Katherine Wentworth

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Katherine Wentworth
Katherine Wentworth.jpg
Dallas character
Portrayed by Morgan Brittany
Duration 1981–85, 1987
First appearance October 30, 1981
Little Boy Lost
Last appearance October 2, 1987
The Sun Also Rises
Profile
Occupation

Katherine Wentworth is a fictional character from the CBS primetime soap opera Dallas, played by Morgan Brittany between 1981 and 1987.[1][2][3][4]

Casting[edit]

Morgan Brittany described the casting process: "I came back to Los Angeles and my agent called me saying they were looking for a new character on a television show, but they didn't really know what they wanted. They didn't know if they wanted young or old, but they did know she was the half-sister of Pamela Ewing. I told them I didn't really want to go, but they urged me. I went to MGM studios and walked into a room where there was tons of girls; tall, short, blonde, skinny, you name it. The show still didn't know what they wanted. So I sat down and they gave me two pieces of paper to read. After an hour and a half I was called in. By that time I was very upset and I did not want to be there. I clearly had an attitude! I read the two pages, then got up and said, "Look, that's all the time I have. I have to go." Then, I walked out. While I was leaving I realized I’d never done anything like that before. How could I do that? I called my agent and said, "I really blew it. I was so rude and nasty to these people and they are never going to want me." But that’s what they wanted! They liked the attitude. So, from that reading, they decided what they could turn the character Katherine into."[5]

Background[edit]

Katherine Wentworth was the daughter of Herbert Wentworth and Rebecca Wentworth.

Katherine was an only child and, while she was growing up, she was unaware of her half-siblings, Cliff and Pamela Barnes, from her mother's previous marriage to Willard "Digger" Barnes and extramarital affair. Her father was a multi-millionaire. He was the owner and founder of Houston's Wentworth Industries; and he, too, was unaware of his wife's previous marriage and other children although, unlike Katherine, Herbert never found out about their existence.

Katherine attended an exclusive school in Switzerland. As an adult, she worked as a TV journalist in New York City prior to arriving in Dallas.

Storylines[edit]

When Katherine was first seen in the show she appeared annoyed at her half-brother, Cliff, due to his lack of subtlety with how he ran Wentworth Tool & Die, which was Herbert Wentworth's first company. At that time, Katherine had a much better relationship with her half-sister, Pam.

After her mother's death in an airplane crash, Katherine quickly became infatuated with her brother-in-law, Bobby Ewing, which complicates Bobby's existing marriage with Katherine's half-sister, Pam. Katherine is jubilant when her subtle scheming from behind the scenes makes the vital difference in leading to Bobby and Pam divorcing. However, an old flame of Bobby's, Jenna Wade, reappears on the scene, putting another obstacle in Katherine's way of trying to form a relationship with Bobby. Katherine unsuccessfully attempts to bribe Jenna to leave Dallas. She then tracks down Jenna's ex-husband, Renaldo Marchetta, in another attempt to split up Bobby and Jenna.

Katherine then sleeps with Bobby's brother, J.R. Ewing, in the hope that it would persuade Bobby and Jenna to break up. Instead, J.R. records their love-making and proceeds to blackmail her. J.R. makes it clear that he wants Bobby to marry Jenna, believing that such a marriage would reduce Bobby's appetite for the top job at Ewing Oil, would reduce Bobby's ties to the Barnes family, and would prevent a powerful alliance of Bobby in Ewing Oil with Barnes-Wentworth businesses that J.R. would feel more threatened by in the event of a Bobby-Katherine relationship. Eventually, Katherine confesses to Bobby that she had slept with J.R., wrongly believing that J.R. has already played Bobby the tape of them in bed, but Bobby tells Katherine that he has never liked her in a sexual way. Bobby starts to realize the trouble that Katherine has caused in his life, and Pam later finds out that Katherine faked a letter which led to the end of Bobby and Pam's marriage. Pam tells Katherine that she doesn't want to see her again. This sends Katherine over the edge into psychotic behavior. She shoots Bobby in J.R.'s office, which leaves him temporarily blinded rather than killing him. She follows up with an unsuccessful attempt to murder Bobby by lethal injection while he is recovering in the hospital. She is arrested for attempted murder, but she is then released on bail and flees to Europe.

Even from afar, the character continues her schemes, arranging for Naldo Marchetta to be murdered and for Jenna Wade to be framed for the killing.[6] When Jenna is eventually cleared, the fugitive Katherine returns to Dallas and discovers that Bobby and Pam have reconciled. In the finale of season 8, Katherine drives a car towards Pam but Bobby pushes her out of the way and is hit by the car himself. Bobby later dies in hospital. After the impact, Katherine's car had veered out of control and she too was killed. However, in the last scene of the final episode of season 9 (a year later), Pam wakes up one morning and finds Bobby in the shower, alive and well. It becomes clear that the car accident and Bobby's death, as well as the entirety of season 9, was merely a dream that Pam had had. Thus Katherine was actually still alive.

With Katherine's death having been reversed due to the dream revelation, she later makes a brief appearance in season 11 at the bedside of her badly burned half-sister, Pam, where she declares her jealousy of Pam's stable, loving life. When Bobby also comes to visit, her final attempts to obtain his love are rejected and her threats are met with a commitment to turn her in to the police should she ever attempt to take revenge. This is the last time that Katherine is ever seen in Dallas.

Dallas revival (2012–2014)[edit]

A new series of Dallas premiered in 2012. Although Katherine never made an appearance, she was mentioned to have died during the intervening years by Bobby in the second season episode "Ewings Unite!" while discussing Rebecca's will.

References[edit]

  • Curran, Barbara A. (2005). Dallas: The Complete Story of the World's Favorite Prime-Time Soap. Cumberland House Publishing. ISBN 978-1581824728. 
  • Laura Van Wormer (1985). Dallas: The Complete Ewing Saga. Doubleday. ISBN 978-0863790799. 

Notes[edit]