Actor Ken Kercheval, best known for playing Cliff Barnes, the rival to J.R. Ewing (Larry Hagman) on Dallas, has died at 83.

Kercheval was born Wolcottville, Indiana, in 1935 and was raised in Clinton. He studied acting and attended Indiana University and the University of the Pacific.


Kercheval’s acting career began on the stage where he appeared in numerous Broadway and off-Broadway performances. He later transitioned to television, and appeared in soap operas like The Secret Storm and How to Survive a Marriage.

In 1978, Kercheval was cast in the role of Cliff Barnes in Dallas, which ran for 14 years and was the #1 show on TV for many years. He and Hagman played their central characters throughout the entire course of the series including the 2012 revival.

Kercheval died in his hometown of Clinton, his cause of death is still unknown.

Victoria Principal, who played his on-screen sister, Pam Ewing, said Kercheval was “supremely talented” and “a wonderful storyteller”

“I hope you, Larry & Barbara are throwing a Texas style heavenly party,” continued Principal.

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