The JIM DAVIS TRIBUTE page:
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Many thanks to Jason Fitzgerald for providing these pictures.
" I AM TAKAPA! " - Jock Ewing
The first thing I thought was, I'm going to miss him.
Episode 75 was the last in which Jim Davis appeared on Dallas as a live human being. Because of health problems, he never appeared in the 81-82 season of Dallas, though 'Jock' occasionally did pop up in phone conversations.
Many folks on the newsgroup have commented that Jim was the heart and soul of 'Dallas', and I cannot disagree. One of the most impressive characteristics of Dallas as a drama is the fact that it retained the core of its cast for an unprecedented eight years solid, until Patrick Duffy decided to leave the show for a season. The lone exception was the passing of Jim Davis.
As Jock Ewing, I feel Davis provided a crucial link in creating the 'Dallas' atmosphere. Without him, JR wouldn't have his motivation and determination to create the biggest oil empire in the world so he can pass it along to his son, just as his daddy did. He provides a sense of continuity.
Without Jock Ewing [and his big brother JR], Bobby might have languished in a semi-useless life, never accepting the challenge to make it big in the world, while at the same time remembering the people that got you there.
Without Jock Ewing, Ray wouldn't have developed the tremendous sense of pride that sets him apart from all of the other characters. His stubbornness and inability to deviate from his decisions, once his mind is set, is the dominating aspect of his personality - and there's no question where it comes from.
Without Jock Ewing, Ellie might have married Digger Barnes. Or worse yet, that dumb ox Clayton Farlow. [KIDDING!] No, seriously. While Ellie and Jock had their differences, there's no question they loved each other. Theirs was the kind of love you might expect to find coming from an arranged marriage - slow to grow at first, but once mature, strong and able to withstand the test of time.
In the spirit of Jock Ewing lives a little bit of the esoteric spirit of Texas: where family comes first, a handshake is more powerful than a contract, and everybody has the chance to live the American dream - with hard work and a little luck. Jim Davis made that spirit come alive and added a new dimension to the show with his presence. I will miss him.
Jim, if you can read this, I'd like to tell you that I appreciated your work and the way you went about your 'bidness'. Somehow, I get the feeling that that's the highest compliment I can give you.
" Real power is something you take! " - Jock Ewing.
SJames6789@aol.com submitted the following piece:
With the death of Jim Davis, the decline of "Dallas" began. He had a tempering effect on J.R., and I loved his gruffness with matters concerning Ewing Oil. I have read conflicting information about how he died--was it from a heart attack, or on the operating table for hernia repair? I also read that his family sued the hospital for wrongful death. It has been sad to watch the actor's sudden physical decline; it seems that overnight he went from being vibrant and strapping to obviously not able to stand for any length of time and reading from cue cards. It was very sad to see him for the last time in the back of the limo as he and Ellie we leaving for their honeymoon. I would love to have some backstage info on how the cast dealt with his sudden passing. He and Ellie were the heart of the show. I love how the show dealt with his death, with Miss Ellie falling apart, and the on-going tribute to his memory through his painting. I have so enjoyed watching the early years with Jock, and hate to see him gone.
Joe Clark (email@example.com) submitted the following obituary that appeared in Time in April, 1981. The obit was in the magazine the week after the cliffhanger of 1981 was broadcast:
DIED. Jim Davis, 67, gruff, rangy character actor who played Jock Ewing , the oil baron patriarch on TV's top-rated Dallas; after surgery for a perforated ulcer; in Los Angeles, Calif. Davis, who worked as a circus tent rigger and construction laborer before catching on as a western type in Hollywood in the 1940s, was not in Dallas' final episode of the current season, which aired last week. There are no plans to recast Jock Ewing, who will be written out of the show before shooting for the new season begins this month.
" Damn it, Ellie! " - Jock Ewing
Someone said once that while Jock is important, he is even more important when he's not around. There's something to be said for that. I didn't start watching until the first episode of the season Davis' isn't around, but I was always aware of his presence and importance.It should be noted that the show keeps going strong for another two or three seasons. Even with Davis around, the show probably still would have gone downhill. [LDNayman]
I really like the character Jock. I do not think we the audience were meant to see all aspects of the character of Jock. Because Jock did not want people to see his soft side and Jim Davis played the role wonderfully!! Jock/(Jim) sure will be missed! Joberry123@aol.com
" I'm mad as hell, boy! " - Jock Ewing
Does anyone know what ideas writers for the show had, or what storylines were to be written for Jock prior to Jim's death. He sure would have kept JR from losing Ewing Oil among other impacts he would have had on the show. Things sure would of ended up different. I have a start for a storyline below.I think a confrontation between Jock and Rebecca Wentworth would have been good. Think about it, Jock could of said something like...."WHY IN THE HELL DID YOU BUY THAT IDIOT SON OF YOURS AN OIL COMPANY. He hates us EWINGS. It's about time I put that DUDE in his place, and you in yours. A WOMAN'S PLACE IS IN THE BEDROOM, NOT IN THE BOARDROOM. Sell me the oil company and take that drunken offspring that you and DIGGER created and get the HELL OUT OF HERE before JR AND I CALL IN SOME MARKERS AND DESTROY YOU BOTH." JREwingNC@aol.com
" What in the hell would I have to say to a parking attendant?! " - Jock Ewing
How old are you people? Jim Davis has been a great actor since 1948. I think he plays the patriarch very well. You can only do so much with what the writers give you. Pretty soon Jock will be dead and you will all miss him. He added so much to the show even though he didn't have much to say. His two favorite sayings: " What the hell is going on" and"Come on, I'll buy you a drink, will surely be missed. Give the old guy a break. And if you want to talk about men that can't act. How about the Duke? John Wayne couldn't act to save himself, but he had a presence that demanded respect. You overlooked the fact he couldn' t act. Klutzy@webtv.net
Quick Jim Davis Facts:
Real name: Marlin Davis
Date of birth: 26 August 1909, Dearborn, Missouri
Date of death: 26 April 1981, Northridge, California. (recovering from a recent operation)
Height 6' 3"
Spouse 'Blanche ?' (1945 - 1981)
Trivia Before pursuing an acting career, one of his jobs was as a tent-rigger with a circus. In 1940, he made his screen test with Esther Williams. He was signed to a $250 a week contract.