Every year F.G.I Dallas honors a few hand selected recipients for their Night Of Stars Gala. This year F.G.I Dallas honored Emmy Nominated actress Linda Gray with the Lifetime Of Achievement Award during the ceremony on Nov 14th at the Fashion Industry Gallery. Past award winners include fashion designer Kay Unger & the founder, executive director of Wade College Sue Wade. Linda burst into fame for her role as Sue Ellen Ewing, J.R.’s long-suffering alcoholic wife, in the CBS drama series Dallas and went on to play in well known projects such as Melrose Place and 90210. The legendary T.V. show Dallas was recently reprised for T.N.T. in 2012 to astounding reviews & introducing a whole new generation to the designer wearing, back stabbing clan of Dallas. Just two weeks ago the cast of Dallas made headlines as the show was suddenly cancelled after season 3 despite almost two million viewers. This week I had the chance to spend some time with Linda to chat about her amazing career, saying goodbye to the beloved hit show Dallas & her return back to the stage! She was so warm, kind, genuinue and showered me with amazing compliments. I’m so in love with the charming Linda Gray, Without further Ado….
CC: Congratulations on receiving the honor of the Lifetime Achievement Award From F.G.I. Dallas. Looking back through your career what would you save have been some of your most memorable “Pinch Myself” moments.
LG: Oh wow, thats a great question. Their have been several moments. So Ill just try to stick to fashion. I was always kind of the underdog. Even my character Sue Ellen was the underdog in Dallas. One of those big moments was being acknoldeged as an actor (Linda has been nominated for the Emmy’s, Golden Globes and Bambi Award ceremonys) and as far as fashion, my mother was a fashion illustrator in the 40’s, so iv always been around fashion. So for my mom to watch Dallas and watch the global awareness of the show and its fashions….the shoulder pads…..meeting Mr.Armani, going to Italy and meeting so many iconic designers. Those were some great fashion moments that have extraordinary.
CC: You have given to Dallas for many years, how does it feel to have the fashion community in Dallas and an organization like F.G.I. Dallas to give back to you?
LG: It’s a huge honor and when they called and asked me I was like “WHAT?!”. I was so excited. When your an actor, thats part of what we do. We give ourselves to others to entertain. We give to you. So to have this sort of acknowledgment especially in fashion, it’s such a thrill. Im just gushing because thats the way it feels!
CC: The Cast of Dallas made headlines last month when the show was suddenly canceled. What was it like saying goodbye to your iconic role of Sue Ellen Ewing so suddenly?
LG: Oh I don’t say goodbye to her!
CC: I LOVE THAT!
LG: We have lunch occasionally. Maybe a glass of wine. We didn’t see Sue Ellen for 20 years and what a surprise. That was another huge moment. They invited us back for a second go around and how exciting because Mr.Hagman was alive and we called ourselves the three musketeers. Larry, Patrick and I. When we got that phone call to come back, we got to play together again. So when we came back I knew that Sue Ellen had changed in 20 years. Men will always stay the same but Sue Ellen was complicated and wonderful and complex. That was just one of the many reasons I loved playing her. Im not giving up on her just yet.
CC: I grew up in theatre so I was extremely excited to see that you are in preparations to make your big return to the West Way at The Wimbledon Theatre over in London! How’s that experience going?
LG: Another thrill of a lifetime. To go from playing Sue Ellen to the Fairy Godmother its much more relaxing but thats just what we do. So I land in London next week and at 3:00 on Monday they are fitting me for my costume. I’m like oh my god this is really happening! I wonder what the Fashion Group Of Dallas would think about the fairy godmother outfit.
CC:Is there anything your looking forward to while you’re over there?
LG: All the little girls dressing up in their cinderella outfits and tiaras! For me as an actor it’s so fun to see that response!
CC: With all the hats that you juggle how do you manage to bring passion and time to each project?
LG: Pacing…..a sense of humor…and you just jump in and do it. When you do what you love you just do it. But I leave Dallas tomorrow morning, head to Charlotte for an aids event, then a day in New York and phew I’m off to London. I’m just a little bit coo coo but I love it.
CC: You often speak about living a healthy lifestyle, what are some of the biggest health and beauty tips you have for women out there looking to preserve their beauty?
LG: I think it starts on the inside. You can put all the stuff you want to on the outside but if you eat junk food and chemicals it shows. I have an organic garden at home and things just taste better. Its challenging for everyone to eat like that but I find that world consciousness is changing. We’re more aware. Look at all the cancer and all these diseases that can come from toxic foods that are running ramped. So just pay attention.