Victoria Principal: Dallas' Pamela Ewing, Then And Now

By | January 2, 2021

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1980 portrait of Victoria Principal, best known for playing Pamela Barnes Ewing in the television serial Dallas, wearing a red low-cut belted dress. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

From 1978 to 1987, Victoria Principal was the other big reason to tune into Dallas -- next to Larry Hagman, who owned the show as J.R. Ewing. As Pamela Barnes Ewing, Principal was the glue that held the family together even if she was constantly under suspicion from the members of the Ewing family who didn't believe her sincerity. But away from the popular prime time soap opera Principal was nothing like her most famous character.

Not just an actor, Principal has been a multi-hyphenate since her early days in front of the camera. This actor-agent-skincare queen has spent much of her life trying to make the world a better place in any way she can, be it through her craft or through philanthropy. Even so, she'll always be remembered for her time with Ewing Oil in a little town called Dallas.

Principal didn't always want to be an actor

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source: pinterest

Growing up in Japan, Victoria Principal was far from your standard Army brat. She was only five years old when she started appearing in commercial work. Even after she moved to the States with her family her life was far from normal. She moved around the country and ended up racking up enrollment in 17 schools during her primary school years.

In 1968, Principal graduated from South Dade Senior High School in Miami and intended to study medicine, but after suffering an injury in a car crash she had to spend months in recovery and during that time she came to the realization that her life could change at any time, and rather than continue to pursue her medical studies she decided to become an actor.

Throughout 1970 and 1971, Principal kicked around New York and Europe to study acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art before moving to Los Angeles in hard pursuit of her onscreen career without an agent, although it turned out she was more prepared to sell herself than any talent manager.