She became famous on the TV show ‘Dallas.’ Take a moment to prepare yourself before you see her now, at 82 years old.

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Linda Gray became well-known by playing Sue Ellen Ewing on the popular TV show Dallas. She was part of over 300 episodes, but even with a successful career, she faced personal challenges.

Now, at 82 years old, Linda Gray is still going strong. This is her story.



Over the years, in movies and TV, we’ve seen actors give fantastic performances that seem perfect for them. It’s like they were meant to play those roles, and it’s hard to imagine anyone else doing it just as well.

For instance, can you picture someone else playing Charles Ingalls in “Little House on the Prairie” instead of Michael Landon? Or would “Mary Poppins” be the same if Dick Van Dyke didn’t play Bert?


Think about how certain actors are just perfect for certain roles. Take Linda Gray, for instance. It’s hard to picture the TV show Dallas without her playing Sue Ellen Ewing. Many of us are thankful she got that part.

Linda Gray’s life has been like a roller coaster – full of ups and downs. She faced serious illness, fought against addiction, and went through a marriage that wasn’t very fulfilling.


Even though Linda Gray has faced tough times, she always came out stronger. She was determined to make the best of her life and have a long and successful career.

In the TV show Dallas, Gray acted with Larry Hagman and Patrick Duffy. Now, she shares her thoughts about working with Hagman and spills the secrets behind their great on-screen chemistry.




Linda Gray was born on September 12, 1940, in Santa Monica, California.

When she was a little kid, she got sick with polio. Her grandfather already had it, and her parents were really sad about it. But for Linda, it wasn’t a big deal.


“When my grandpa was 17, they didn’t know what was wrong, and he always used a wheelchair,” she remembered. “When I got diagnosed, everyone in my family was upset, but I wasn’t. I thought I could have a wheelchair like Grandpa.”

Linda Gray grew up in Culver City, California, where her dad had a watchmaker shop. Even as a little kid, she loved performing. She would put on shows in her neighborhood. Later, at Notre Dame Academy in Los Angeles, she played Cinderella in a play.

Her dad gave her and her sister Betty the stability they needed.

Linda Gray shared in her 2015 book, “The Road to Happiness Is Always Under Construction,” that her dad didn’t provide emotional support. He was more like a piece of furniture, just there. But back then, you didn’t talk to your dad about problems with boyfriends. Still, he was supportive of her career.


Their mom, Marge, used to be an artist and ballerina but was quite different. She drank a lot, and soon, the two sisters had to take charge of their home.

Marge wasn’t falling down drunk, and there was no yelling. She wasn’t mean, just kind of lost in her own world. She’d forget to buy food, so Linda started doing the cooking. Linda and her sister didn’t like her much.


Later in life, Marge went to Alcoholics Anonymous and stopped drinking. Linda thinks her mom drank because of disappointment and stifled creativity. Linda was determined not to end up like her mom and believed that pursuing her career was the key to avoiding the same fate.

But Linda Gray faced many challenges in her life, and they began when she was in her 20s.

Living near Hollywood in Culver City meant being close to the entertainment capital of the world. Linda and her friends used to spend time at the studios after school, getting autographs from famous stars like Tyrone Powers and Spencer Tracy.

Initially, she wanted to study medicine, but being near the film studios changed her mind. Linda decided she wanted to be an actress. During her teenage years, she worked as a model for various beauty companies and airlines.


Linda Gray got married to a photographer named Edward Lee Thrasher when she was just 21. But, unfortunately, the marriage became a bit of a nightmare for Linda.

Instead of focusing on her career in show business, she had to take on the roles of a wife and then a mother. In 1960, they had a son named Jeff Thrasher, and six years later, their daughter Kehly was born.

Linda Gray says that Ed, her husband, didn’t talk much. The family moved to Santa Clarita, where Linda still lives. However, Linda was determined to build her own career.

According to Linda, their marriage was emotionally distant, and she felt left alone.

“It really hurt me, but I thought, ‘I can somehow make this work,'” she said. “It took me 21 years to decide to leave my marriage.”


At that time, Linda’s husband Ed didn’t want her to work part-time. He wanted a fancy lifestyle at home. Linda saw this as an opportunity to enter show business, and soon enough, she started appearing in TV commercials.

She did a lot of them.

In 1963, she had two small, uncredited roles in movies called “Under the Yum Yum Tree” and “Palm Springs Weekend.”

A few years later, when Linda Gray was 27, she landed a gig that’s now pretty famous. She got paid $25 to be Anne Bancroft’s body double in the poster for the movie “The Graduate” (1967), which starred a young Dustin Hoffman. You can see Linda Gray’s legs in that famous image. Interestingly, she later played Mrs. Robinson in the 2001 West End Stage production of “The Graduate.”

But not everyone was a fan. In her 2015 memoir, Gray shared a rejection letter from Glamour Magazine in the early 1960s. However, it didn’t bring her down.

“It was funny, so I kept that letter,” Gray said. “I kept it because I realized we all face rejections, and it was just one person’s opinion when I was 20 years old. I could have let it ruin my life, but I didn’t. I got feisty – ‘Oh, yeah? I’m gonna show you!’ With lots of love and a good sense of humor, I kept that letter. It pushed me forward and made me want to go out and achieve something.”

Linda loved being a mom, but at the same time, she was frustrated because she couldn’t pursue her acting career. When she finally decided to take acting classes, her husband wasn’t happy.

He told her, “Why not become an actress when the kids are in college,” she remembered.

However, at 37, Linda Gray decided to follow her own path and took acting classes alongside many younger people. Actor Dennis Weaver saw her talent and helped her land her first real acting job as a guest star on the TV series “Marcus Welby M.D” in 1974.

Things soon started getting better.

In 1978, Linda Gray got the role of Sue Ellen Ewing on the new TV show “Dallas.” Initially, it was supposed to be a small role for just five episodes, but she became a regular cast member. Her performances made her a star.

“Dallas” was all about corruption, betrayal, lies, affairs, and scandals happening at the Southfork Ranch in the series. Linda Gray’s acting was praised by TV critics, and with her co-stars Larry Hagman and Patrick Duffy, the series brought her huge success.


On “Dallas,” Linda Gray became somewhat of a sex symbol, and the chemistry between her and Larry Hagman was genuine.

People at CBS saw the magic happening right in front of them. However, according to Gray, the reality wasn’t based on any romantic chemistry.

“He was like the mischievous big brother I never had,” Gray said. “In my mind, he was always doing something wrong – drinking too much or whatever, and I would scold him. He loved that, loved doing things just to get a reaction from me. I’d say, ‘Don’t eat that. You don’t need that much sugar, and stop drinking.'”

“I was a pain in the neck – and he loved it,” she continued. “He would purposely do things to get me worked up. The directors were just amazed. They thought we were crazy teenagers, but when they said action, we would become J.R. and Sue Ellen. It was seamless. We don’t know what happened. It was absolute magic. We felt blessed, and we were.”

“Dallas” wasn’t only praised by TV critics and industry people; the audience absolutely loved it too.


The show “Dallas” was a huge hit, breaking many records and staying on TV for a really long time. Even today, it’s one of the longest-running shows in American prime-time television history.

On November 21, 1980, people found out who shot Larry Hagman’s character, JR Ewing, and a lot of people wanted to see it. Over 80 million people watched that episode, making it the most-watched single TV program in America at the time, as reported by BT. It held the top spot until the last episode of the sitcom MASH, which was watched by 121 million viewers.

While doing well on “Dallas,” Linda Gray received two Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Actress in a Drama Series and also got an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.

During her successful time on the show, she finally divorced her husband Ed Thrasher in 1983. Her son Jeff followed in her footsteps and became a director.

Jeff earned an Emmy nomination in 2018 for Outstanding Directing in a Multiple Camera Lifestyle, Culinary or Educational and Informational Program for “Furze World Wonders.” He also won a Canadian Screen Award for Best Science or Nature Documentary Program or Series for his 2015 show “Mission Asteroid.”

Unfortunately, in 2020, a sad thing happened. Linda Gray’s son Jeff passed away after battling leukemia.

Linda Gray shared a tribute to her son on Instagram. She wrote, “A celebration of my son Jeff’s life. He was the kindest, funniest, sweetest human being… he brought the world such love and was loved by everyone! May his journey be a magical one.”



After starring in an impressive 308 episodes of Dallas, Linda Gray continued her acting career in various TV series. In 2012, she reprised her role as Sue Ellen Ewing when Dallas was renewed for two more seasons. She received a Special Award at the 2014 USA Film Festival.

Even at 82, Linda Gray looks stunning! She has faced challenges from childhood to her first marriage and the heartbreaking loss of her son. But one thing is clear: she knows how to handle tough times and turn them into the strength to move forward.

We admire her for that and wish her all the best in the future! If you enjoyed reading about Linda Gray, feel free to share this article on Facebook with your family and friends.