Jock Ewing

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Jock Ewing
Dallas character
Portrayed by Jim Davis
Dale Midkiff
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
Spin-off
appearances
Dallas: The Early Years
Profile
Occupation
  • Chairman of Ewing Oil (1930–82)
  • President of Ewing Oil (1930–77)
  • Co-owner of Southfork Ranch (1936–82)
  • 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.

Background[edit]

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 and Digger didn't get on much, while Jock stood up for Digger in those days. Jason eventually left Texas to wildcat in Alaska, marrying a woman named Nancy Shaw, with whom he had 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 Digger's girlfriend, Ellie Southworth. In the long run, Digger's drinking and undependability made Miss Ellie see that Digger would never change, and that Digger was not the type of man to marry, and she left Digger for Jock. Digger started to wander across the country after Ellie left him, but Jock and Digger continued with their oil business ventures for a few more years. Even as late as 1939, Jock and Digger both signed a deal to share the profits of Ewing 23 between themselves and their heirs in perpetuity. However, when Ewing 6 came in, Jock put the field in his name only, to prevent Digger from gambling and drinking his half away. Digger was furious and he claimed that Jock had stolen the wells for himself, ending their friendship and business relationship.

Marriages and children[edit]

Ellie Southworth was desperate to save Southfork, which was hit hard by the Great Depression of the 1930s, but Jock was reluctant to marry, even after Miss Ellie chose him over Digger, because unbeknownst to Miss Ellie, Jock was previously married to a woman named Amanda Lewis and looked after her psychiatric needs. 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, which he eventually did in 1930. In 1936, 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 that 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 with her brother, Garrison Southworth. 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, J.R, Gary and Bobby. 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 Britain, Jock 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 fiancée, 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 his affair with Margaret Hunter. She forgave him and they moved on. In 1948, Amos Krebbs left Margaret Hunter, leaving her to raise Ray as a single parent. In 1960, 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, and told Miss Ellie that Ray was the son of the woman that he had an affair with during the war. Neither Jock, Miss Ellie nor Ray knew that Jock was Ray's father until 20 years later, when Amos Krebbs came to Dallas and revealed that Jock was Ray's father, bringing proof to back up his claim. Jock then welcomed Ray into the Ewing family, and personally explained it all to his family.

As the years passed from the 1930s onwards, Jock built Ewing Oil into one of the most powerful independent oil companies in Texas, much to the anger and bitterness of his former friend and business partner, Digger Barnes. Jock also became a 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 came to heavily rely on J.R. in the management of Ewing Oil giving J.R. "the fever for big business" but "never taught him when to stop". Jock, for the most part, ignored his second son Gary, whom Jock considered weak and lacking the Ewing character, as Gary ran away from responsibility, began drinking excessively to handle the pressures of being a teenage husband and father, and couldn't stand up to J.R.'s bullying. Jock generally spoiled his youngest son, Bobby, who Jock considered to be "the best of the lot". Bobby had the morals that J.R. lacked and embraced Jock's favoritism. However, Bobby was often emotional, short-tempered and lacked the intelligence, drive, and focus to succeed in the oil business preferring football, women, ranching, and enjoying the social benefits of being a Ewing,which was earned by the hard work of Jock and J.R.

Retirement[edit]

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.

Death[edit]

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.

Wes Parmalee storyline[edit]

In a storyline during the 1986–87 season of 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. Wes then claimed to be Jock Ewing, and that he had survived the helicopter accident, which necessitated plastic surgery and rehab in a South American hospital. After passing a series of tests set by J.R. and Bobby, including X-ray tests, a polygraph test and knowledge about the Ewing family, including Jock's first wife Amanda and Ray being Jock's son, Wes convinced many in Dallas, in addition to Miss Ellie, Ray, and several other members of the Ewing family, that he could be Jock. However, Clayton, Bobby and J.R. utterly refused to believe any suggestion that Wes 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 this 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. This small piece of evidence against Wes Parmalee being Jock Ewing was seized on. By then, Ray had told Wes that his presence was causing a lot of trouble to the family, just before Wes went to see Miss Ellie. Miss Ellie told her family that Wes had told her that he wasn't Jock, 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. Wes wanted to have such a wonderful family again since he had had lost his wife and children years ago. Miss Ellie claimed that Wes had apologized for the pain he'd caused, and had left Dallas for good.

Legacy[edit]

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.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Ro's Gallery: Clients - Celebrities". Retrieved July 15, 2006. 
  2. ^ "Trivia for "Dallas"". IMDb.com. 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. ^ http://www.ultimatedallas.com/dallasnews/2011/06/04/jocks-portrait-sells-at-auction/
  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". Homepage.mac.com. Retrieved June 15, 2007. 

References[edit]

External links[edit]