The 1970’s and 1980’s Sex Symbol Victoria Principal turns 74 today

She came to prominence as Pamela Barnes on the TV show “Dallas”

The 1970’s and 1980’s Sex Symbol Victoria Principal turns 74 today

Victoria Principal was born January 3, 1950, is an American actress, best known for her role as Pamela Barnes Ewing on the CBS nighttime soap opera Dallas. Principal was born in Fukuoka, Japan, the elder daughter of United States Air Force sergeant Victor Rocco Principal, who was then stationed in Fukuoka. Her paternal grandparents were emigrants from Italy, originally surnamed Principale. Her mother, Ree Principal was born in Gordon, Georgia, and was of English descent. Victoria has a younger sister, Kim, who is married to composer Russell Fetherolf. She began her career in TV commercials, appearing in her first at age five. After graduating from South Dade Senior High School in 1968, she enrolled at Miami-Dade Community College, intending to study medicine. However, months before completing her first year of studies, she was seriously injured in a car crash while driving home from the library. The other driver was convicted of drunk driving and served jail time. In 1970, Principal moved to Hollywood. She won her first film role as Marie Elena, a Mexican mistress, in Paul Newman’s “The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean” (1972), for which she earned a Golden Globe nomination as Most Promising Newcomer. In 1974, she was cast in the disaster film “Earthquake”. Principal won the role when she showed up for the third audition having cut off her waist-length brown hair, dyed it black, and put it into an afro. In 1977, Aaron Spelling offered her a role in the pilot of his television series, “Fantasy Island”, which she accepted. Soon after, in 1978, she landed her most famous role, playing Pamela Barnes Ewing in the evening soap opera “Dallas”. In 1983, she earned a Golden Globe Nomination as Best Actress in a Television Series for her role in “Dallas”. After nine years, Principal left Dallas in 1987. She went on to star in various made-for-television movies, a few of which she co-produced. In 1994, she appeared in an episode of the hit sitcom “Home Improvement”. Principal returned to primetime soap operas in 2000 when she appeared in another Aaron Spelling production, the short-lived NBC television series “Titans”.

By Ken Warren, 2017/18

Watch a recent video of Ken Kercheval and Victoria Principal taking a trip down memory lane remembering their time on Dallas

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