Check out all the cast in our Dallas Then and Now gallery. / Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
'Dallas' stars: Then and Now
Check out original Dallas cast members Patrick Duffy, Larry Hagman, Linda Gray and more in our Then and Now photo gallery.
And don't miss the premiere Wednesday, June 13 (9 p.m. ET, TNT).
As the reboot of TV’s classic Dallas makes its debut this Wednesday (9 p.m. ET, TNT), we catch up with Patrick Duffy, the show’s iconic Bobby Ewing. “The pilot script knocked me out of my shoes,” Duffy, 63, says of the series, based on the original from 1978 to 1991. “As soon as I read it, I said, ‘I’m in.’”
Had you ever imagined revisiting Bobby Ewing?
“No. Every once in a while a rumor comes around that they want to do a movie, resurrect it, but most of time it’s been without the original cast. I always rolled my eyes because I never thought it could be done as a feature film. It’s a soap opera.”
What can fans of the original Dallas expect?
“It’s the perfect blend of Dallas as it was, brought into the 21st century. We got a nice blend of the old vs. the new. For J.R. and his son, John Ross, oil will always be king. Then there’s me with my son, Christopher, who’s an alternate-energy promoter.”
Who is Bobby now?
“Bobby is the patriarch of the Ewing family at the [Southfork] ranch. We start the series with a celebration of Bobby’s 60th birthday. It’s an indication that we’re not trying to be something we’re not. Bobby’s not the swaggering hero now. Our job is to anchor the history of the show. Larry [Hagman] is guiding his son to be another J.R. I’m guiding my son to be another Bobby.”
Offscreen, you're a grandfather. How's that feel?
“It’s amazing. You think, ‘Oh, they’ll instantly love you because you’re the grandpa.’ My youngest grandson looks at me and thinks, ‘OK, we’re fine as long as you stay over there.’ My 5-year-old and my 3-year-old [grandkids] can’t get enough of me. I’m the hero because I teach them how to fish and let them drive the tractor with me [at Duffy’s ranch in Oregon].”
You've been married forever, by Hollywood standards. Any secrets?
“We just celebrated our 40th anniversary. I had to learn that acquiescence doesn’t mean giving up. Once I threw away my debit sheet in my head of who owed whom what, everything changed. We haven’t had a cross word or a misunderstanding in the last 15 years, 20 years. ... A large part of that I will say is that we both practiced Buddhism.”
What led you to Buddhism?
“I did it to try to get in bed with this woman, who became my wife. She told me about it. I thought, ‘Any opportunity I have to sit next to her, I’m taking it.’”
Does ranch living keep you fit or do you hit the gym?
“I stopped doing the gym work about three years ago. I did it for 30 years religiously. That was my job. I had to look that way: ‘My job is to look like a hero.’ Once I realized my job was no longer to be that person, all I had to do is be internally fit.”
Any bad habits you wish you could give up?
“Not that I wish I would give up. I cut out all distilled alcohol, but I drink a minimum of a bottle of [red] wine a day. I have done it for 35, 40 years. I think it’s actually beneficial. I drink a bottle at dinner every night. I never get buzzed.”