The iconic role of Pamela Barnes Ewing earned actress Victoria Principal worldwide fame as Dallas turned one of the most successful primetime soap operas in TV history.
Victoria was born on January 3, 1950, in Japan. Her father was a United States Air Force Sergeant stationed in the city of Fukuoka at the time of her birth, and she spent the first couple of months of her life living there. During her childhood, Victoria changed 17 schools due to her family moving from place to place.
She first appeared on TV, in a commercial, at the age of five, but it’s not like she believed acting would become her calling.
Speaking of her childhood, rumors are she didn’t have an easy one. The reason for that was her turbulent relationship with her mother. In an interview with Huffington Post in 2012, the actress said: ”I wish I had known my childhood would end.” However, she was also reported to have said during an occasion: ”I was very lucky. My parents raised me in such a way that it never occurred to me that I wasn’t equal.”
When it came to choosing a career, Victoria decided she wanted to become a doctor, and she was on the way to make her dream come true, but just as she was about to finish her first year of studies, she was involved in a car crash and got heavily injured. She was forced to take some time to heal, and sadly, she missed a lot at college and was forced to retake her first year from the start. Something she wasn’t willing to do at the time.
One of her first roles in film was that of the mistress of Roy Bean, the main character of The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean portrayed by Paul Newman. This role earned her a Golden Globe nomination for best newcomer.
As she got more offers, Victoria realized that acting was time-consuming and very tiring, so she decided to move on and started working as a talent agent.
However, around two years later, she got the role of Pamela Barnes Ewing.
Speaking of the time, she recalled: ”I had left acting to be an agent and was on my way to law school, but when a friend dropped off a Dallas script, I read it. When I finished, I knew my life had changed – that part was mine. So I called the [casting] person and said, ‘I’m sending someone in.’ She said, ‘Who?’ I said, ‘Just put down my name. It will be a surprise.’ And it certainly was a surprise – I showed up with me! I sent myself in for it!”
The series turned up to be a huge hit which put Victoria on the pedestal. When Dallas premiered, she was 28 years old. For her part, she was nominated for a Golden Globe and two Soap Opera Digest Awards.
Then, in 1987, Victoria left the series. Speculations of why she stepped down were many. “A lot of work has gone into keeping Victoria Principal separate from Pam Ewing. To stay on the show any longer would really seal my fate in the industry,” she told New York Times in 1987.
Victoria was married twice. Both her marriages ended with divorce. Although she doesn’t have children on her own, she is very close to the son and daughter of her second husband’s previous marriage.
When she moved on from Dallas, she founded her skincare company, Principal Secret, which turned into an empire with a yearly revenue of $1.5 billion. According to reports, the actress’ net worth is $350 million.
However, after years of being the head of the company, she decided to step back and focus on her foundation, The Victoria Principal Foundation for Thoughtful Existence. ”I continue to be passionately dedicated to running my skincare company, Principal Secret. We are about to celebrate 27 years in business. And I have never forgotten that Dallas gave me the springboard to achieve so many of my dreams,” she told TV Insider in 2018.
Today, the actress is 72 years old and looks as beautiful and as charming as ever. She’s very active on the social media where she shares photos of herself and the animals she is helping as well as old photos from the time she was filming the series that changed her life forever.