Ken Kercheval, Who Played Cliff Barnes on ‘Dallas,’ Dies at 83

Actor portrayed J.R. Ewing’s archrival on the CBS soap

Last Updated: April 24, 2019 @ 2:47 PM

Ken Kercheval, the actor who played oil tycoon Cliff Barnes onĀ  CBS’ long-running primetime soap opera “Dallas,” has died at 83.

Kercheval died Sunday night, but the family is not sharing any more details at this time, a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed to TheWrap. The Daily Clintonian, the local newspaper of Kercheval’s hometown of Clinton, Indiana, reported that he passed away Sunday evening.

He was in his hometown of Clinton, Indiana at the time of his death. A private burial will be held for family and friends, his talent agent, Jeff Fisher, told TheWrap.

Kercheval was one of only two cast members to appear on “Dallas” for its entire run, in a total of 342 episodes from 1978 to 1991. The other was Larry Hagman, who played his character Cliff’s archnemesis J.R. Ewing. Kercheval also directed a few episodes of the original series, before returning to play Cliff again for a 1996 TV movie and TNT’s reboot series, which aired from 2012 to 2014.

His first television role came in 1966, playing the first Dr. Nick Hunter on CBS soap opera Search for Tomorrow” — but the actor was known as much for his work on the stage as for the screen. He appeared in a number of stage and Broadway productions throughout his career, including Mike Nichols’ “The Apple Tree” and Harold Prince’s “Cabaret” in the 1960s. Prior to that, he was in a national touring production of Edward Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” He even acted alongside Dustin Hoffman in a 1959 off-Broadway production of Sidney Kingsley’s “Dead End” before making his Broadway debut in 1961’s “The Young Abe Lincoln.”