Claudia Blaisdel Carrington

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Claudia Blaisdel Carrington
ClaudiaBlaisdel.jpg
Pamela Bellwood as Claudia Blaisdel Carrington (1981)
DYNASTY character
Portrayed by Pamela Bellwood
Duration 1981–82, 1983–86
First appearance "Oil" (1981)
Last appearance "The Choice (a.k.a.) The Vendetta" (1986)
Created by Richard and Esther Shapiro
Profile
Occupation Manager of La Mirage
Owner of Lankershim-Blaisdel 1
ClaudiaCarrington-TheTriple-Cross.jpg
Bellwood as Claudia, from "The Triple-Cross" (1986)

Claudia Blaisdel Carrington (born Barrows)[1] is a fictional character on the American TV series Dynasty.

The role was originated by Pamela Bellwood in the show's premiere episode "Oil" on January 12, 1981, and the character was written off after the October 20, 1982 third season episode "The Wedding." Claudia reappeared in the March 30, 1983 episode "The Dinner" later that season. Bellwood rejoined the series as a regular cast member in the October 19, 1983 fourth season episode "The Note," and remained until the end of the sixth season.

Rather than incorporate Bellwood's pregnancy during the 1985-1986 season into the storyline, Claudia was absent from several episodes. Her later appearances were filmed in such a way as to conceal her condition,[2][3] and producers ultimately decided to kill the character off.[4] Claudia's final episode was the sixth season finale "The Choice (a.k.a.) The Vendetta" on May 21, 1986.

Season one[edit]

As Dynasty begins in 1981, Matthew Blaisdel returns to Denver from a long-term assignment in the Middle East to discover that his wife Claudia has been released from the sanitarium where she had been living since her breakdown in 1979. Matthew and daughter Lindsay find Claudia trying to restart her life, living on her own and working in a diner. Though struggling with his feelings for Krystle Jennings — whom he had fallen in love with while Claudia had been institutionalized but who is now engaged to Matthew's boss Blake Carrington — Matthew invites Claudia home to rebuild their marriage.

Claudia's first appearance in "Oil" (1981)

Fragile Claudia is desperately trying to reconnect with Lindsay, who had been hurt and traumatized by Claudia's breakdown. Already tenuous, Matthew and Claudia's relationship is further strained as she realizes that he still has feelings for Krystle. Claudia is drawn to Blake's sensitive son Steven Carrington, who is struggling with his sexuality. Lindsay is devastated as she overhears Claudia accusing Matthew of only marrying her because she was pregnant. Matthew leaves Blake's employ to run his own rig, and soon their rivalry over Krystle transforms into a fierce rivalry over oil. Meanwhile, Claudia's friendship with Steven turns into an affair.

Later, Claudia is called as a defense witness for Blake in his trial for the murder of Steven's former lover, Ted Dinard. Blake's lawyer argues that Steven's relationship with Claudia "proves" that Ted was a harmful influence on his son. Her secret out, Claudia knows her marriage is over and attempts to run away with Lindsay, only to crash her car in the first season finale, "The Testimony."[5]

Season two[edit]

When Claudia wakes in the hospital in the season two premiere "Enter Alexis," she learns that Matthew has taken Lindsay and left the country. She tries to kill herself with sleeping pills but is rescued by Dr. Nick Toscanni, a friend of Blake's. Feeling responsible for her troubles, Blake had sent Nick to check on her; Claudia soon accepts Blake's offer to convalesce at the mansion, and begins therapy with Nick. Steven asks Claudia to marry him, but she declines, admitting that she is still in love with Matthew.

As 1982 begins, Claudia is well enough to leave the Carrington mansion, moving into her own apartment and taking a job working for Blake's company, Denver-Carrington. In "The Iago Syndrome," Cecil Colby offers to help Claudia find Lindsay if she agrees to spy on Blake, and she reluctantly agrees. When he asks for information that she is unable to access, Cecil suggests that she sleep with his nephew Jeff Colby and make a copy of his key. Claudia does so in "The Baby," but is overcome with guilt; Jeff learns of her duplicity but blames Cecil. In "The Gun," Claudia intercepts a Telex relating that Matthew's crashed jeep had been found in South America with "no signs of life." Realizing that Cecil had already known that Matthew and Lindsay are dead, she plans to kill Cecil. Claudia is interrupted by Krystle, who attempts to take the gun away from her, and in the struggle Claudia is shot.

With Claudia in surgery, the police doubt Krystle's version of the shooting; Claudia survives but her memory is spotty. She begins to obsess about Krystle's affair with Matthew. Somewhat hostile towards Krystle, Claudia begins to unravel in "The Two Princes" and begins packing for Ecuador, but Blake finally receives word that Matthew and Lindsay's bodies have been found. As the truth sinks in, Claudia remembers reading the first Telex, and the truth about Krystle's innocence in the shooting. Later, however, she hears the infant son of Jeff Colby and Blake's daughter Fallon crying; picking up the child, she calls him "Lindsay." The baby is kidnapped in the second season finale "The Cliff," and no one seems to notice that Claudia is not quite herself when she reports seeing a "foreign-looking man with a dark beard" on the grounds around the time the baby had disappeared.[6]

Season three[edit]

Claudia herself disappears from the mansion in the third season episode "The Roof," and becomes the prime suspect in the kidnapping. She rents an apartment, cradling a baby she calls "Lindsay," but the landlady soon recognizes her from television reports and the police arrive. Cornered on the roof, a confused and unstable Claudia refuses the pleas of the Carringtons to give back the baby she thinks is her daughter. Startled by an officer, Claudia trips, and the baby plunges over the side of the building — but it is only a doll.

In the October 20, 1982 episode "The Wedding," Jeff and Fallon's son is recovered from the real kidnapper, and Claudia returns to the sanitarium. Steven later visits her in the March 30, 1983 third season episode "The Dinner."[7]

Season four[edit]

A recovered Claudia is released in the October 19, 1983 fourth season episode "The Note," and she and Steven make love. Steven is battling his father Blake over custody of Danny, Steven's son with his ex-wife Sammy Jo; Claudia devises a plan to secure Steven's victory. She and Steven marry in "Tender Comrades," and they are promptly awarded custody of Danny.

Claudia begins receiving flowers and gifts that appear to be from Matthew. She and Steven visit the crash site in South America and view the wreckage of Matthew and Lindsay's car to convince Claudia that they are truly dead. However, upon returning home, Claudia receives a phone call from Matthew. As the calls continue, Krystle realizes that they are merely tape recordings. Claudia recalls that Matthew sent her tapes while she was hospitalized; she learns that Matthew's mother sold the tapes to an unknown man. Blake later figures out that the buyer was Morgan Hess, a private investigator with ties to his ex-wife (and Steven's mother) Alexis Colby. Hess, however, is working for Sammy Jo, who has decided to fight for custody of Danny.

Season five[edit]

Claudia and Steven's marriage is strained when she suspects that Steven is having an affair with a male co-worker, Luke Fuller. While Steven struggles with his attraction to Luke, Claudia is drawn into a brief affair with Dean Caldwell. Claudia confesses the affair and they separate; Claudia attempts to reconcile with Steven, but continues to catch him and Luke together. Claudia turns to Adam for support, and they also have an affair. Claudia divorces Steven and starts a relationship with Adam. Blake blames Claudia's leaving for "turning Steven gay" again and orders Adam to end the relationship. Adam agrees, but secretly tells Claudia that nothing will break them up. Claudia is Adam's date at the wedding of his sister Amanda Carrington to Prince Michael of Moldavia. When terrorists attack the wedding in a spray of gunfire, Luke shields Claudia and pushes her to the ground.

Season six[edit]

Claudia's final appearance, surrounded by flames in her room at La Mirage in "The Choice (a.k.a.) The Vendetta" (1986)

Claudia survives the terrorist attack (although Luke does not) and returns to Denver, where she and Adam are married. Ironically, Luke's death helps to repair her damaged relationship with Steven and they become friends. In "The Proposal," Claudia is informed of the death of Matthew's former business partner, Walter Lankershim, and inherits his oil well Lankershim-Blaisdel 1 (from the first season). Unfortunately, Blake had absorbed the well into Denver-Carrington years before, and flatly refuses to release it to her. Dreaming of financial independence, a furious Claudia urges Adam to trick an ailing Blake into signing a power of attorney in order to reclaim ownership. When the well turns out to be dry and worthless, Claudia snaps.

In the May 21, 1986 sixth season finale "The Choice (a.k.a.) The Vendetta," Claudia reveals Adam's duplicity to Blake and moves into La Mirage. While obsessing about the Carringtons who have lied to and betrayed her, she accidentally sets her room on fire. The blaze consumes the entire hotel, putting several Carrington lives in danger.[8]

Season seven[edit]

A devastated Adam reports to Blake in the seventh season premiere "The Victory" that Claudia is dead; a body burned beyond recognition had been discovered in the aftermath of the fire, wearing Claudia's wedding ring. Others have also died, and Blake is soon arrested and accused of arson. In "The Arraignment," Blake's niece Jackie Deveraux, injured in the fire, remembers seeing Claudia with flames behind her, proving that the blaze started in Claudia's room. The charges against Blake are dropped.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Claudia Blaisdel Carrington". Dynasty: The Authorized Biography of the Carringtons. Doubleday/Dolphin. 1984. pp. 86–97. ISBN 0-385-19525-7. 
  2. ^ Dynasty trivia - Shoulderpads.net
  3. ^ Dynasty trivia - UltimateDynasty.net
  4. ^ Pamela Bellwood - ClassicTVHits.com
  5. ^ "Dynasty Episodes Guide: Season One". Shoulderpads.net. Retrieved January 13, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Dynasty Episodes Guide: Season Two". Shoulderpads.net. Retrieved January 13, 2009. 
  7. ^ "Dynasty Episodes Guide: Season Three". Shoulderpads.net. Retrieved January 13, 2009. 
  8. ^ "The Choice" features Pamela Bellwood's final appearance as Claudia.

See also[edit]