He played J.R.’s nemesis for years on the primetime soap Dallas and now comes word that Ken Kercheval has passed away at the age of 83.
Conflicting reports surfaced a few days ago as to whether or not Kercheval had died but now it’s being confirmed by The Hollywood Reporter.
Kercheval, along with Dallas co-star Larry Hagman, who played J.R., appeared in all seasons of the prime time serial. He returned for the series’ reboot on TNT from 2012-2014 as Cliff Barnes, the bumbling alcoholic and oil enemy of J.R. Ewing.
The actor reportedly died on Sunday, April 21 and a spokeswoman at the First Funeral Home in Clinton, Indiana, the actor’s hometown, confirmed the news.
In addition to his memorable role of Cliff, Kercheval also appeared on the daytime soap Search For Tomorrow and on the New York stage in Mike Nichols’ The Apple Tree and Harold Prince’s Cabert. He also appeared in the film Network.
Originally, cast as Ray Krebbs on Dallas, producers decided Kercheval should play the part of Cliff instead. Viewers tuned in weekly to see J.R. get Cliff time after time. He did manage to score the occasional victory.
Soap Hub sends its deepest sympathies to Kercheval’s family and friends at this time.