The hit primetime soap Dallas premiered in 1978, over 40 years ago, and much has changed for the actors who starred in the show. Just look at the life of Dallas actor Victoria Principal, who played Pamela on the series. In the time since she left the show, she’s taken on several new careers, written books, gotten married and divorced, started a foundation, and more.
Principal played Pamela from the very first episode of Dallas and remained on the show through Season 10. (The series aired for 14 seasons altogether.) If you need a refresher: Pamela and her husband Bobby Ewing (Patrick Duffy) were two of the main characters and the key marriage on the show, even though their families were initially feuding. Another major reason you might remember Pamela on the show is because it was revealed that the entirety of Season 9 was all just a dream that she’d had.
But the days of shocking dream sequence twists are over for Principal now. Read on to find out about her life today.
Prior to starring on Dallas, Principal had her big break with her very first movie role. In 1972, she starred alongside Paul Newman in The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean and was nominated for a Golden Globe award. She went on to appear in a variety of TV series and films including Love, American Style and Fantasy Island before Dallas.
After 10 seasons on Dallas, she continued acting into the ’90s and early 2000s, including on Home Improvement, Providence, and The Practice. During this time, she also had her own production company, Victoria Principal Productions, which made a number of TV movies.
Principal’s last role was the 2000 series Titans. In 2018, she told TV Insider, “I have no plans to resume acting, but I learned a long time ago to ‘never say never’ as life has a way of offering us unexpected gifts if we are paying attention.”
Principal has written four books, all about beauty and wellness: The Body Principal (1983), The Beauty Principal (1984), The Diet Principal (1987), and Living Principal (2001). This area became her main focus, and she also ran her own skincare line, Principal Secret, for 30 years. “My interest had shifted in such a way that to not pursue my passion, which more and more really was my skincare company and creating products that could help many people,” she told People in 2018 of her decision to move away from entertainment.
But, in 2019, she stepped down from her company. “After 30 years in the skincare business and 28 years as the President & Founder of Principal Secret, I will be stepping down to devote myself full time to my philanthropic work through The Victoria Principal Foundation for Thoughtful Existence and my rescue work with animals,” she told Entertainment Tonight in a statement.
Principal told TV Insider that she created her foundation in 2006 with a mission in mind. “The impetus is to help financially support this beautiful planet and life upon it,” she said. “I’m particularly involved with ecology, oceans, banning toxic substances and helping children and animals.”
She also helps animals herself on her own rescue ranch. “I rescue and rehabilitate animals that have been neglected and abused,” she explained. “They need medical care, patience and love to recover physically, emotionally and in spirit. This is not a charitable organization but rather something I have dreamed of and they all live out the rest of their lives with me. It’s something that fills me with joy every day… but my business manager not so much.”
Principal has been married and divorced two times. She was married to writer and producer Christopher Skinner from 1978 to 1981. Then, she was married to plastic surgeon Harry Glassman from 1985 to 2006. Between her two marriages, Principal also dated singer Andy Gibb for a year and they recorded a song together titled “All I Have to Do Is Dream.”
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Principal told People that she and her Dallas co-stars didn’t have close personal relationships. “There were phone calls, but I didn’t really have get-togethers,” she said. “We never hung out really anyway. We worked together and we had different lives. When I started the show Patrick was married and starting a family, Steve [Kanaly] was married and starting a family, Larry [Hagman] was married with children, Linda [Gray] was married with children. I was single. And so those are very different lifestyles.” That said, she told TV Insider that she had a bond with late actor Barbara Bel Geddes, who played Ellie Ewing, and called Geddes her “hero.”
That said, Principal is glad to see that the show lives on. “I’m happy, based [on] all the emails that I’ve gotten, that people are introducing their children or their grandchildren to Dallas,” she said. “I’m so excited that people continue to remember Dallas.”