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JR Ewing of Dallas

In late 1978, JR's previously discreet sexual liaisons came home to Southfork to haunt him, and nearly kill him. JR and Ray Krebbs had gone on a weekend fling with a certain Wanda Frick and Mary Lou Allen in the Tropicana Motel in Waco. It wasn't anything special, just a jaunt to blow off a little steam after a hard week's work. But Wanda's husband and Mary Lou's brother followed the men back to Southfork and held the family hostage during the great storm that fall. The incident, on the whole, turned out all right, though JR was shot in the arm and the entire family became wise to some of his activities on his "business" trips. Sue Ellen reacted bitterly, and their marriage started to rock.

JR Ewing and Bobby Ewing in Dallas

That year also presented problems at Ewing Oil. After Bobby married Pamela Barnes (that was enough to test JR's patience-Digger's daughter!), Bobby demanded a bigger executive role in the home office. JR was sorely tried by Bobby's interference, and this would mark the beginning of )JR's efforts to get him out of Ewing Oil altogether. It wasn't that he didn't think him bright-in fact, he thought Bobby was better suited to running Southfork, which was no easy job-but that he lacked qualities needed to do business in the oil industry: a sense of divine duplicity, for example. Bobby was just too naive, soft.




In 1979, after eight years of marriage, Sue Ellen announced that she was pregnant, JR was elated. His happiness was only momentary, however, for they were having horrendous problems in their marriage. Then JR found out that Sue Ellen was having an affair. And leave it to her to have it with the man whom JR hated most in all the world-Cliff Barnes. To top everything, Sue Ellen began drinking heavily, despite JR's efforts to prevent her, Fearing that Sue Ellen was doing permanent damage to the unborn child with her round-the-clock drinking, JR was forced to place her in a sanatorium. Then, the final blow: Julie Grey was murdered. JR paid all of her funeral expenses and tried to put her to rest in his heart.

John Ross Ewing III was born with apparently no bad effects from Sue Ellen's drinking. That was the good news. The bad was that JR was informed that the baby was Cliff Barnes's. JR reeled-it just couldn't be. Sophisticated paternity tests were taken and JR, to his utter joy, found out that John Ross was truly his flesh and blood. JR could not be with his son enough after that. He loved him, held him, talked with him, and touched him with tenderness. No matter how bad things got, JR would have this son to love.

On a dove-hunting trip with Jock, Bobby, and Ray Krebbs, JR was accidentally shot in the leg. He recovered quickly, and it was fortuitous, since the biggest deal of his life-the purchase of offshore drilling leases in Asia (see chapter III)-was occurring, and so was the collapse of his marriage. Following John Ross's birth, Sue Ellen was seriously depressed, and it worried JR that she was virtually ignoring the baby. Then Sue Ellen started disappearing, staying out afternoons and nights, giving no explanation but sly smiles. JR was beside himself. He loved Sue Ellen, but she wouldn't come near him. Tired, lonely, under enormous pressure at work, he resigned himself to the fact that Sue Ellen must be having an affair. JR turned to Sue Ellen's sister, Kristin, for comfort.

Then JR got in a whole mess of trouble with his parents, which upset him more than the actual problem. He had been forced to mortgage Southfork to finance the Asian wells, and Jock and Ellie, outraged, lashed out at JR, with Jock stepping back in to run Ewing Oil. The fact that the wells came in, as JR knew they would, that the venture for a period made Ewing Oil the richest independent oil company in the world, didn't seem to count for much. JR was not to be trusted by his parents for quite some time. Now, everyone seemed to be out to hurt him, and Sue Ellen, who had begun drinking again, openly declared her hatred of him and her desire for a divorce.


The Ewing family after the shooting of JR EwingLate one night in the spring of 1980, while working in his office at Ewing Oil, JR was shot twice. He nearly died. The bullets bruised a kidney and nicked his spleen and left him in the most horrible condition JR could imagine-paralyzed from the waist down. The situation brought one aspect of happiness however: Sue Ellen came lovingly to his side, He underwent a very dangerous operation to regain the use of his legs. As he began the long road to recovery, he was hurt to learn that his daddy had put Bobby in as President of Ewing Oil. And then came the ultimate betrayal: Sue Ellen was arrested as the prime suspect in the shooting. She hadn't come to him because she loved him, she only came because she thought she had shot him in a blackout and was feeling guilty. It turned out, though, that Sue Ellen was innocent-it was her sister who had done it-but their marriage was still in ruins. JR chose not to prosecute Kristin because she told him she was pregnant with his child. JR could not bear the thought of a child of his, or any child for that matter, being born in prison. He let her go and supported her financially throughout her pregnancy in California.

Sue Ellen and JR Ewing share a tender moment

After intensive therapy and sheer persistence, JR regained the use of his legs. He has, to this day, worked hard at exercising and is in better physical condition than ever before.




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