Ken Kercheval “Dallas TV Show Star” dies at 83; Cause of His Death

Ken Kercheval, TV show star who played oil tycoon Cliff Barnes on the popular soap opera Dallas, died at age 83.

Dallas star Ken Kercheval dies at 83.
Dallas star Ken Kercheval dies at 83.
Source: CBC

Kercheval’s death news was confirmed by a spokeswoman at Frist Funeral Home in Mr. Ken’s hometown of Clinton, Indiana.

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The sad news the demise of Dallas star was reported to be on Sunday, April 21 by the local newspaper The Daily Clintonian. Yet no further details were mentioned about the actor.

However, it is known that the TV actor confessed to smoking up to three packs of cigarettes a day, and had part of his lung removed in 1994 after being diagnosed with cancer.

Also, Ken described himself as a “practicing alcoholic” who was addicted for over 20 years before finally giving up alcohol. Apparently, cancer might have taken away the unforgettable TV show star.

“He was one of those guys who was going to be the next James Dean,” David Jacobs, the creator of Dallas.

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Firstly, Ken and Larry Hagman, who played JR Ewing were the only stars to stay entire 14-year run on the show.

"Dallas" cast members Charlene Tilton, Ken Kercheval, Mary Crosby, Patrick Duffy
“Dallas” cast members Charlene Tilton, Ken Kercheval, Mary Crosby, Patrick Duffy.
Source: BBC

Mr. Kercheval, who was born in 1935, mastered his acting skills at Indiana University and the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York.

Initially, after completing the study, the Dallas star began his career as a stage actor. He started appearing with Dustin Hoffman in a 1959 production of Dead End. After that, Ken starred in several Broadway shows during the 1960s.

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Around the ’70s, Ken had already become the TV show star. In 1978 he got the chance to cast in TV show Dallas‘ initial five-part miniseries, initially starring as Ray Krebbs, an illegitimate son of Jock Ewing – JR Ewing’s father.

In fact, the TV show displays the rivalry of two wealthy, in the oil industry business. Surprisingly, the show became one of the era’s signature shows and even bagged four Emmy Awards.

Even though the TV show ended in 1991, and Dallas star Mr. Ken returned for reunion specials in 1996 and 2004, and also for a series reboot from 2012-14. In addition, it was just after his Dallas co-star Hagman’s death who died on November 23, 2012, in Dallas, Texas, US.

As a matter of fact, late Ken Kercheval was also a prolific film and TV show actor. Be that as it may, before and after Dallas, Ken appeared on several TV shows including Kojak, Starsky and Hutch, and Diagnosis Murder.

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