it, I'm gonna show up looking glam!"

People magazine called her "the ultimate two-faced man-eater prowling the 1980s’ prime-time soap operas."

"I got typecast by Hollywood," she told the magazine. "I didn’t even see it happening at first, but I probably should have. I played a dish in a TV movie [The Initiation of Sarah, 1978], and it’s haunted me my whole life. Ever since, I’ve been cast as the glamorous bitch."

The 'Dallas' Actress Really Was From Dallas

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Morgan Fairchild was born as Patsy Ann McClenny in Dallas, Texas in 1950. She was an intelligent child, attaining high grades and was often the teacher’s pet. However, when she was too shy in to give a book report in elementary school, her mother enrolled her in drama lessons and by the age of 10, she was acting in plays. The gorgeous star was a chubby kid with glasses and when she was in elementary school, the other kids gave her the nickname “Fatsy Patsy.” A diet of hard-boiled eggs and grapefruit caused the weight to drop off.