Bobby Ewing

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Bobby Ewing
Patrick Duffy as Bobby.jpg
Patrick Duffy as Bobby Ewing (2012)
Dallas character
Portrayed by Patrick Duffy
Duration 1978–91, 1996, 1998, 2012–
First appearance April 2, 1978
Digger's Daughter
Created by David Jacobs
Dallas: The Early Years
Dallas: J.R. Returns
Dallas: War of the Ewings
Knots Landing
Occupation Interim Texas Railroad Commissioner
Partner in Ewing Global
Co-Owner of Southfork Ranch
Former Partner in Ewing Energies
Former CEO of Petro Group Dallas (1987-1988)
Texas State Senator (1981)
Former CEO of Ewing Oil (1980, 1982-1987, 1988-1990)
Former CEO of Ewing Construction (1978-1980)
Former Executive at Ewing Oil (1978, 1980)
Former Ewing Oil roadman (1970s)
Residence Southfork Ranch
3700 Hogge Drive
Parker, Texas 75002

Robert "Bobby" James Ewing[1][2] is a fictional character in the long-running soap opera, Dallas and its 2012 revival. The youngest son of Jock and Miss Ellie Ewing, he was portrayed by actor Patrick Duffy between 1978 and 1991 and returned in 2012, although both the actor and the character left the show briefly during 1985–1986. The show was originally planned to center around Bobby's Romeo and Juliet-style marriage to Pamela Barnes (Victoria Principal), who was from the rival Barnes family. However, the show ended up being centralized around his older brother, J.R. Ewing (Larry Hagman), as it became clear that he was the breakout character. Still Bobby retained his central role as the show's primary hero, and the Abel to J.R.'s Cain.


Bobby was born February 16, 1949 on Southfork Ranch. Bobby became a successful (though reluctant) oil baron, like his father and brother, but he lacked J.R.'s ruthlessness and insisted on playing fair which resulted in his limited success. Bobby would also take part in the raising of cattle on the family ranch, Southfork. He was also a state senator in Austin for a while.


Bobby's most defining character trait was his altruistic desire to do the right thing. This almost always put him in the cross-hairs of his older brother J.R., who was known as a conniving and ruthless oilman. Yet Bobby did on many occasions use ruthless tactics in order to attempt to beat J.R. Bobby was one of few people to openly take a stand against J.R. on numerous occasions (at times physically), yet the two never forgot they were brothers. In addition to the differences between their treatment of others, as well as their conflicting views on morality, another reason for J.R. and Bobby's rivalry was their father's preference for Bobby (their mother, Miss Ellie, favored middle son Gary). Growing up, and even into adulthood, Jock made no secret of the fact that Bobby was his favorite son and Bobby was very dependent on Jock's support in his fights with J.R. This caused a major rivalry with J.R., who was jealous of the unearned favoritism Bobby got from Jock.



In 1978, Bobby brought his new wife to meet his family at Southfork Ranch. However, they were furious to discover that Bobby's bride was Pamela Barnes, who is the daughter of their enemy - Digger Barnes. Bobby adopted a boy named Christopher,who was the son of J.R's deceased sister-in-law, Kristin Shepard and raised him with Pam, who had always wanted a child but was unable to have one of her own. His sister-in-law, Katherine Wentworth, has an unrequited crush on Bobby and began to become obsessed with him. Katherine broke up Bobby's marriage to Pam by writing a letter (pretending to be Pam) addressed to her lawyer. However, Bobby turned to Jenna and they became engaged. Katherine ran Bobby down with her car, where he later died in hospital from his injuries. However, the storylines of the preceding season, including the accident, were nothing more than a lengthy dream of Pam's. Bobby and Pam were reunited but Bobby's first love Jenna Wade revealed that she was pregnant with his child. Bobby wasn't interested and Jenna later gave birth to his son, Lucas Krebbs. When Pam was involved in a car crash which resulted in her suffering severe burns, she disappeared from the hospital and divorced Bobby and gave him custody of Christopher. Bobby became close to April Stevens and they began a relationship and eventually married. However, while on their honeymoon in Paris, April is kidnapped and later shot; she dies in Bobby's arms.

Bobby is first on the scene after hearing a gunshot from J.R.'s room uttering the words "Oh my God." The camera never shows what Bobby actually saw and it was thought J.R. committed suicide, although in subsequent films it was explained J.R. shot a mirror.

J.R. Returns and War of the Ewings[edit]

In J.R. Returns and War of the Ewings, Bobby had a relationship with Julia Cunningham (J.R. Returns) before taking over Ewing Oil. In the follow-up film War of the Ewings he is no longer with Julia and the reasons are not even explained. He eventually starts a relationship with European oil heiress Jennifer Jantzen, who was a business associate of his brother J.R. and whose father's company Jantzen Oil was saved from bankruptcy by J.R. Between 1996 and 1998 Bobby is CEO of Ewing Oil. In 1998 Bobby retires from Ewing Oil and begins traveling with Jennifer Jantzen. [3]

Dallas (2012 TV series)[edit]

By 2012, Bobby has remarried again, this time to a woman named Ann Smith, and is the owner of Southfork Ranch, according to the terms of Miss Ellie's will (in the original series (ep. 353), Miss Ellie had deeded Southfork to Bobby while she was still alive, thereby suggesting a continuity error). Bobby has retired from the oil business, believing that alternative energy is "the future", a belief he shares with his now grown adopted-son Christopher, and is content to raise cattle on the ranch. He has decided to sell Southfork, due to his contracting a Gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) and resulting fears that he will not be around to keep the ranch safe, and that Christopher is not yet ready to take over from him. Once again, this brings him into conflict with his older brother J.R. and his nephew, John Ross (who has discovered oil on the ranch). Bobby is shocked and saddened when he finds out his brother J.R. is dead. When J.R.'s will is read Bobby receives J.R.'s entire boot collection on the condition that he keeps them cleaner than he keeps his own. Also an old letter from Miss Ellie reveals that John Ross gets half of Southfork. Bobby doesn't agree but goes along with it for now, although it later leads to some disputes between Bobby and John Ross. Bobby also learns that his first wife Pam died of cancer in 1989.

Knots Landing appearances[edit]

Season One
  • Episode 1: "Pilot". Bobby accompanies his brother Gary and sister-in-law Valene to their new home in California.
Season Two
  • Episode 13: "The Loudest Word". Bobby visits Val in the hospital, where she is awaiting surgery. He also persuades Gary to support Val during her illness.
Season Four
  • Episode 6: "New Beginnings". While Gary is at Southfork for the reading of Jock's will, Bobby reassures Gary about his upcoming inheritance and the strings their father had tied to it.

Knots Landing and Bobby's "death"[edit]

As certain storylines of Knots Landing depended on Bobby's death in Dallas, the dream reveal did not get applied to Knots Landing's continuity, and Bobby Ewing was referred to as dead for the rest of the series' run.


  1. ^ Chris B. (2012-060-08). "Extra: TNT’s ‘Dallas,’ a Good Show Poised for Greatness". Dallas Decoder. Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  2. ^ Randy Zisk (director), Robert Rovner (writer) (July 4, 2012 (US)). ""Truth and Consequences" (Dallas Episode)". Dallas. Season 1. Episode 5. TNT.
  3. ^ Gates, Anita (1998-04-24). "TV WEEKEND; To Recap, J. R. Is Older; Pam's Still Dead". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-08-31. 

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