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Original Main Cast
John Ross "J.R." Ewing II (Larry Hagman)
- Anti-Hero: Occasionally, in his nicer moments.
- Breakout Character
- Cain and Abel: With Bobby.
- The Casanova
- The Chessmaster
- Complete Monster: In his worst, most vicious moments, J.R. had absolutely no morals, especially when he wanted to bury someone that he hated or whom he thought double-crossed him.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive
- Deadpan Snarker
- Handsome Lech
- Love to Hate
- Magnificent Bastard
- Manipulative Bastard
- Nice Hat
- Papa Wolf
- Pet the Dog: Every once in a blue moon, especially if his son is involved.
- Southern-Fried Genius
- Villain Protagonist
Bobby James Ewing (Patrick Duffy)
- Badass: Bobby is never defeated in any remotely fair fight.
- Beware the Nice Ones: If pushed too far.
- Cain and Abel: With J.R..
- Eighties Hair: Once introduced on a game show as "The talking hair from Dallas".
- Ideal Hero
- Happily Married: To Pam (at first.)
- Hidden Depths: He is a genuinely nice guy and far more moral than J.R. but several times his inner ruthless streak comes through and he's a very savvy businessman when he puts his mind to it.
- Hot Dad
- Mr. Fanservice: Got a lot of shirtless scenes.
- Papa Wolf
Cliff Barnes (Ken Kercheval)
- Arch Enemy: To J.R and to a lesser extent the whole Ewing clan.
- Butt Monkey
- He Who Fights Monsters
- Not So Different: Again to J.R. - several characters (including his own sister) called him out on his own love of power.
Pamela Barnes Ewing (Victoria Principal)
- Babies Make Everything Better: Well maybe not everything better but the arrival of Cristopher did stave off a nervous breakdown
- Butt Monkey: Judging by her brother and father it's a family trait.
- Cain and Abel: She and Katherine eventually become this.
- Hot Mom
- Happily Married: To Bobby (at first.)
- Naive Everygirl
Sue Ellen Ewing (Linda Gray)
- Broken Bird
- Cain and Abel: She and her sister Kristin certainly had this kind of relationship.
- Christmas Cake
- Fiery Redhead
- Hot Mom
- Lady Drunk
- Mama Bear
- Ms. Fanservice
- Sugar and Ice Personality: Especially in the early seasons. She was cold and withdrawn around most people, usually showing her soft side around her son John Ross and occasionally her friends.
- The Woobie
John Ross "Jock" Ewing (Jim Davis)
- Badass Grandpa
- Cattle Baron: He's more of an oilman but he's one of these too and he certainly both looks and acts like one.
- Happily Married: To Miss Ellie.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Very gruff, very proud and nearly as ruthless in business as J.R. but also a genuinely loving family man who treats his employees fairly.
- Luke, I Am Your Father
- The Patriarch
Eleanor Southworth "Miss Ellie" Ewing (Barbara Bel Geddes)
- Cool Old Lady
- Determined Homesteader's Wife
- Happily Married: First to Jock, later to Clayton.
- Iron Woobie
- I Want Grandkids
- Mama Bear
- The Other Darrin: Bel Geddes was replaced by Donna Reed for the seventh season due to poor health. Bel Geddes came back after one season when she recovered. (Reed died a few months later.)
Lucy Ewing (Charlene Tilton)
- Bratty Teenage Daughter
- Dumb Blonde: At times.
- Parental Abandonment: For most of her childhood both her parents were out of her life.
- Raised by Grandparents: Her father, Gary, was the protagonist of Knots Landing. She never followed him to California, and disappeared from that show altogether. After Dallas' "Dream Season" resulted in the two storylines splitting, she was never mentioned there.
- Upperclass Twit: Female example.
Ray Krebbs (Steve Kanaly)
Clayton Farlow (Howard Keel)
- Badass Moustache
- Cool Old Guy
- Southern Gentleman
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Subverted; he takes over Jock's role but his personality is more like an older version of Bobby.
Jenna Wade (Priscilla Presley)
Donna Culver Krebbs (Susan Howard)
Afton Cooper (Audrey Landers)
Mitch Cooper (Leigh McCloskey)
Important Recurring Characters
Kristin Sheppard (Mary Crosby)
- Cain and Abel: She and Sue Ellen certainly had this kind of relationship.
Katherine Wentworth (Morgan Brittany)
- Cain and Abel: She and Pamela eventually become this.
Sylvia "Sly" Lovegren (Deborah Rennard)
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