Jock Ewing

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Jock Ewing
Dallas character
Portrayed by Jim Davis
Duration 1978–81, 1986
First appearance April 2, 1978
Digger's Daughter
Last appearance April 10, 1981
New Beginnings
March 23, 1986
Dallas: The Early Years
Created by David Jacobs
Dallas: The Early Years
  • Chairman of Ewing Oil (1930–82)
  • President of Ewing Oil (1930–77)
  • Co-owner of Southfork Ranch (1938–82)
  • Investor in Cyberbyte (as told in Dallas: J.R. Returns)

John Ross "Jock" Ewing, Sr. (1909–82) is a character in the popular American television series Dallas, played by Jim Davis (1978–81); in the made-for-TV movie prequel to the series, Dallas: The Early Years (1986), he was played by Dale Midkiff. Jock Ewing founded Ewing Oil in 1930 and was the patriarch of the Ewing family.


Early life and career[edit]

Jock was born in 1909, the younger of two sons. Through his older brother Jason, Jock got a job in an oil field in east Texas. While riding in a train boxcar he met Willard "Digger" Barnes, and the two became friends. Jock, Digger, and Jason all became wildcatters and began drilling their own fields. Digger had a unique ability to smell oil underground, and with Jock's business skills they began making a fortune.

Jason married a woman named Nancy Shaw and soon left Texas to wildcat in Alaska, where he fathered a son Jack (played by Dack Rambo) and a daughter Jamie (played by Jenilee Harrison). Jock and Digger returned to Dallas and Southfork, where Jock met Eleanor "Ellie" Southworth. Digger and Miss Ellie were dating but Digger's drinking and undependability made Miss Ellie see that Digger would never change, and he was not the type of man to marry. Jock and Digger continued with their oil ventures, but when Ewing 6 came in, Jock put the field in his name, to prevent Digger from gambling and drinking his half away. Digger was furious and claimed Jock had stolen the wells for himself, and their friendship ended.

Marriages and children[edit]

By now Jock and Miss Ellie were dating. She was desperate to save Southfork, but Jock was reluctant to marry because, unbeknownst to Miss Ellie, he was already married to a woman named Amanda Lewis. Amanda had suffered a mental breakdown shortly after she and Jock were married, and Jock put her in a mental hospital. The doctor told Jock that Amanda would never recover and advised Jock to divorce her. Miss Ellie came to Jock, told him that she was pregnant with J.R., and demanded that he marry her. Jock and Miss Ellie married on the day her family was to lose Southfork, and it was well known that Jock was the only man in Dallas with the money to save the ranch. Jock had a fragile and stormy relationship with Miss Ellie's father, Aaron Southworth, and her brother, Garrison Southworth, who was a close friend of Digger Barnes', because both Aaron and Garrison hated oilmen. On his deathbed, Aaron accepted Jock as part of his family by giving him his favorite gun.

Jock and Miss Ellie had three sons together. Jock served in World War II, where he and an old army buddy, Tom Mallory, were shot down in a mission in Holland. They later returned to save the families who sheltered them. During his term in England he had an affair with an Army nurse from Emporia, Kansas, named Margaret Hunter. Jock was shipped off to France, and Margaret returned to the United States. She married her fiancé Amos Krebbs and soon thereafter gave birth to Jock's illegitimate son Ray Krebbs.

After the war, Jock returned to Southfork and confessed to Miss Ellie about the affair. She forgave him and they moved on, but one day a 15-year-old Ray Krebbs showed up at Southfork with a note from his mother asking Jock to help Ray. Jock made Ray a hand on Southfork ranch and told Miss Ellie Ray was the son of the woman he had an affair with during the war, but neither knew Jock was Ray's father until years later when Amos Krebbs came to Dallas and revealed that Jock was Ray's father.

As the years passed, Jock built Ewing Oil into one of the most powerful independent oil companies in Texas and became a very successful rancher. Jock "took over raising" his eldest son J.R., showing him "tough love" and made him one of the most cunning and ruthless oil barons in the oil business. Jock, for the most part, ignored his second son Gary, whom he considered weak, and spoiled his youngest son Bobby.


In 1977, Jock retired as president of Ewing Oil. He made J.R. his successor and took a more active role in running Southfork with foreman Ray Krebbs.


Jock and Ellie briefly separated in 1981 but reconciled and went on a second honeymoon to Paris. Upon returning to the United States, Jock and Miss Ellie arrived in Washington. D.C., where they were met by the U.S. State Department with a request for Jock to go to South America to lead a drilling operation. Ellie returned to Southfork alone, while Jock had conferences in Washington. Later, he returned to Southfork, just for a few hours, to get his gear together before leaving for South America. While flying back from Venezuela to Texas, the helicopter he was in collided with a small plane and landed in a lake. Jock's body was never found, but he was declared dead in the fall of 1982. The storyline involving Jock's death was necessitated by the death of actor Jim Davis. A tribute to Davis was shown at the end of the episode "The Search"; a picture of Davis and the words "Jim Davis 1909-1981" was quietly displayed for some moments before the credits and music started. A memorial headstone to Jock stands on Southfork Ranch, beside Miss Ellie's headstone and grave.


In a storyline years later on the show, a man named Wes Parmalee (portrayed by Steve Forrest) came to Dallas, where Clayton and Ray hired him as ranch foreman on Southfork. One day Miss Ellie found Jock's belt buckle, knife, letters, and photo of a young Miss Ellie in Parmalee's room. Parmalee said he had survived the accident, which necessitated plastic surgery and years of rehab in a South American hospital. After passing a series of tests set by J.R. and Bobby, including a polygraph test and knowledge about the Ewing family, including Jock's first wife Amanda and Ray being Jock's son, Parmalee convinced many in Dallas, in addition to Miss Ellie, Ray, and several other members of the Ewing family, that he was Jock. However, Clayton, Bobby and J.R. refused to believe he was Jock. Bobby flew down and talked with the doctor who had treated Jock for a severe fever while he was in South America. Bobby returned to Southfork and revealed the information at a Ewing barbecue, where Jock's best friend Punk Anderson said that while he had the fever, Jock was telling the history of the Ewing family. Meanwhile, Parmalee confessed he wasn't Jock to Miss Ellie. Parmalee said that he had met Jock while working in South America and was on the helicopter with Jock, where he took Jock's things and learned about the Ewings. He wanted to have such a wonderful family since he had had lost his wife and children years ago. Parmalee apologized for the pain he'd caused and left Dallas for good.


Jock Ewing's Lincoln Mark V in a Southfork gift shop

After Jim Davis' death, artist Ro Kim painted a portrait of the actor in his role as Jock Ewing.[1] The portrait became a focal point of the Dallas set and was featured in a number of episodes.[2] The painting hung in the home of Larry Hagman, who played antagonist J.R. Ewing for many years until he decided to sell the portrait at auction in spring 2011.[3][4] The Southfork Ranch in Parker, Texas, where Dallas exteriors were shot, features a different Jock Ewing portrait as a focal point of its "Jock's Living Room".[5]

Jock drove a 1977 Lincoln Mark V with the license plate EWING 1, which is still on the grounds of Southfork, parked in one of the gift shops.


  1. ^ "Ro's Gallery: Clients - Celebrities". Retrieved July 15, 2006. 
  2. ^ "Trivia for "Dallas"". Retrieved July 15, 2007. "After Jim Davis died, a portrait of him hung above the fireplace at Southfork as a memorial to the actor. When Miss Ellie remarried in 1984, the picture was moved to the Ewing Oil set." 
    "Dallas: U.S. Serial Melodrama". Museum of Broadcast Communications. Retrieved June 15, 2007. "...his [Jock Ewing's] portrait continued to preside over key scenes in the offices of Ewing Oil. Showing his utter devotion to his father's legacy, sespite the loss of Ewing Oil, JR states to WestStar CEO Jeremy Wendell, who is taking over Ewing Oil, "Wendell, touch that painting and I will kill you where you stand!"" 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Hagman, Larry; Gold, Todd (2001). Hello Darlin': Tall (and Absolutely True) Tales About My Life. Simon & Schuster. pp. 209–10. ISBN 0-7432-2181-8. "...I still see him [Jim Davis] every day. The first thing you see when you enter my home is the oil painting of Jim that hung in the living room of Southfork." 
  5. ^ "Photo Gallery". Southfork Ranch. Retrieved June 15, 2007. 
    "Southfork Ranch". Retrieved June 15, 2007. 


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