Saturday, May 12, 2007

Allure of 'Dallas' draws tourists to Southfork

The television show Dallas saddled up and rode into prime time in 1978. The nighttime drama about the wheeling and dealing Ewing clan quickly captured a worldwide audience. The show ran until 1991 and continues to find new fans in syndication.

While J.R. Ewing's underhanded escapades fueled the plots, his family's sprawling Texas home was a character of its own. Southfork Ranch housed the entire clan and provided a backdrop for rodeos, barbecues and battles for power.

The ranch is in Parker, Texas, just outside Plano. Joe Duncan and his family lived there and raised quarterhorses when Dallas began shooting there. All of the exteriors for an entire season were filmed from June to August each year. Temperatures often topped 100 degrees as the actors bundled up to film their "winter" scenes on the patio.

Southfork Ranch hosts 150 visitors daily.

Southfork is now owned by Forever Resorts and hosts parties and conventions. The ranch also welcomes about 150 visitors on 11 tours each day.

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