From Broadway to Hollywood

With a long and prosperous career in Hollywood, Joan Van Ark is a skilled actress best remembered for her famous role as Valene Ewing on the primetime serial opera Knots Landing. Joan was born in New York City on June 16, 1943, and she has always known she belongs in the entertainment industry.

Joan took to the stage as a young performer because she was passionate about acting. She met actress Julie Harris, who would have a big influence on her life and career, while she was performing in Denver.


Harris even assisted Joan in obtaining a scholarship to the esteemed Yale Drama School. It was a turning point in Joan’s path when she enrolled as the second woman at the time.

Joan made the switch from theater to television after obtaining experience there. Her television appearances included Days of Our Lives, Spider-Woman, Temperature’s Rising, and even a guest spot on Bonanza.

But her greatest achievement came about because of her portrayal of Valene Ewing on Dallas.After Dallas became a huge hit, the network decided to launch Knots Landing as a spin-off. Valene Ewing, played by Joan again, became a main character for a remarkable thirteen seasons.


It’s interesting to note that Dallas was written before Knots Landing, but the producers decided to start with Dallas because they wanted the show to revolve around a “big rich family.” Joan was already working on two other projects, but her husband persuaded her to take the role in Knots Landing.

When Julie Harris, Joan’s close friend and mentor, was chosen to play her on-screen mother on Knots Landing, it was one of the most memorable moments of Joan’s career. Joan revealed in an interview that she was shocked and delighted to hear the news. The casting choice was exceptionally unique and unexpected because the producers were unaware of the friendship between Joan and Julie.

Sadly, Knots Landing was canceled shortly after Joan opted to quit the program after 13 seasons and 327 episodes. Accepting responsibility for the cancellation, Joan felt it was time to move on to new endeavors. She found it difficult to leave the program since over the years, the cast and crew had grown to be like family, sharing both professional and personal experiences.


After leaving Knots Landing, Joan went on to make appearances in other TV shows. Her portrayal of Gloria Fisher on The Young and the Restless was one of her noteworthy roles.

The entertainment world will never be the same because to Joan Van Ark’s talent and passion. Her career trajectory from Broadway to Hollywood is a source of inspiration.

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