Charlene Tilton

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Charlene Tilton
Charlene Tilton.jpg
Tilton in 2010
Born Charlene L. Tilton
(1958-12-01) December 1, 1958 (age 56)
San Diego, U.S.
Occupation Actress, singer
Years active 1976–present
Spouse(s) Johnny Lee (1982-1984)
Domenick Allen (1985-1992)

Charlene L. Tilton (born December 1, 1958) is an American actress and singer.[1][2] She is best known for playing Lucy Ewing in the television series Dallas.

Career[edit]

Tilton had early roles in television series such as Happy Days and Eight Is Enough. She made her first film appearance alongside Jodie Foster in Freaky Friday. In 1978, Tilton made a cameo appearance in the John Milius film Big Wednesday. A year later, she made her big break by landing the role of Lucy Ewing, the sly, vixenish, frequently frustrated granddaughter of Jock and Ellie Ewing in the popular television series Dallas, opposite legendary television actors Jim Davis, Barbara Bel Geddes and Larry Hagman, from 1978 to 1985 and from 1988 to 1990. She also appeared on one episode of the show's spin-off series Knots Landing in 1980. After Dallas fame, she gets $50,000 salary per episode, appeared on 500 magazine covers and drew 65 million viewers for her 1981 TV wedding.[3]

Tilton is also a singer; her own vocals were heard on a 1978 episode of Dallas. In 1984, she released a dance-pop single, "C'est La Vie", which became a hit in several countries in Europe. She appeared on Circus of the Stars in 1979 and 1991, on one occasion acting as a knife thrower's target girl in a gold bikini. Tilton also did her time doing game shows as well, by becoming a panelist on the 1979-1982 syndicated version of Match Game. She also hosted the pilot for a potential revival of the show in syndication as Match Game 2/MG2 in 1996.

Tilton was the guest host on Saturday Night Live on February 21, 1981. The episode in question featured a parody of the famed "Who Shot J.R.?" episode of Dallas. In the episode, cast member Charles Rocket was shot in the chest by a sniper while doing a sketch about a sexy couple (with Gail Matthius as his partner) bathing a dog and spouting innuendo. At the end of the show, as cast members traditionally gathered around the host to say good night, Tilton asked Rocket how he felt about being shot. In character, a wheelchair-using Rocket improvised, "Oh, man, it’s the first time I've ever been shot in my life. I'd like to know who the fuck did it."[4]

Tilton did a number of commercials in the 1990s for the Abdominizer workout equipment. She appeared as herself in an episode of Married... with Children where her involvement with the "Abdominizer" was spoofed. In addition, she has appeared in several spoof movies, such as The Silence of the Hams (1994), Superhero Movie (2008) and Paranormal Calamity (2010). In 2005, she appeared in the British reality television show The Farm.

In 2001, Tilton was honored by the Young Artist Foundation with its Former Child Star "Lifetime Achievement" Award for her role as Lucy Ewing on the original Dallas television series.[5] In January 2012, Tilton was a contestant on the British ice-skating show Dancing on Ice in its seventh season. She was paired with American figure skater, Matthew Gonzalez, who has previously worked with British actress Danniella Westbrook. Tilton was voted out in week five of a twelve-week run.[6]

In 2012, Tilton joined the cast of TNT's Dallas revival series, and reprised her role as Lucy Ewing in multiple episodes.[7][8]

Personal life[edit]

Tilton was born in San Diego, California, the daughter of Katherine Thacker, a secretary.[9] Tilton is 4'11" (1.50 m) tall. Tilton was married to country singer Johnny Lee from 1982 to 1984 and to Domenick Allen from 1985 to 1992. She has one daughter, Cherish Lee, born in 1982. In 2009, after 8 years together, Tilton's fiance Cheddy Hart died suddenly from heart failure at the age of 54.

On November 23, 2012, Tilton lost her longtime friend and series' lead, Larry Hagman due to complications from myelodysplastic syndrome due to throat cancer treatments. Prior to his death, she released in a statement, "At seventeen years old my life took a turn that one could only dream of. I was cast as Lucy Ewing in the iconic show Dallas. Dallas was so much more than a television phenomenon to me. It was my family. I grew up with a mentally ill single mother raising me and no father figure in my life. I lived on my own in an apartment from the age of fifteen. I remember the day I met the force of nature that is Larry Hagman like it was yesterday. (It was actually 35 years ago). My Uncle Larry became the father figure that I so needed and longed for. He taught me how to be professional, work hard but have fun at the same time, and how to respect the opportunities I was blessed to have been given. He was very protective because I was so young, but also expected the best from me on the set of Dallas. He was one of the best actors the world has ever known. To me, he will always be my Uncle Larry. I am so so very sad, but cherish the lifetime of memories I have with him."[10] Prior to her TV uncle's death, she'd kept in touch with Hagman, and was invited to his 70th birthday party in 2001.

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1976 Freaky Friday Bambi
1978 Sweater Girls Candy
1978 Big Wednesday Party Girl
1980 Pale Horse Pale Rider Miranda Short film
1990 Law at Randado Edith Hanasain
1991 Problem Child 2 Debbie Claukinski
1991 Ragin' Cajun Ali Webster
1991 For Parents Only Mrs. Farell
1992 Deadly Bet Isabella
1992 Center of the Web Kathryn Lockwood
1994 The Silence of the Hams Jane Wine
1998 Detonator Gail Davies
2000 Guido Takes a Hike Bartender Short film
2001 Totally Blonde Blonde School Director
2003 Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star Charlene Tilton
2005 A Distant Thunder Susan Short film
2006 Getting It Straight Cynthia Rosenburg Short film
2008 Tell Veronica Veronica Star
2008 Superhero Movie Jill's Mother
2009 The Fish Charlene Tilton
2009 Sarah's Choice Michelle Biden Direct-to-video
2010 Paranormal Calamity Jacquiline
2010 #1 Cheerleader Camp Charlene Tilton Direct-to-video
2010 Mean Parents Suck Jean Farell
2011 Doctor Spine Aunt Sally
2012 Edge of Salvation Sarah Malone
2012 Hemingway Mrs. Hemingway
2013 Buttwhistle Mrs. Podgorney
2013 Lucky Dog Jeanie
2014 Not Another Celebrity Movie Chef

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1976 Happy Days Jill Higgins Episode: "They Shoot Fonzies, Don't They?"
1977 Eight Is Enough Wendy Springer Episode: "Women, Ducks and the Domino Theory"
1978–85, 1988–90, 1991 Dallas Lucy Ewing Cooper Series regular, 246 episodes
Young Artist Award for Best Juvenile Actress in a TV Series or Special (1979)
Young Artist Award Former Child Star Lifetime Achievement Award (2001)
TV Land Pop Culture Award (2006)
1979 Diary of a Teenage Hitchhiker Julie TV Movie
1979 The Fall of the House of Usher Jennifer Cresswell TV Movie
1980 Knots Landing Lucy Ewing Episode: "Home is for Healing"
1980 Laverne & Shirley The Girl at Bar Episodes: "Murder on the Moose Jaw Express: Part 1 and Part 2"
1980 Fantasy Island Charlotte 'Charlie' Johnson Episode: "Skater's Edge/Concerto of Death/The Last Great Race"
1981 Saturday Night Live Herself - Host / Various Episode: "Charlene Tilton/Todd Rundgren/Prince"
1983 Hotel Holly Lane Episode: "Relative Loss"
1980–87 The Love Boat Various 4 episodes
1987 Murder, She Wrote Cindy March Episode: "The Cemetery Vote"
1993 Married... with Children Herself Episode: "Tis time to smell the roses"
1995 Favorite Deadly Sins Norma Jean TV Movie
1995 Star Witness Grace Kelly TV Movie
1998 Safety Patrol Mrs. Zapruder TV Movie
2000 The Theory of Everything Stephanie TV Movie
2000 Bar Hopping Actress TV Movie
2007 Point of Entry Helen TV Movie
2012–14 Dallas Lucy Ewing 6 episodes
2013 DeVanity Francesca DeVanity Web series, Guest Star in episode 3.6
2013 Reading, Writing & Romance Penny TV Movie

References[edit]

  1. ^ New York Times
  2. ^ Los Angeles Times
  3. ^ "Charlene Tilton". People.com. November 28, 1994. Retrieved October 20, 2013. 
  4. ^ Shales, Tom; Miller, James Andrew (2002). Live from New York: an Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live. Little, Brown and Company. p. 215. ISBN 978-0-316-78146-6. 
  5. ^ "22nd Annual Young Artist Awards". YoungArtistAwards.org. Retrieved March 31, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Charlene Tilton on Dancing on Ice and going back to Dallas - Mirror Online". Mirror.co.uk. January 7, 2012. Retrieved October 20, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Keck's Exclusives: TNT's Dallas to Serve Up More Lucy and Ray - Today's News: Our Take". TVGuide.com. November 10, 2011. Retrieved October 20, 2013. 
  8. ^ "‘Dallas’: After Charlene Tilton’s cameo, who else should return? - Zap2it". Blog.zap2it.com. June 15, 2012. Retrieved October 20, 2013. 
  9. ^ Charlene Tilton Biography (1958)
  10. ^ "Stars pay tribute to Larry Hagman - Dallas TV Series News". Ultimatedallas.com. November 24, 2012. Retrieved October 20, 2013. 

External links[edit]