Charlene Tilton (Actress) - Dallas
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Updated: 2/23/21

Name: Charlene Tilton

Birth Name: Charlene L. Tilton

Born: December 1, 1958 in San Diego, California, USA

Claim To Fame: Charlene Tilton is an American actress and singer, best known for playing Lucy Ewing, the niece of brothers J. R. Ewing and Bobby Ewing (played by Larry Hagman and Patrick Duffy), on the television series Dallas.

Family Life: Tilton was married to country singer Johnny Lee from 1982 to 1984. She has one daughter, Cherish Lee, born in 1982. In 1985, she married actor Domenick Allen in 1985; they later divorced in 1992.

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Info: She's the daughter of Katherine Thacker, a secretary; she grew up not knowing her father.

She attended Hollywood High School, where she was a varsity cheerleader and President of the Thespians' Club.

Tilton is approximately 4' 11" (1.50 m).

Tilton appeared in a number of commercials for the Abdominizer line of direct-market workout equipment in the 1990s.

Tilton is a strong advocate for autism awareness in the media. She is currently the ambassador for Actors for Autism, an organization that leads improv and acting workshops for children and adults with autism. She approached AFA in 2010 with the desire to volunteer and has been affiliated with them ever since.

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Trivia: She made her first film appearance alongside Jodie Foster in Freaky Friday (1976).

Credits Larry Hagman and Barbara Bel Geddes as her favorite acting mentors/best friends.

While in high school, the young unknown actress met Larry Hagman, who she regarded as a surrogate father.

Then, a few years later, at age 17, she made her big break by landing the role of Lucy Ewing, the sly, vixenish, frequently frustrated granddaughter of John "Jock" Ewing Sr. and the former Eleanor "Ellie" Southworth on the television series Dallas, from 1978 to 1985 and from 1988 to 1990. At the height of her Dallas fame, she received a $50,000 salary per episode, appeared on 500 magazine covers, and drew 65 million viewers for her 1981 TV wedding.

Beat out Stefanie Kramer for the role of Lucy Ewing in Dallas (1978).

Is a professional-caliber singer; she did all her own vocals in the Dallas (1978) episode where "Lucy Ewing" runs away with the Greg Evigan character, to try and become a country-western star. In real life, Charlene was offered the role of Rizzo in "Grease" during the 1990s; however, she turned it down because "my daughter (Cherish) was just starting high school, and I wanted to be there for her."

Along with Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy, Ted Shackelford and Joan Van Ark, she is one of only five actors to play the same character (Lucy Ewing) in all three series in the "Dallas" franchise: Dallas (1978), Knots Landing (1979) and Dallas (2012).

Was laid off at the end of the eighth season of Dallas (1978), when her contract had already expired, but came back between 1988 and 1990.

She posed topless in Playboy magazine in the 1980s.

Tilton was the guest host on an episode of Saturday Night Live on February 21, 1981, which featured a parody of the famed "Who shot J.R.?" episode of Dallas. In the episode, cast member Charles Rocket was shot in the chest by a sniper while doing a sketch about a sexy couple (with Gail Matthius as his partner) bathing a dog and spouting innuendo. At the end of the show, during the "goodbyes", Tilton asked Rocket how he felt about being shot. In character, Rocket improvised, "Oh, man, it's the first time I've ever been shot in my life. I'd like to know who the f*** did it." The improvisation by Rocket, which violated FCC broadcast standards, led to his dismissal from the show's cast.

In 1984, she released the dance-pop single "C'est La Vie", which became a hit in several European countries, though not in the United States.

She appeared on Circus of the Stars in 1979 and 1991, on one occasion acting as a knife thrower's target girl while dressed in a gold bikini.

In 2001, Tilton was honored by the Young Artist Foundation with its Former Child Star "Lifetime Achievement" Award for her role as Lucy Ewing on the original Dallas television series.

In January 2012, Tilton was a contestant on the British ice-skating show Dancing on Ice in its seventh season, in which she was paired with American figure skater Matthew Gonzalez.

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Where Are They Now: In 2021, Charlene Tilton is preparing to go to work on the family film A Unicorn for Christmas. It's always great to see her on screen!


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