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You sent in your questions to Susan Howard in this exclusive Ultimate Dallas Interview
Read the transcript below and click on the icon to join in the discussion with other fans from across the world.

Jan in Tyler, Texas asks Susan, I'm sure you know where Tyler, Texas IS! My question is this: What "Name Brands" of clothing did you wear while on "Dallas"? "Makeup"? "Shoe brands". As I am a Personal Shopper for a large department store, I am quite interested! You looked (and still DO) look Fabulous!!!

Susan - Oh I know where that is, that's close to my home town (laughs). Prettiest roses in the world, it is the rose capital of Texas, you can smell the roses 15 miles outside the city limits. We wore all of the brands, I loved Chanel, I loved Gucci, Nino Cerrutti, Loved all of them, I really enjoyed it. Up until the show was a success you couldn't go out and spend that kind of money , all of a sudden when the show was a success the sky's the limit (laughs).

Brian in Wooster Ohio asks hi Susan what do you think of hollywood making a big screen version of DALLAS? Who should play donna

Susan - The mere fact they would have the ordasity to try to remake anything always blows me away, but I take into consideration the fact that Dallas was never a movie, its the remakes of the movies I have a problem with. The fact they may like to take a television series and encapsulate it into an hour and half of film I find very challenging. I haven't a clue who should play Donna, all I will do is if they cast somebody I don't like I will raise my voice (laughs). But if they start with a younger version of Jock and Ellie, Steve and me should be playing the role. (laughs)

Hafsteinn in Iceland asks Did the character of Donna develop the way you would have wanted to, or didn't you have anything to say concerning her development, just the writers' decision?

Susan - Yes you did have some say because a lot of times people look at what you were doing and how you were interacting with the other characters to work to figure out where they should go. There were storylines you would like to see have gone differently, I never believed Ray and Donna would divorce, I never believed Ray and Donna would not raise their own child and so I think that was a storyline that was abused and misused and poorly handled but that was the way they chose to go with it. I think it was interesting the fact they would take Donna to Washington, but I always say that she's flitting around doing her thing and Rays flitting around doing his thing and then a year later, wow they see each other at some grand ball and like the stranger across the crowded room (laughs), I'm a romantic at heart. I have all these visions of them waltzing somewhere and here's your daughter you have never seen, you know, that kind of thing.

Pauline asks What did you think of the dream series and the return of Patrick Duffy to the show?

Susan - Everyone was thrilled Patrick came back but I thought it was a poorly conceived idea. I thought the public was just wrapped around a wheel with it, that they abused again and misused the public. But it was the only way I guess they felt they could get Patrick back on the show but as I do recall that was the beginning of the demise of the show because too many people said "You know this is stupid, we all wept and cried when Bobby died but now you have really undermined our intelligence and we don't appreciate it". So I think there was a backlash there, I really do.

Pamela in London asks I heard there were several factors leading up to your exit from the show. The dream season and how Philip Capice was treated plus you were asked to have an affair with another character on the show. Were these all deliberate attempts to undermine what Mr Capice had done on the show? It seemed the all strong women during the dream season were totally toned down once Pamela woke up

Susan - You are right in that sense of the word. My being written out of the show, press releases that came out from the show, I assume from Lorimar, saying I had asked to be released from the show, I said this was not true. In fact the way I found out is I was sitting in the makeup chair one morning in March and my make-up man said to me "Have you heard Susan we are going to start back early this year" , I said "No I haven't heard", he said "Yeah we are gonna start back April or May", I said "Oh really".
I immediately left and went over to Leonard's office and I said "Is something going on?" and he said "We have decided not to bring the character back" and I said "Why is that?" and he said "We really don't have anymore storylines", I said "Ok if that's the way it is, that's the way it is", I got up and left.
To preface that what had happened the year before, the year Leonard was not on the show, that was the year we had the sequence with the handicap children, well the season Leonard came back Donna had found herself pregnant again, because the whole year was wiped out.

Originally they had come to me at a party before the show had started that year and Leonard had said "You and Steve, keep talking about it, why don't you have a baby", I said "Yes but first of all how could we, we don't even have a bedroom, do you know Donna still hangs her clothes out on the line and she has millions of dollars, what's going on here?" (laughs), really this is the conversation, and he said "Well we have decided Ray and Donna are gonna have a baby", I said "Oh great , oh Leonard that's great", he said "Yes but she's gonna find out shes carrying a down syndrome child and she will have an abortion", well my heart fell to the floor.
I really went home and because I don't believe in abortion I called up Phil Capice, and I said "Phil I need to talk to you, I look back at the history of Dallas and there have been abortions already on the show, don't you think sometimes we need to show the other side, that maybe there would be someone who would want to have the baby, he said "but it's down syndrome, 98% of women who find out they are carrying a down syndrome child have an abortion" and I said "But there are 2% and what do you think they do?" and he said "Well I guess they want it", so I said "Why don't you consider Donna part of that 2%".
So that's how the story went and then the dream sequence came and all of a sudden we are back and Jennas pregnant and she's hating Bobby and she's going to hate the baby she's going to have and Leonard comes to me and says "We have decided you are going to go to Jenna and say 'You know Jenna you really need to have an abortion' ", I said "Leonard why would Donna go to Jenna, the only reason should would want an abortion is because she was mad at Bobby, and tell her to have one?", I said "If you want anybody to tell her to have an abortion it would be J.R because he's got everything to loose".

So in all honesty I believe I was written off the show is because I'm not a politically correct person and people can read into that anyway they want to , my faith had nothing to do with it, I was simply saying "Don't we ever show the other side", and I believe they did not want to live with that so it was much easier to write you off the show and continue in a genre of lifestyle they liked or justified rather than have them daily confronted with someone who challenged them on social and moral issues, that's the truth. It had nothing to do with me not wanting to have an affair with somebody, they did want me to get involved with the Senator and I said "Excuse me, Donna is pregnant with her husbands baby, she is not going to be running around having an affair with some Senator, you've lost your mind" (laughs). People ask this because they want to know the truth and this is the truth ok. Let me tell you, everybody else dances around that question, because they want to say "Oh well it had to do with this or that", no it didn't, this was what it had to do with.

Interviewer - Its very much like the character of Pamela who became quite strong during the dream season and she was totally ruined after that.

Susan - Absolutely, she was a wimp. I love Victoria, she was a good friend. I have to tell you, one of my cousins in Houston, their son had a baby born with a harelip, I immediately called Harry Glassman and I said "Harry I don't know anybody, they don't know anybody" he said "I'll take care of it". He got on the phone, he found the best plastic surgeon for babies, you would never know this child has a harelip. You know you read all this crud but the heart of who people were is sometimes never told. That's who Victoria and Harry are, anything they could do to help they did. I love Victoria Principal and I love Harry Glassman and I always will. That's a good little personal thing you will never read in the tabloids and I'm proud of her, she's done so good. She's a smart woman.

Interviewer - What happened to Phil Capice, he seemed to have vanished?

Susan - Phil has and I'm gonna try to find Phil, I really am.

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