Happy Birthday, Joan Van Ark! The beloved Knots Landing actress is celebrating her 77th birthday on Tuesday, June 16, 2020. Best known for her role as Valene Ewing on the Dallas spin-off, Joan Van Ark is revered as one of America’s first strong women on a prime-time soap opera. Joan was born on June 16, 1943, in New York City before her family relocated to Boulder, Colorado, where she grew up with three siblings. After striking a friendship with actress Julie Harris, who encouraged Joan to attend Yale’s School of Drama, Joan did and was accepted, therefore launching her acting career.
Joan began in the theater having worked on stage opposites legends such as Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn. She starred opposite Bette Davis in the television pilot (it failed to be picked up) The Judge and Jake Wyler. Joan would later credit Bette for helping her overcome some issues with her acting techniques by providing her expertise and guidance for the young actress.
Joan played Valene Ewing on Dallas before CBS gave the green light for Knots Landing. The series was a huge success and ran from 1979 until 1993. Joan appeared in 327 episodes of the long-running series.
The cast of Knots Landing has reunited multiple times throughout the years for television specials and interviews.
In 1997, CBS launched a two-episode mini-series Knots Landing: Behind the Cul-de-Sac and Joan reprised her role as Valene.
Joan returned to the newly rebooted Dallas in 2013 to reprise the role of Valene Ewing once again.
You may see a video interview with Knots Landing cast members Joan Van Ark, Michelle Lee, and Donna Mills in the player below.
You may see another reunion featuring the cast of Knots Landing featuring Joan Van Ark as she and other cast members return to their famous Cul-de-Sac!
Joan granted a recent interview just several months ago. You may see Joan Van Ark today as she dishes on Knots Landing and her career in the video player below.
Joan has enjoyed a successful career on stage and screen. Happy Birthday, Joan Van Ark!
Charisse Van Horn is a freelance writer from Tampa Bay. She enjoys writing about celebrities, entertainment, and fashion. Any reproduction of this article outside of Celebrity Insider will be met with legal action by the writer.