Classic nighttime drama Knots Landing hung onto a relatively stable cast during its run from 1979 to 1993. But there were times when characters that viewers loved (or loved to hate) were sent away from Seaview Circle.
Knots Landing — Shocking Exits
They could happen anytime — in the season cliffhanger, season opener, or anywhere in between. Sometimes they came back — other times they were gone for good! But here’s a look back at the Top Five exits that will never be forgotten!
RIP: William Sidney Fairgate
Viewers expected Sid (Don Murray) to survive his car going off a cliff at the end of Knots Landing Season 2. Sure, Sid’s lawman passenger didn’t survive, but surely, Sid would! After all, Murray appeared in the show’s new opening credits. Producers wouldn’t have added him to the new credit crawl if he were leaving…would they? It turns out the updated credits were a fake-out. Tragically, Sid died on the operating table after undergoing a risky surgery to reverse his paralysis. Sid was gone, but never forgotten — especially the time his widow Karen (Michele Lee) admonished her new husband Mac (Kevin Dobson) by saying “Sid…” (Oops!)
Chip Roberts – Death By Pitchfork
Conman Chip Roberts (AKA Tony Fenice), played by Michael Sabatino, wouldn’t have gotten away with half the stuff he pulled off had Diana (Claudia Lonow) not been so blind to his wicked ways. Deluded Diana helped Chip hide out in a barn after he killed poor Ciji (Lisa Hartman), but karma got Chip in the end. After he spied Ciji’s doppelganger Cathy Geary (also played by Hartman), he stepped backward in shock, fell, and was promptly impaled by a pitchfork. Karma’s a bitch, ain’t it, Chip?
Think Of Laura
Laura Avery (Constance McCashin) suffered a lot in life, mostly due to her unhealthy marriage to Richard (John Pleshette). She found happiness with charismatic Greg Sumner (William Devane) and acted as his much-needed moral compass. The couple wed and she gave birth to their daughter, Meg (Rhianna Janette). Alas, Laura left town after being diagnosed with a fatal illness, choosing to die alone. There was a mix-up with her body being misdirected en route home, which gave diehard Laura fans hope she’d someday come back. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be.
Jill Went Down A Hill
Teri Austin (Jill Bennett) quipped on a talk show that everybody who leaves Knots Landing first goes off the deep end a bit before taking their final bow. That’s certainly what happened to Jill. She found that crime didn’t pay. Her first scheme was to fake Val’s (Joan Van Ark) suicide by forcing pills down her throat. Jill figured everyone would find “Poor Val” taking her life plausible. But her plan failed when Val lived. Her second plot backfired in a fatal way after Jill bound and gagged herself and crept into Gary’s (Ted Shackleford) trunk, hoping he’d be found guilty of kidnapping her. While waiting for authorities to ‘rescue’ her, the villainess died after choking on her own vomit. Poor Jill.
Don’t Worry — Abby Came Back
Knots was never the same after iconic Abby (Donna Mills) took Brian (Brian Austin Greene) to Japan. The mother/son duet sang ‘Don’t Worry Be Happy’ as they rode off to the airport. The writers filled the antagonist void nicely with the addition of Daytime Emmy winner Kathleen Noone (ex-Ellen, All My Children) as crafty and conniving Claudia, Greg’s sister. Fortunately, Mills returned for the series finale. (It would not have been the same without her!) In a delicious twist, Abby moved back into the cul-de-sac in the show’s last scene, prompting Val (Joan Van Ark), who also returned in the finale season after she was presumed dead, to wisely grab Gary’s (Ted Shackelford) arm.