Charlene Tilton will perhaps be best remembered for her iconic role as Lucy Ewing, the niece of JR Ewing on the legendary television show “Dallas”. She is an all-American actress who starred in a vast repertoire of films and also surprised the world with her lovely voice. However, her life was not without its fair share of tragedies and difficulties, as she did not always have the best in life. Read on as we discuss the life of the veteran actress, who in 2020 celebrates her 62nd birthday.
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Early life and family
Charlene L Tilton was born in San Diego, California, USA, on 1 December 1958.
Her early life was not the fondest time of her life, as her mother, Katherine Thacker, struggled as a single parent. Katherine worked as a secretary and did not receive financial aid from her daughter’s father. The man had walked out on them when she was still young, and she Charlene grew-up without knowing him.
In her teen years, Charlene’s mother would fall ill to mental disorder, forcing Charlene to live in foster care for most of her high school career. It was during this time in her life that Charlene had met the actor Larry Hagman, who became a godfather and mentor for her. They later co-starred in the “Dallas” soap opera.
As a teenager, she had dreamed of becoming an actress, a dream that was realized at the age of 17, when she was cast as Bambi in the 1976 film “Freaky Friday”.
Charlene attended Hollywood High School, where she was a cheerleader and president of the Thespians Club. She matriculated from high school, but has since had no need to further her education, and has not attended any other institutes.
Charlene’s career started with a few small roles in both television shows and films, but she quickly rose to fame for her iconic role as Lucy Ewing Cooper, the role she played throughout eight seasons of “Dallas”.
Her first roles were in the comedy shows “Eight Is Enough” and “Happy Days”, appearing in one episode of each. She was also seen in the films “Freaky Friday”, “Sweater Girls” and “Big Wednesday”, then landed her role as a cast member of “Dallas” in 1978, at the age of 19, and stayed on until 1990.
Her career boomed throughout the airing of the popular soap opera, and landed her on the cover of several magazines. She was also rewarded the Young Artist Award for Juvenile Actress in a TV Series for her role as Lucy, as well as several other awards.
She starred in several shows and films in the eighties, include a few iconic titles such as “The Love Boat”, “Fantasy Island” and “Murder, She Wrote”. She also appeared as herself in “Married… With Children”.
Following her success with the “Dallas” soap opera, she gained several roles spanning across the nineties, including the films “Problem Child 2”, “For Parents Only”, and the television movies “Favorite Deadly Sins” and “Safety Patrol”.
Since 2000, Charlene has mostly appeared in few comedy spoof films, which include “#1 Cheerleader Camp” and “Superhero Movie”.
She also reprised her role as Lucy for the 2012 “Dallas” revival.
Her latest appearance was in the 2017 film “The Road Less Travelled”.
Other than a successful career in television and film, Charlene is also a singer. She performed the lead vocals in episodes of “Dallas”, when her character Lucy ran away to become a country singer.
She also starred alongside singer Michael Buble in the film “Totally Blonde”, and participated in several reality TV and celebrity game shows, which include “Dancing On Ice”.
Hobbies, favourite things and interesting facts
Not much is known about Charlene’s personal preferences, but in the early eighties she made headlines in scandal tabloids for appearing topless in a ‘Playboy’ issue. Other than that, it is known that she was a good friend to co-star Larry Hagman, and was the only “Dallas” cast member to have been at his 70th birthday. Upon his death in 2012, she attended his funeral and in a statement said that he was her biggest acting inspiration.
Charlene’s romances have also been riddled with difficulties and tragedy.
She had been married and divorced twice, first to country singer Johnny Lee, with whom she has a daughter Cherish Lee, from 1982 until 1984. Following this, Charlene was involved with Scottish actor Domenick Allen, whom she married on 7 April 1985, but their relationship ended in divorce in 1992 without any children. She then formed a relationship with the cinematographer Cheddy Hart, but who passed away in 2009. It is not known if Charlene has had another relationship since then. Her daughter was born in 1982, and like her father, has followed a career in country singing.
- Date of Birth: 1 December 1958
- Hair colour: Blonde
- Eye colour: Blue
- Height: 4ft 11ins (1.5m)
- Weight: 119lbs ( 48kgs)
- Dress Size: 4 (1980)
- Shoe Size: 5 (US)
- Bra Size: 32C (1980)
- Star Sign: Sagittarius
- Nationality: American
- Ethnicity: Caucasian
Charlene’s net worth that she’s accumulated over the long years of her successful acting career stands at an estimated total of $2 million as of 2020.