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top 50+1 faq´s about "dynasty"...and "the colbys"




1. Was "Dynasty" the original title?

No. Other titles were thrown in, like "Denver", "Forever Love"", "Mile High" (which even won a contest), "Denver Oil" (upon Victoria Principal), and the title of the Pilot, "Oil", which allegedley was too abstract to be popular.

2. Who was the first actor cast as Blake Carrington?

George Peppard, who caused so many problems during the shooting of the Pilot, that the producers decided to replace him with John Forsythe, a friend of Aaron Spelling´s who had been the voice of the boss of the famous "Charlie´s Angels". Several sequences had to be refilmed months later, like the wedding, the walk between Blake and Fallon (Pamela Sue Martin), and the argument at the library between the tycoon and his son Steven (Al Corley).

3. Who was Fallon´s first on-screen lover on the show?

His father´s chauffeur Michael Culhane (Wayne Northrop), who had been carrying on an affair with her prior to the Pilot.

4. Who were Jeff Colby´s parents?

Cecil Colby´s (Lloyd Bochner) brother Jason (portrayed by Charlton Heston), and his lover Francesca (portrayed by Katharine Ross), though during most of the "Dynasty" run it was assumed to be Francesca´s husband Phillip Colby (Michael Parks), the three of them only mentioned and included as main characters on the spin-off "The Colbys" .
      

5. Whose idea was hiring Joan Collins for the Alexis part?

It was Candy Spelling´s idea, who had watched an episode of her husband-produced show "The Fantasy Island" guest-starring Joan Collins. Other actresses were tempted though, like Jessica Walter, Elizabeth Taylor, and especially Sophia Loren, who demanded too much money and a limited appearance. 

6. Why were almost all the Blaisdels written off in the first cliffhanger?

Upon producer Esther Shapiro, because audiences only were interested in the rich Carringtons and all that happened in their mansion. The Claudia character was kept in the main cast until early Season 3, and then returned one year later. Pamela Bellwood was finally axed when she got pregnant in the sixth year, and Claudia died in the infamous fire of La Mirage Hotel, after being ignored by the writers.

7. Why did Al Corley leave at the end of Season 2?

Because the actor was only interested in playing Steven as a gay character, not a bisexual or whatever he became after breaking up with lover Ted Dinard (Mark Withers). His departure wasn´t amicable at all, but he was allowed to play him again in the infamous Reunion Miniseries. 

8. How many times did Alexis get married in the show´s run?

Three times: Alexis tied the knot with Jeff´s millionaire uncle Cecil Colby (whose death she unwillingly caused while lovemaking), with oilman Dex Dexter (who cheated on her with Alexis´s own daughter Amanda, played by Catherine Oxenberg), and lastly, with Joseph´s (Lee Bergere) secret son Sean Rowan (played by James Healy) who tried to kill her and Dex (Michael Nader) in the penultimate season. Did you think she had many more husbands? Maybe a few more stayed in Mexico or Porto Fino...
      

9. Where was the Carrington manor located?

In the Pilot (and most of future establishing shots), the manor was located at Filoli Estate, 86 Cañada Road, in Woodside, California. Other parts of the house were filmed at The Enchanted Hill, in Beverly Hills, and Arden Villa, in Pasadena (where the lilypond catfight was filmed). However, the cast and crew only returned to Denver once, to shoot the Season 4 "Carousel" episode. All the interior rooms were recreated at the Fox Studios in Century City, and, from Season 3 on, in The Lot in West Hollywood. The 7 main stars (Collins, Forsythe, Evans, Martin, Corley, Thomson & Oxenberg) returned to Filoli for 2006´s Special "Dynasty Reunion: Catfights & Caviar".

10. Who tried to kill Alexis and Krystle at the cabin fire in the Season 3 cliffhanger?

Simple: The majordomo did it. Joseph shot himself at early Season 4, after trying to stop Alexis from revealing to his daughter Kirby (Kathleen Beller) the truth about her mother. Other suspects were Alexis´s bodyguard Mark Jennings (Geoffrey Scott), her ex-lover the corrupt Senator McVane (Paul Burke), Blake himself, her tacky detective Morgan Hess, and who knows who else. This cliffhanger coincided with the higher-rated Southfork fire on "Dallas".

11. What episode put "Dynasty" at the top place in the ratings, over "Dallas"?

Reportedly, always according to the Nielsen ratings, it was the "Kidnapped" episode, the third from last one of Season 5. Even so, the difference in overall audience between both soaps was of a few tenths only.  

12. Why was Catherine Oxenberg axed at the end of Season 6?

Because the actress asked for a (slight) salary rise. Refusing to take more ultimatums from their stars, the producers decided to fire her and replace her with a presumed lookalike called Karen Cellini, who debuted in early Season 7, but was axed (too) by the middle of the season. Amanda´s destiny was never specified, only that she "returned to London". After Season 7, her name wasn´t even mentioned! 
      

13. Who really was Dominique Deveraux?

She entered the scene as a very glamorous, mysterious woman whose intentions were unclear. This famous singer / entrepreneur eventually confessed to Blake that she was his half-sister, which their father confirmed in his deathbed: she was a daughter he had out-of-wedlock with his lover Laura Matthews. Dominique´s true name was Millie Cox, and turned out NOT to be the "black bitch" that Diahann Carroll suggested to Aaron Spelling that she could play. He did offer her the role but Dominique never delivered as planned (or hoped) by Carroll, and was finally written out at the Season 7 Finale. 

14. How many times did Blake and Krystle get married?

Three times: one in the Pilot (later annulled because she was unaware that her divorce from Mark Jennings still was legit), a second time on Season 4, and a last time on Season 9, in the character´s farewell episode, aptly titled "The Wedding". However, if Krystle´s brain surgery had not been successful, Blake would have divorced her (as planned by Krystle) and let her go. The Reunion Miniseries proved that she was cured (aside from a few hypnosis-induced impulses...) and the couple reunited again.

15. Why didn´t the "Dynasty" divas appear on its spin-off?

Because they thought that the new show was unnecessary and would make the mother series lose its audience (which inevitably did, with or without "The Colbys"). However, a few stars from "Dynasty" did cross-over into the spin-off, specifically Forsythe, Carroll, Coleman and Johnson. Ken Howard alternated both shows in his only season, 1985-86, and all the main stars from "The Colbys" were first introduced on "Dynasty"´s Season 6.

16. Who killed Mark Jennings?

Alexis´s ex-lover Senator Neal McVane, who put on a wig and one of her capes to make believe it was alexis who pushed Mark over the penthouse balcony.
      

17. Had the cast members worked together before?

Yes. Forsythe and a teenager Evans had worked together in one 1960 episode of his TV show "Bachelor Father". Also, Forsythe had played with Charlton Heston in a 1949 episode of "Studio One", with Richard Anderson in 1953´s "Fort Bravo" and 1964´s "Kitten with a Whip", with Ricardo Montalbán in a 1965´s episode of "Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre" and 1966´s "Madame X", with Lloyd Bochner in a 1974 episode of "Police Story", and, finally, with Pamela Bellwood & James Farentino in the 1977 TVM "Emily, Emily".

Joan Collins co-starred with Harry Andrews in 1978´s "The Big Sleep", and with Ricardo Montalbán in her 1980 episode of "Fantasy Island". Linda Evans worked with Richard Anderson in a 1963 episode of "The Lieutenant", with Michael Nader in 1965´s "Beach Blanket Bingo", with Barbara Stanwyck in the 4 seasons of "The Big Valley" (where also guest-starred Richard Anderson & Lloyd Bochner), and with John Saxon in 1975´s "Mitchell". 

Al Corley guest-starred in a 1980 episode of "The Love Boat" with Dale Robertson. Pamela Bellwood co-starred with Charlton Heston in 1976´s "Two-Minute Warning", and with Katy Kurtzman in a 1978 epìsode of "W.E.B.". Heather Locklear worked with Grant Goodeve in a 1981 episode of "Eight Is Enough", with Tracy Scoggins in 1981´s TVM "Twirl", and with Ted McGinley in a 1982 episode of "Fantasy Island". 

18. How many grandchildren had Alexis at the end of the series?

Steven´s son with Sammy Jo (Heather Locklear), Danny; Fallon´s son and daughter with Jeff (John James), Blake Jr. and Lauren; and also the unnamed son of Adam (Gordon Thomson) with surrogate mother Karen Atkinson (Stephanie Dunnam). These would make a total of four grandchildren for Alexis, though only three of them might be considered as "resident heirs".

19. Who designed the lavish clothes seen on "Dynasty"?

Late Texan designer Nolan Miller. He was responsible for the costume choices from the very beginning to the "Dynasty Reunion" Special. Previously, he had worked in such popular shows as "Charlie´s Angels", "The Love Boat", "Vega$", or "Hart to Hart". During or after the Carrington saga, he also dressed the casts of a lot of miniseries, and other soaps like "Paper Dolls", "Glitter", "The Colbys", "Pacific Palisades", "Models Inc.", or "Titans". He won an Emmy for his work in the Season 4 episode "The Wedding", the only Academy award achieved by the show. 
 

20. Why were Blake and Krystle always faithful to each other?

Mainly, due to insistence of Blake´s portrayer John Forsythe, who thought that the bedhopping of the other characters was enough, and the show needed a stable couple. However, the initial storylines for Season 5 had the marriage having trouble in paradise and starting affairs with other people, namely Lady Ashley Mitchell in his case, and Daniel Reece in Krystle´s case. Both were played by that season´s biggest guest stars, Ali MacGraw and Rock Hudson, respectively. The plans eventually changed, and Ashley had a short fling with Jeff, while Daniel, after flirting with Krystle, turned out to be Sammy Jo´s real father. Both characters were killed in the infamous Moldavian massacre (Ashley) and during a mission in Lybia (Daniel).
      

21. How many characters from "The Colbys" were later brought back by "Dynasty"?

Fallon and Jeff (played by Emma Samms & John James) were the only ones who reprised their cliffhanger story (her abduction by a UFO) in the next season of "Dynasty". Other characters who appeared in the mother series´ last year were Sable and Monica Colby (Stephanie Beacham & Tracy Scoggins), and also Maxwell Caulfield as Miles in the aforementioned Reunion. There were a few mentions of some others (Jason & Francesca, e.g.), with no further details at all.

22. How many catfights were seen in the show?

For some people, too many, and for others, too few. It all began in Season 2 episode "The Baby" with Krystle starting a fight with Alexis at the latter´s studio, after learning she had caused her miscarriage. The audiences went so crazy that the catfights became the show´s trademark. Followed the one fought in the lilypond (Season 3´s "The Threat"), their fall into the mud (Season 6´s "Ben"), and the last one, among mannequins (Miniseries). Linda Evans entangled into a catfight with herself (as Krystle and her double Rita) in Season 6´s "The Vigil". Alexis had two more fights, one with her nemesis Dominique (Season 7´s "Fear"), and another one, with her archrival Sable (Season 9´s "Blasts from the Past").

The younger generation had their share of catfights too. Sammy Jo was bitchslapped by Claudia (twice) in Season 4´s Part 2 of "The Hearing", fell into the pool with a jealous Amanda in the Season 6 Finale (where Dominique also managed to slap Alexis´s face), and fought in the mud with Fallon in Season 9´s "Alexis in Blunderland". Lastly, Kirby kicked evil Mrs. Litton´s (Alphonsia Emmanuel) ass in the Miniseries.  

23. Why was the Reunion Miniseries filmed?

Because all the storylines of the last season ended on a cliffhanger and the public complained to ABC: Blake was shot, Krystle in a coma, Alexis and Dex fell over the hotel balcony, Fallon and Krystina were at hands of murderer Dennis Grimes (Jeff Kaake), Sable was pregnant with Dex´s baby, Sammy Jo confessed her love to a priest, and Monica found out she and Miles weren´t Jason´s children. The Reunion Miniseries aired in 1991 and set the action 5 years later, though it hardly solved out anything, aside from Blake and Krystle´s eventual reunion.  

24. Who died at the fire of La Mirage hotel?

Only Claudia and one of the guests. Dominique´s daughter Jackie (Troy Beyer) suffered serious burnts but recovered. 
      

25. Who owned the Colby manor in real life?

Millionaire William Barron Hilton, i.e. Paris´s grandfather. It´s named Paley Residence and located in 1060 Brooklawn Drive, Bel Air. 

26. Who was Joan Collins´ Alexis character based on?

Being the show ABC´s answer to "Dallas", Alexis allegedly was "J.R. in skirts". Previously an avid "Dallas" watcher, Joan Collins said that she based her performance on a personal friend of hers, then on Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and more recently, she assured that tycoon and politician Donald Trump was her inspiration, too. Joan´s late sister Jackie Collins revealed that Alexis actually was her own character Fontaine from her best-seller "The Stud" (played by Joan in the movie version).

27. Who played Alexis in the last seconds of Season 1?

It was a friend of the producers´ called Maggie Wickman. By then, the Alexis role hadn´t been cast yet.

28. How many male lovers had Steven?

For someone who allegedly was gay in the beginning, too few. Previously to the Pilot, he had been dating Ted Dinard in N.Y. Then, once transformed into Jack Coleman´s Steven, he only had two lovers: his employee Luke Fuller (Billy Campbell) on Season 5, and Senator Bart Fallmont (Kevin Conroy) the next year. In the Miniseries, the latter character was recast with Cameron Watson, and is shown living with Steven in Washington D.C.
      

29. Did the show collect any award?

Besides the aforementioned Emmy for Nolan Miller, "Dynasty" won one Golden Globe for Best Series in 1984. Joan Collins had won her own the previous year, and also Linda Evans in 1982 (shared with "Dallas"´ Barbara Bel Geddes). John Forsythe beat both his co-stars by winning twice, in 1983 and 1984. 

Other awards: Linda Evans earned one People´s Choice award in 1982 as "Favorite Female Performer in a New TV Program", another one the next year, as "Favorite Female TV Performer" (shared with "M*A*S*H"´s Loretta Swit). In 1984, the show won as "Favorite TV Dramatic Program" (tie in with "Hill Street Blues"), as well as another one for Evans and two more for John Forsythe, as "Actor in a Primetime Soap" and "Actor in a Mature Role in a..." (!!). In 1985, the series won again, and Evans shared her award with Joan Collins herself, this time. The next year, Evans and "Dynasty" also won, and "The Colbys" was considered the "Favorite New TV Dramatic Program". "Dynasty" shared its award with "Miami Vice". Oddly enough, the following season´s awards united both "Dallas" and "Dynasty" as "Favorite Nighttime Dramatic Serials".

Soap Opera Digest Awards: "Dynasty" won as "Primetime Soap" in 1985, Linda Evans and Joan Collins as "Lead Actress" and "Villainess" resp. the same year. Catherine Oxenberg won two awards that season, as "Supporting Actress" and "Female Newcomer". The soap and its cast have gathered multiple other awards internationally.

30. Did Linda Evans and Barbara Stanwyck got to act together on "Dynasty"?

Yes, but very briefly. Both shared scenes in only one episode, "The Titans". The two stars had worked together many years before in the show "The Big Valley", where they played mother and daughter.

31. Is there any non-blood related woman Jeff Colby didn´t sleep with?

Probably not, but let´s remember: he didn´t sleep with secretary Tracy (Deborah Adair) in Season 4, nor with Alexis´s sister Caress (Kate O´Mara) in Season 6, nor with Adam´s wife Dana (Leann Hunley) nor with Miles´s wife Channing (Kim Morgan Greene) in "The Colbys" either. Add to these the servants, of course. Quite a record for good ol´ stud Jeffy! 

32. How many writers did "Dallas" and "Dynasty" share ?

More than one could expect:
Camille Marchetta (also a co-producer in Season 5), Frank Furino (executive story editor in Season 8), Loraine Despres, Leah Markus and Will Lorin (who penned each one teleplay for "Dynasty"), and finally, David Paulsen, who was the last season´s executive supervising producer, and wrote and directed several episodes too. The connections were more frequent between the Spelling show and Lorimar´s "Knots Landing": even its star John Pleshette wrote one episode for Season 5 of "Dynasty".
      

33. Where was located the Denver-Carrington building?

For the Pilot and Opening shots, it was located in 621 17th Street in Denver. Afterwards, they chose the Bank of America Plaza, in 333 S. Hope St., Downtown Los Angeles. In Season 6, the building was replaced by another located in Wells Fargo Center, also in the same area. 

34. Were the food and drinks the real thing on "Dynasty"?

If we have to believe what the producers said, yes. Caviar was real caviar, and champagne was real champagne (burnt or not). However, actors didn´t actually eat the food to avoid raccord mistakes. Except for Alexis, who very often ended her scenes chewing some kind of food.

35. What was the age difference in real life between Stephanie Beacham and her fictional kids?

Stephanie Beacham was 38 when she took the Sable role, while Maxwell Caulfield was 26 (12 years younger) at the time, Tracy Scoggins was 32 (only 6 years younger!) and Claire Yarlett, 21. All ages according to IMDb, of course...They tried to age Stephanie´s look with silver streaks and old-fashioned hairdos, but when she re-appeared in "Dynasty" two years after the cancellation of "The Colbys", she looked much younger. 

36. Did Alexis and Krystle fight each other in their famous catfights?

No. Both women had stunt-women in some cases (in others, even stunt-men!), but Linda Evans was quite bold and didn´t mind do her own stunts. On the contrary, Joan Collins always avoided them because she was afraid of getting hurt, though she used to say that Gene Kelly advised her not to do it, because she´d be "taking pay from the stunt woman."
 
      

37. What big names were rumored to star in "The Colbys"?

Allegedly, such big stars as Burt Lancaster, Faye Dunaway, Elizabeth Taylor, James Coburn, Gregory Peck, Angie Dickinson, Diana Rigg, Susannah York, Elizabeth Ashley, Doris Day, Ali MacGraw, Rock Hudson (playing the same characters from "Dynasty" if they had survived to Season 5), Pamela Sue Martin (as Fallon, if the actress had agreed to come back), James Darren, Rex Smith, Sue Lloyd, Kate O'Mara (who went on to play the Caress character on the mother series) and even Katharine Hepburn, if we have to believe the rumors. 

38. Was Steven the first gay character in an American TV series?

Actually not. A few sitcoms had already featured gay, bisexual or transgender characters, the most popular of them being Billy Crystal´s Jodie Dallas on "Soap". That same year, Linda Gray had played a transsexual on "All That Glitters", and prior to that, shows like "The Corner Bar", "Barney Miller", "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman" or "Hot I Baltimore" had included gay characters too. Funnily enough, in the latter title, an ABC comedy aired in 1975, a future "Dynasty" actor, Lee Bergere, played one half of a gay couple. However, the earlier precedents were introduced by the Australian TV in series like "Number 96", "The Box" and the better known "Prisoner: Cell Block H". If we have to talk about the mainstream dramas shown in primetime, then we should mention "Dallas" and the character of Lucy´s fiancé Kit, who only appeared in 2 episodes. So after all, yes, it was "Dynasty" the first drama to feature a gay man as a prominent character on primetime. The point is, was Steven gay or bisexual, or simply confused?

39. Who killed Alexis´s last husband Sean Rowan?

He died while fighting for a gun with Alexis´s previous husband Dex Dexter in the Season 8 cliffhanger.

40. Which actor appeared in most episodes?

John Forsythe, seen in all the episodes, summing up a total of 217 (or 221, if we don´t count the two-parters as one but two). Linda Evans appeared in 209 and Joan Collins in 204. Not including the Reunion in either case.
      

41. Was "Dynasty" the last project for Rock Hudson?

Yes. Prior to that, he had also filmed the TVM "The Vegas Strip War" (co-starring Sharon Stone) and the film "The Ambassador" with Robert Mitchum and Ellen Burstyn. Hudson appeared in 9 "Dynasty" episodes until his much-publicized illness made the producers write his character Daniel Reece off, and kill him during a dangerous mission abroad.

42. Was composer Bill Conti´s work publicly acknowledged?

Yes, but not for his excellent "Dynasty" Theme. He won 3 Emmys for his music direction at the Academy Awards programs, as well as many other nominations, including one for the miniseries "North & South". He was also awarded the Oscar in 1984 for "The Right Stuff" and also nominated for "Rocky" and the title song of "For Your Eyes Only".

43. Who was the most frequent director of the show?

Chicago-born Irving J. Moore, who signed 58 episodes plus the Reunion Miniseries. Funnily enough, he almost directed the same number of "Dallas" episodes (52), despite both shows were produced and aired by different companies and networks. 

44. Did the stars also direct or produce the series?

No, unlike the Lorimar soaps, "Dynasty" didn´t offer that chance to its stars. However, Joan Colllins did produce other works like the miniseries "Sins" and "Monte Carlo", the Noel Coward Anthology "Tonight at 8.30", the period film "The Clandestine Marriage" and next year´s movie "The Time of Their Lives", co-starring Pauline Collins.
      

45. Has "Dynasty" been released on dvd?

Yes, all nine seasons, except the infamous Reunion Miniseries. But not in the Spanish market...

46. Has "The Colbys" been released on dvd?

Yes, very recently. Even in the Spanish market...

47. Did Claudia´s husband die in South America?

So it seemed at late Season 2. But he resurfaced in the Season 7 cliffhanger, along with a gang of hoods, determined to steal Krystle away from her husband. No word on his daughter Lindsay, presumably dead in the Perú jungles. 

48. Is true that Alexis was originally going to be named Madeleine?

Yes. The family names were intended to be the Parkhursts (instead of Carringtons) and the Corbys (instead of Colbys). Incredible but true.
 
      

49. Is true that the show brought back the shoulderpads, among other things?

Partly. "Dallas" had set the trend just after the "Dynasty" Pilot aired: Sue Ellen wore big shoulderpads in her gown for Lucy´s wedding (episode "End of the Road", Part 2). "Dynasty" emphasized their stars´ fashions and used the shoulderpads for them too, and all the actresses of primetime dramas followed the trend, from Linda Gray to Donna Mills to Morgan Fairchild.  

50. Did Aaron Spelling´s career ended with "Dynasty"?

No, not at all, though he never repeated the show´s international success on the same level. He tried to launch other primetime soaps like "2000 Malibu Road", "Models Inc.", "Malibu Shores", "Savannah", "Pacific Palisades", "Sunset Beach" or "Titans". But he only made it big with "Beverly Hills, 90210" (10 seasons), "Melrose Place" (7), and the fantasy series "Charmed" (8 seasons), all addressed to younger audiences though. Aaron Spelling died in 2006 at 83.

51. Was Alexis a saint or a sinner?

It all depends of the eye of the beholder. Though within the show´s universe, Alexis always played the role of the villain, Collins tried hard to make her more human and relatable, and often remarked that if a man did certain things, he was applauded and well-considered, but if a woman did the same, she was called "a bitch". Undoubtedly, it was Collins´ utter charm and candidness what made her character and the show last as long as it did, though Stephanie Beacham´s Sable almost shadowed her in the last season. Both actresses appeared together many years later in a funny TV spot for chocolate bars "Snickers". Long live the Divas!
    




© 2016 Toni Díaz for all texts and photo selection

© Dynasty & The Colbys photos copyrighted by CBS / Paramount


Thanks to LukeFuller for his corrections re #11 at the Soapchat Forum


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