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Bobby Ewing

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Title: Bobby Ewing  
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Subject: Dallas (1978 TV series), Knots Landing, Christopher Ewing, Clayton Farlow, Jock Ewing
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Bobby Ewing

Bobby Ewing
Dallas character
Portrayed by Patrick Duffy
Duration 1978–85, 1986–91, 1996, 1998, 2012–14
First appearance April 2, 1978
Last appearance September 22, 2014
Created by David Jacobs
Dallas: The Early Years (1986)
Dallas: J.R. Returns (1996)
Dallas: War of the Ewings (1998)
Knots Landing (1979, 1981–82)
Occupation Interim Texas Railroad Commissioner
Partner in Ewing Global
Co-Owner of Southfork Ranch
Former Partner in Ewing Energies
Former CEO of Petro Group Dallas (1987-1988)
Texas State Senator (1981)
Former co-CEO of Ewing Oil (1980, 1982-1987, 1988-1990, 1996-98)
Former CEO of Ewing Construction (1978-1980)
Former Executive at Ewing Oil (1978, 1980)
Former Ewing Oil roadman (1970s)
Residence Southfork Ranch
3700 Hogge Drive
Parker, Texas 75002

Robert "Bobby" James Ewing[1][2] is a fictional character in the long-running soap opera, Dallas and its 2012 revival. The youngest son of Jock and Miss Ellie Ewing, he was portrayed by actor Patrick Duffy between 1978 and 1985, and again from 1986 to 1991. Bobby had been killed off in the final episode of the 1984–1985 season, and Patrick Duffy left the show for a year. Bobby returned to the show in the famous "shower scene" right at the end of the 1985–1986 season. The subsequent "dream revelation" at the start of the 1986–1987 season, wrote off Bobby's accident, Bobby's death and all but the final scene of the 1985–1986 season, as a dream of Bobby's fiancée and ex-wife, Pamela Barnes Ewing (Victoria Principal).

Patrick Duffy later returned to play Bobby again in the 1996 film, J.R. Returns, then in the 1998 film, War of the Ewings, as well as in the new Dallas series from 2012 to 2014.

Dallas was originally planned to center on Bobby's Romeo and Juliet-style marriage to Pamela Barnes, who was from the rival Barnes family. According to Dallas scriptwriter and story editor Camille Marchetta, Bobby was initially going to be killed off by the end of the first season, leaving Pamela to become the central character of the series.[3] Bobby's character was kept but the show ended up being focused around his older brother, J.R. Ewing (Larry Hagman), as it became clear that he was the breakout character. Still, Bobby retained his central role as the show's primary hero, and the Abel to J.R.'s Cain.


  • Background 1
  • Character 2
  • Storylines 3
    • Dallas 3.1
    • J.R. Returns and Dallas: War of the Ewings 3.2
    • Dallas (2012 TV series) 3.3
  • Knots Landing appearances 4
    • Knots Landing and Bobby Ewing's death 4.1
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Bobby was born February 16, 1949 on Southfork Ranch. Bobby became a successful (though reluctant) oil baron, like his father and brother, but he lacked J.R.'s ruthlessness and insisted on playing fair which resulted in his limited success. Bobby would also take part in the raising of cattle on the family ranch, Southfork. He was also a state senator in Austin for a while.


Bobby's most defining character trait was his Miss Ellie, favored second son Gary). Growing up, and even into adulthood, Jock made no secret of the fact that Bobby was his favorite son and Bobby was very dependent on Jock's support in his fights with J.R. This caused a major rivalry with J.R., who was jealous of the unearned favoritism Bobby got from Jock.



In the first episode of Dallas in 1978, Bobby Ewing brought his new wife to meet his family at Southfork Ranch. However, Bobby's family were dismayed to discover that Bobby's wife was Pamela Barnes, the daughter of Digger Barnes and the sister of Cliff Barnes, both of whom were arch-enemies of the Ewing family. In 1982, Bobby and Pam adopted a boy named Christopher, who was the biological son of J.R.'s deceased sister-in-law, Kristin Shepard. Pam had always wanted a child but was unlikely to be able to have one of her own. Bobby's sister-in-law, Katherine Wentworth, later had an unrequited crush on Bobby and began to become obsessed with him. Katherine broke up Bobby's marriage to Pam by writing a letter (pretending to be Pam) addressed to her lawyer. However, Bobby turned to Jenna and they became engaged. Katherine ran Bobby down with her car, where he later died in hospital from his injuries. However, a year later, the storylines of the preceding season, including the accident and death of Bobby, were nothing more than a lengthy dream of Pam's. Bobby and Pam were reunited but Bobby's first love Jenna Wade revealed that she was pregnant with his child. Bobby wasn't interested in getting back with Jenna, and Jenna later gave birth to his son, Lucas Krebbs. When Pam was involved in a car crash which resulted in her suffering severe burns, she disappeared from the hospital and divorced Bobby and gave him sole custody of Christopher. Bobby became close to April Stevens and they began a relationship and eventually married. However, while on their honeymoon in Paris, April is kidnapped and later shot; she dies in Bobby's arms.

Bobby is first on the scene after hearing a gunshot from J.R.'s room uttering the words "Oh my God." The camera never shows what Bobby actually saw and it was thought J.R. committed suicide, although in subsequent films it was explained J.R. shot a mirror.

J.R. Returns and Dallas: War of the Ewings

In Dallas: J.R. Returns and Dallas: War of the Ewings, Bobby had a relationship with Julia Cunningham (J.R. Returns) before taking over Ewing Oil. In the follow-up film Dallas: War of the Ewings he is no longer with Julia and the reasons are not even explained. He eventually starts a relationship with European oil heiress Jennifer Jantzen, who was a business associate of his brother J.R. and whose father's company Jantzen Oil was saved from bankruptcy by J.R. Between 1996 and 1998 Bobby is CEO of Ewing Oil. In 1998 Bobby retires from Ewing Oil and begins traveling with Jennifer Jantzen. [4]

Dallas (2012 TV series)

By 2012, Bobby has remarried again, this time to a woman named Ann Smith, and is the owner of Southfork Ranch, according to the terms of Miss Ellie Ewing's will (in the List of Dallas (1978 TV series) episodes (season 14) (ep. 353), Miss Ellie had deeded Southfork to Bobby while she was still alive, thereby suggesting a continuity error). Bobby has retired from the oil business, believing that alternative energy is "the future", a belief he shares with his now grown adopted-son Christopher, and is content to raise cattle on the ranch. He has decided to sell Southfork, due to his contracting a Gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) and resulting fears that he will not be around to keep the ranch safe, and that Christopher is not yet ready to take over from him. Once again, this brings him into conflict with his older brother J.R. Ewing and his nephew, John Ross Ewing III (who has discovered oil on the ranch). Bobby is shocked and saddened when he finds out his brother J.R. is dead. When J.R.'s will is read Bobby receives J.R.'s entire boot collection on the condition that he keeps them cleaner than he keeps his own. Also an old letter from Miss Ellie reveals that John Ross gets half of Southfork. Bobby doesn't agree but goes along with it for now, although it later leads to some disputes between Bobby and John Ross. Bobby also learns that his first wife Pam died of cancer in 1989.

Knots Landing appearances

Bobby Ewing appeared in 3 episodes of the Dallas spin-off series, Knots Landing, between 1979 and 1982.

Season 1
  • Episode 1: "Pilot". Bobby accompanies his brother Gary and sister-in-law Valene to their new home in California.
Season 2
  • Episode 13: "The Loudest Word". Bobby visits Val in the hospital, where she is awaiting surgery on her bowels. Bobby persuades Gary to support Val through her illness.
Season 4
  • Episode 6: "New Beginnings". While Gary is at Southfork for the reading of Jock's will, Bobby reassures Gary about his upcoming inheritance and the strings that their father had tied to it.

Knots Landing and Bobby Ewing's death

As many storylines on Knots Landing depended on the actions of several characters following the death of Bobby Ewing in 1985, the subsequent dream revelation from Dallas in 1986 did not get applied to the continuity of Knots Landing. As far as the continuity of Knots Landing was concerned, all the events in Pam Ewing's season long dream on Dallas were real events, and Bobby Ewing remained dead right up until the end of Knots Landing's run in 1993.


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External links

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