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Joan Van Ark

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Joan Van Ark BIO

Van Ark began her professional career at the Guthrie Theater in Molière's The Miser, in which she appeared opposite Hume Cronyn and Zoe Caldwell. That was followed by Death of a Salesman at the Guthrie with both Cronyn and Jessica Tandy. After a season at the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., she originated the role of Corie in the national touring company of Barefoot in the Park, directed by Mike Nichols. In 1966, she recreated the role at the Piccadilly Circus in the critically acclaimed London Company when she replaced Marlo Thomas, who had pulled out due to a ligament injury; and later that same year, Van Ark made her Broadway debut as Corie at the Biltmore Theater and became one of the successors of Elizabeth Ashley, who three years earlier appeared in the original Broadway production.

Van Ark and her new husband moved to Los Angeles, where she started garnering television credits. In 1971, she revisited Broadway, where she earned a Theatre World Award and received a Tony nomination for her performance as Agnès in Molière's The School for Wives, directed by Stephen Porter.

Van Ark starred opposite Ray Milland and Sam Elliott in the horror film Frogs, which was theatrically released on March 10, 1972.

After receiving a contract with Universal Studios, Van Ark co-starred with Bette Davis in The Judge and Jake Wyler, a 1972 telefilm and series pilot that failed to be picked up by NBC. Van Ark played the role of Erika in M*A*S*H in 1973 in the episode entitled "Radar's Report." Van Ark was also a regular castmember of the short-lived television sitcoms Temperatures Rising (1972–73) and We've Got Each Other (1977–78).

In 1974, Van Ark, tapped as a late replacement for Mary Ure, returned to Broadway as Silia Gala in a revival of Pirandello's The Rules of the Game, which was performed by the New Phoenix Repertory Co. at the Helen Hayes Theater and also featured Glenn Close, who, in addition to playing a bit part as a neighbor, served as Van Ark's understudy in the lead role of Silia. Game reunited Van Ark with School for Wives director Stephen Porter as well as Wives co-star David Dukes. In 1975, a production of Game was also broadcast on Great Performances as one of its Theatre in America selections.

Van Ark co-starred opposite Richard Boone in the science fiction outing The Last Dinosaur, which was filmed at Tsuburaya Studios in Tokyo and on location in the Japanese Alps. The picture was intended to be released theatrically but failed to find a distributor and instead aired as a TV movie in February 1977.

In addition, Van Ark performed the voice of Spider-Woman in the short-lived 1979 animated series of the same name.

After working for several years in a variety of guest roles on television, in 1978, she gained her best-known role as Valene Ewing (originally as a one-time appearance) on Dallas. Van Ark kept a tight schedule and was flying a lot the week of her Dallas debut, as Dallas was being filmed in Texas and she was simultaneously shooting an episode of The Love Boat in L.A. and doing voiceover work for Estée Lauder in New York.

However, writers later worked the character into a couple of additional episodes; and in 1979, Van Ark then carried the Valene character over into the long-running spin-off, Knots Landing, in which she co-starred for thirteen of the show's fourteen seasons. She left in 1992, although she did return for its final two episodes in May 1993. Her character was married three times to husband Gary Ewing, played in the series by Ted Shackelford, and also had two other marriages during the show's run.

During her thirteen years on Knots Landing, Van Ark earned two Soap Opera Digest Awards for Best Actress (1986, 1989) and was nominated an additional six times. Over the course of the program, Van Ark probably received her greatest recognition as an actress during the sixth year, which featured an intricate storyline involving the theft of Valene's twin babies. Their disappearance prompted Valene to embark on a surreal emotional journey and pilgrimage in which she left the cul-de-sac in California and morphed into the persona of a character from a novel she had written. In the 1984–1985 season finale, "The Long and Winding Road," Val finds out that her babies are still alive, and this episode's original broadcast marked the only time Knots Landing ever reached the #1 spot in the weekly Nielsen ratings. In its edition dated June 29, 1985, TV Guide assessed of her performance: "Knots Landing has the grimmest plots but the strongest cast, headed by the incomparable Joan Van Ark as Valene." Later on, she directed two of the series' episodes, one in the last season after she was no longer a regular performer on the serial.

In 1985, she also co-hosted with Bob Barker CBS' Tournament of Roses Parade, which received a Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Special Class Program.

Mirroring their characters' onscreen friendship, Van Ark and KL co-star Michele Lee became good friends while working together on the series. In May 1997, Van Ark reprised her role of Valene Ewing in the CBS mini-series Knots Landing: Back to the Cul-de-Sac; while in December 2005, she appeared in the non-fiction reunion Knots Landing Reunion: Together Again, in which she reminisced with the other cast members about the long-running CBS television show.

Shortly before leaving Knots Landing, she starred opposite Christopher Meloni in an ill-fated pilot called Spin Doctors, a sitcom for NBC that was not picked up.

An ABC Afterschool Special called Boys Will Be Boys: The Ali Cooper Story (1994), which she appeared in and directed, was nominated for a Humanitas. In 1997, Van Ark also directed a documentary short on homelessness and domestic violence for the Directors Guild of America, and the piece was nominated for an Emmy Award.

She originated the role of Gloria Fisher Abbott on CBS television's The Young and the Restless from 2004 to 2005, then decided to leave the role and was replaced by Judith Chapman.

Van Ark also appeared Off-Broadway opposite John Rubinstein in Love Letters, as well as in Edward Albee's Pulitzer Prize winning Three Tall Women at the Promenade Theatre and The Exonerated at the Bleecker Street Theatre. In 2000, she performed in Camino Real in Washington, D.C. Her Los Angeles theater credits include: Cyrano de Bergerac as Roxanne, as well as Ring Around the Moon, Chemin de Fer, Heartbreak House and As You Like It, for which she won a Los Angeles Drama Critics Award. Opposite David Birney, she appeared as Lady Macbeth in the Grove Shakespeare Festival's production of Macbeth, produced by Charles Johanson. Van Ark has also starred in three Williamstown Theatre Festival productions: The Night of the Iguana (1987), the 40th anniversary presentation of Stephen Sondheim's A Little Night Music (1994) and The Legend of Oedipus (1988), which is a five-hour, two-part adaptation by Kenneth Cavander of the classic Greek tragedies and was directed by WTF co-founder Nikos Psacharopoulos, who was also Van Ark's acting professor when she was attending the Yale School of Drama.

Later stage work includes: her origination of the role of Mrs. Fenway in Escape, one of the newly discovered Tennessee Williams' short plays featured as part of the Five by Tenn collection at the Kennedy Center in 2004; the 2005 La Jolla Playhouse production of Private Fittings, directed by Des McAnuff, and a presentation of A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur in 2006 at the Hartford Stage.

Her TV movies include: My First Love, in which she plays the younger woman in a romantic triangle with Bea Arthur and Richard Kiley; Always Remember I Love You opposite Patty Duke; Moment of Truth: A Mother's Deception; In the Shadows, Someone's Watching with Daniel J. Travanti, a former Yale classmate, and Rick Springfield; and based on the novel by Stuart M. Kaminsky, When the Dark Man Calls, in which she portrays a radio psychologist opposite Chris Sarandon as her brother Lloyd and James Read as Detective Lieberman.

Van Ark has also performed in a variety of guest roles, including on episodes of Bonanza, Night Gallery, M*A*S*H, The Six Million Dollar Man, Petrocelli, Quincy, Kojak, Barnaby Jones, and Rhoda (in which she played the ex-wife of Rhoda's husband). She appeared in three separate episodes of Medical Center, Cannon and The Rockford Files, and four separate episodes of The Love Boat. In 1978, she also appeared in an episode of Wonder Woman with Ted Shackelford, who would later become her onscreen husband Gary Ewing on both Dallas and Knots Landing. Post-KL guest spots include: The Nanny and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

In April 2001, Van Ark was featured in an episode of the Howard Stern-produced show Son of the Beach as Ima Cummings, the mother of show regular BJ Cummings (played by Jaime Bergman). In 2008, she was reunited with her Knots Landing co-star Donna Mills in an episode of the FX drama series Nip/Tuck. The same year, she also played a network executive in the film Channels.

In April 2009, Van Ark appeared at the TV Land awards, where Knots Landing was being honored on its 30-year anniversary. Other Knots Landing actors who were present included Michele Lee, Donna Mills, Kevin Dobson, Ted Shackelford, Lisa Hartman Black, Constance McCashin, Don Murray and Michelle Phillips, along with Dallas/Knots Landing creator David Jacobs.

In 2011, she performed voice work in an episode of the animated comedy series Archer. In 2013, she guest-starred in an episode of the new Dallas series, in which she reprised the role of Valene Ewing. The same year, she also appeared as a guest judge on the Logo series RuPaul's Drag Race.


Original Broadway Production, 1963
Corie Bratter [Replacement]

Joan Van Ark Movies

[ 1972 ] Karen Crockett
The Last Dinosaur
[ 1977 ] FrancescaFrankieBanks
Loyal Opposition
[ 1998 ] Vice President Elizabeth Lane
Held for Ransom
[ 2000 ] Nancy Donavan
UP, Michigan!
[ 2001 ] Deborah Michaels
Net Games
[ 2003 ] Dr. Klein
Diamond Zero
[ 2005 ] The Hemingway Diamond
[ 2008 ] Megan Phillips
Watercolor Postcards
[ 2013 ] Momma

Joan Van Ark TV Shows

Valene Ewing, Valene Wallace
Knots Landing
Valene Ewing, Valene Gibson, Valene Waleska
Medical Center
Eileen, Chris, Deborah Walters
Annette Wainwright
Pretty the Series
Miss Senior Someone
Spider-Woman, Jessica Drew
Tarzan and the Super 7
The F.B.I.
Angie Cameron, Julie Rhodes, Cynthia Scott
The Love Boat
Deborah Marshall, Lila Chandler, Mary Sue Huggins
The New Temperatures Rising Show
Nurse Annie Carlisle
The Rockford Files
Christina Marks, Susan Alexander, Barbara Kelbaker
The Young and the Restless
Gloria Fisher, Gloria Simmons Abbott
Thundarr the Barbarian
Cinda, Voice of Crystal, Captain Corden
We've Got Each Other
Dee Dee Baldwin

Joan Van Ark Awards and Nominations

Theatre World Awards - 1971 - Performance

Joan Van Ark, School for Wives

Tony Awards - 1971 - Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play

Joan Van Ark , The School for Wives

Joan Van Ark Videos

Joan Van Ark News

Photos: Go Inside the Los Angeles Ballet Gala

Los Angeles Ballet (LAB) celebrated its Season 18 Gala on Thursday, April 18 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills. See photos from the event here!
Celebrate The 49th Anniversary Of WONDER WOMAN TV Series At The Quadz Bar With Special Guest Mike Pingel

Join the celebration of the 49th Anniversary of Wonder Woman TV Series at QUADZ bar on Wed, February 28, 2024, with special guest Mike Pingel.
Photos: Go Inside The Hollywood Museum's Mother's Day Tribute to MOTION PICTURE MOTHERS

The Hollywood Museum played host to a spectacular photo exhibit, for Mother's Day to pay homage to the matriarchs of the MOTION PICTURE MOTHERS organization and the most celebrated working moms in entertainment with loving and amusing images with their families. Check out photos from the event here!
Photos: The Hollywood Museum Presents An Acting Animals Tribute Exhibit

On the evening of April 6th, in advance of “NATIONAL PET DAY,” (April 11th), Founder/President of the Hollywood Museum, Donelle Dadigan, hosted a tribute exhibit to Acting Animals. See photos from the event.
The Hollywood Museum to Present an Industry Moms Mother's Day Exhibit

“For most, our mother is your first friend, your best friend, your forever friend.  Our mother’s love is unconditional and only grows stronger over a lifetime,” says Donelle Dadigan (Founder/President of the Hollywood Museum).
City of Hope Announces Inaugural 'Celebrity Sale 4 Hope'

This pandemic has brought on challenging times.
Virtual Theatre Today: Friday, October 9- with Next on Stage: Dance Edition, PHANTOM and More!

Today (October 9) in live streaming: Next on Stage: Dance Edition Finale, Phantom in concert, and so much more!
VIDEO: Watch a KNOTS LANDING Reunion on Stars in the House- Live at 8pm!

Stars in the House continues tonight (8pm) with a Knots Landing TV Cast Reunion with Michele Lee, Donna Mills, Joan Van Ark, Ted Shackleford and David Jacobs.

Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley announced today that the cast of the classic soap 'Knots Landing' will reunite LIVE on 'Stars in the House' Friday, October 9th at 8 PM ET.
Television Host Regis Philbin Dies at 88

BroadwayWorld is saddened to report that Regis Philbin, legendary television host, has died at age 88.
Sean Kanan to Host 11th Annual Indie Series Awards; Ceremony to go Virtual

Multitalented artist, filmmaker and author Sean Kanan will host the Indie Series Awards, producers announced today. The 11th Annual ISAs ceremony will be held Thursday, June 18, 2020, at 9:00 PM ET.
Kirk Douglas Dies at 103

BroadwayWorld is saddened to report on the passing of the legendary Kirk Douglas, who died today at age 103.
The Ladies of KNOTS LANDING Reunite for 40th Anniversary

This past weekend, The Hollywood Museum held its first Lobby tribute of 2020, reuniting three remarkable leading ladies, Joan Van Ark, Michele Lee and Donna Mills, for the 40th anniversary of 'Knots Landing,' unveiling costumes worn by the three Knots' stars on the series, on loan from Warner Brothers and personal collections.
Photo Flash: Award Winners Hollywood Bowl Join The José Iturbi Foundation As They Sponsor 'A Decade of Dudamel' at the Hollywood Bowl

The José Iturbi Foundation proudly sponsored 'A Decade of Dudamel' with the LA Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. To celebrate his ten years in L.A., Gustavo Dudamel conducted a special anniversary concert complete with fireworks and featured members of YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles) and Russian piano virtuoso, Khatia Buniatishvili. The evening's performance includes music from well-known films of Hollywood's golden age.
VALLEY OF THE DOLLS Reading Raises $32,000 For Alcott Center and Los Angeles LGBT Center

Producer Steve Tyler and Los Angeles LGBT Center Artistic Director Jon Imparato announced today that two all-star benefit readings of Jacqueline Susann's Valley of the Dolls (screenplay by Dorothy Kingsley) on May 3 and 4 raised $32,000 to be split between Alcott Center for Mental Health Services and the Los Angeles LGBT Center. Directed by Richard Hochberg, Susann's infamous tale of cutthroat careerism, wild sex, and fierce female protagonists was on hilarious display.
Reading Of VALLEY OF THE DOLLS Will Benefit Los Angeles Lgbt Center & The Alcott Center

Steve Tyler Presents has announced an all-star benefit reading of Jacqueline Susann's Valley of the Dolls, directed by Richard Hochberg, for two performances only at the Los Angeles LGBT Center's Renberg Theatre. Susann's infamous tale of cutthroat careerism, wild sex, and fierce female protagonists will be on hilarious display with performances on Friday, May 3, and Saturday, May 4, at 8pm. One hundred percent of the proceeds will benefit Alcott Center for Mental Health Services and the Los Angeles LGBT Center.
BritWeek And The Wallis Present A Shakespeare Jubilee!

BritWeek and The Wallis are proud to announce A Shakespeare Jubilee!  BritWeek, the largest and most visible celebration of the creativity and innovation between the UK and the US, celebrates its twelfth year with three significant events in Los Angeles. BritWeek has become a global forum that highlights British excellence and influence in theater, films television, music, fine art, and sport. This year's opening event is A Shakespeare Jubilee!, BritWeek's first co-presentation with The Wallis.Produced and directed by Louis Fantasia, and featuring a star-studded cast of 27 actors, A Shakespeare Jubilee! takes place Saturday, April 28, 2018 at 7:30pm in the Bram Goldsmith Theater at The Wallis and tickets are now on sale.
Patrika Darbo to Host 9th Annual Indie Series Awards

Television and film star Patrika Darbo will host the 9th Annual Indie Series Awards  ceremony on April 4 at The Colony Theatre in Burbank. CA, producers Roger Newcomb, Kevin Mulcahy Jr. and Susan Bernhardt revealed today.  
Louis Fantasia and Families Forward Learning Center Announce OLD TIME HOLIDAY RADIO HOUR

Louis Fantasia and Families Forward Learning Center announced their first ever OLD TIME HOLIDAY RADIO HOUR - ONE NIGHT ONLY at the Moss Theatre in Santa Monica, California on Thursday, December 14, 2017 at 8:30 PM. featuring two classic NBC Radio episodes; DRAGNET ( The Big Little Jesus, 1953), and THE GREAT GILDERSLEEVE (Christmas Special, 1943) A LOST EPISODE, not heard on radio since it's original air date. Under the direction of Louis Fantasia, the stage readings star Rhea Perlman and Isabella Hofmann.
Photo Flash: Hollywood Museum Rings in the Holidays with Celebrity Christmas Ornaments For Charity

On Friday, Nov 25th, President and Founder of The Hollywood Museum, Donelle Dadigan, hosted an eclectic and elite list of Hollywood entertainers who gathered to decorate Christmas trees at The Hollywood Museum, on the second floor surrounded by the current 'Child Stars: Then and Now Exhibit. Over 20 ornaments were signed and decorated by personalities, and in some cases entire casts, to be auctioned on ebay at to raise funds for A Minor Consideration (AMC).


How many Broadway shows has Joan Van Ark been in?

Joan Van Ark has appeared on Broadway in 1 shows.

How many West End shows has Joan Van Ark been in?

Joan Van Ark has not appeared in the West End.

What awards has Joan Van Ark been nominated for?

Joan Van Ark has been nominated for the Performance (Theatre World Awards) for "School for Wives" and Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play (Tony Awards) for "The School for Wives."

What awards has Joan Van Ark won?

Joan Van Ark won the Theatre World Awards for her performance in "School for Wives."

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