All roads lead to South­fork

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - WEDNESDAY EXTRA -

LINDA Gray may be at home in Dal­las, but at heart she’s a vagabond. Af­ter the orig­i­nal hit se­ries ended in 1991, Gray was in­vited to be a good­will am­bas­sador for the UN.

It changed her life. ‘‘What it ex­posed me to was de­vel­op­ing coun­tries, but not the nice parts,’’ she says, lean­ing her el­bow on the back of a white can­vas couch in a ho­tel room.

‘‘Not the parts a travel agent would send you to. I was go­ing to vil­lages of 800 peo­ple and hang­ing out – Nicaragua, Ra­jasthan – but once you’ve ex­pe­ri­enced that and you get to sit with hu­man­ity one to one . . . I sat in their lit­tle homes that were as big as that chest over there,’’ she points to a bureau across the room.

‘‘I sat and talked with them. I was find­ing out about women’s and chil­dren’s health is­sues. It was amaz­ing, amaz­ing, amaz­ing. So I spent 10 years do­ing that,’’ says Gray, who’s dressed in black pants and a top with a chif­fon over­lay.

‘‘I think I was born a cu­ri­ous per­son,’’ she says. ‘‘So I do things that I’m cu­ri­ous about. And it’s like, ‘I won­der what that would be like to do that?’

‘‘I love life and I can chew it up and as­sim­i­late it and di­gest it.

‘‘I want to know about this, and how does that work? And how does that feel? And what does it taste like? I have a very vis­ceral at­tach­ment to life. I have this hunger for dif­fer­ent cul­tures.’’

Even so, she is thrilled to be back as the savvy Sue Ellen, JR’s ex-wife in the ex­ten­sion of the orig­i­nal prime-time soap.

‘‘It was like, ‘OK, at 71 years old to be of­fered a se­ries is rare in our in­dus­try any­way’. And so I felt hon­oured. I thought, ‘Isn’t that lovely to be in­vited back’. Most women now at 35-40, they’re con­sid­ered ‘eh­hhh’.’’

‘‘But let’s fo­cus on the young peo­ple. So I thought, ‘I think the ma­tri­ar­chal sys­tem is com­ing in to be, and I feel that the

Larry Hag­man, Linda Gray, Patrick Duffy and Brenda Strong.

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