Ken Kercheval, known the world over by TV fans as oil baron Cliff Barnes on Dallas (1978-1991; 2012-2014), died April 21, THR has confirmed. He was 83.
Kercheval, a native of Indiana who was born July 15, 1935, got his start on the stage, appearing in the national touring production of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1963), in the off-Broadway play Dead End (1959), on Broadway in The Young Abe Lincoln (1961) and in the original Broadway productions of The Apple Tree (1966) and Cabaret (1966).
Having appeared on TV in such are as Naked City (1962) and The Secret Storm (1968), he transitioned to movies with Pretty Poison (1968), Rabbit Run (1970), The Seven-Ups (1973), Network (1976) and F.I.S.T. (1978). Barnes joined the hit-bound Dallas in 1978. Only he and Larry Hagman (1931-2012) were on Dallas from the beginning until the end (342 of 347 episodes), played Barnes in two '90s made-for-TV movies and returned for the series reboot in 2012.
After the initial run of Dallas, Kercheval made a couple of dozen, mostly TV, appearances, including on L.A. Law (1992); Murder, She Wrote (1992); In the Heat of the Night (1993); The Golden Palace (1993); Diagnosis Murder (1993-2000); and Crossing Jordan (2002 & 2006).
He was also known for appearances on game shows like The $10,000 Pyramid (34 times, 1980-1991), The $25,000 Pyramid (10 times, 1981-1986) and Super Password (24 times, 1987-1989). Smart, smart man.
His final filmed performance was in the small film Surviving in L.A. (2019).
Kercheval, who married and divorced four times, is survived by five children.