Recognize her? Better sit before you learn her true identity

Joan van Ark, born on June 16, 1943, in New York City, had humble beginnings. Her parents had no connections to the film industry. But Joan’s life took a remarkable turn when she met actress Julie Harris as a teenager in Denver.

Julie saw the potential in Joan and encouraged her to pursue acting at Yale Drama School. With Julie’s help, Joan not only gained admission but also received a scholarship, becoming the second woman ever to enroll at the prestigious school.

Joan started her career in the theater and gained experience performing in various productions. However, her true passion was television.

She made her mark in popular shows like “Temperature’s Rising,” “Spider-Woman,” and “Days of Our Lives.” But it was her role as Valene Ewing on “Dallas” in 1978 that propelled her to great popularity. This role became the most significant of her career.

“Dallas” was such a hit that a spin-off show, “Knots Landing,” was created. Interestingly, “Knots Landing” was actually written before “Dallas.” However, due to the immense success of “Dallas,” Joan was asked to reprise her role in that show instead. Despite this change, Joan embraced her role as Valene Ewing in both shows, and “Knots Landing” went on to have an impressive 13-season run.

During her time on “Knots Landing,” Joan’s husband, John Marshall, a renowned newscaster, played a significant role in convincing her to accept the role. Their close friend, Julie Harris, also joined the show as Valene’s mother. Joan was delighted to have her friend on set and couldn’t believe that the producers didn’t know about their friendship. In the end, Joan appeared in a total of 327 episodes of “Knots Landing” before she felt ready to pursue new ventures.

Leaving behind a show she loved dearly, Joan departed one season before its final airing. Some blamed her departure for the show’s cancellation, but she was eager for new adventures. Reflecting on her time on “Knots Landing,” Joan expressed her gratitude to the show’s creator, David Jacobs, and her co-star Ted Shackelford. The cast had become like a family, sharing in each other’s joys and sorrows.

After leaving “Knots Landing,” Joan joined the cast of “The Young and the Restless” as Gloria Fisher. Her career in the entertainment industry spanned over 50 years, and she made her mark in both television and film. Despite her success, Joan has managed to keep her personal life private. She shares a strong bond with her husband, John Marshall, and their daughter, Vanessa, who is also involved in the entertainment industry.

At 78 years old, Joan Van Ark continues to shine. With a net worth of $10 million, she remains a beloved figure in Hollywood. While she may choose to lead a private life away from the spotlight, she still captivates with her timeless beauty and talent. Her most recent on-screen appearance was in the 2017 television film “Psycho Wedding Crasher.” As a life member of The Actor’s Studio, Joan Van Ark has become an icon in the film industry.

Joan Van Ark’s journey from New York to Hollywood has been nothing short of remarkable. With her passion for acting and undeniable talent, she has left an indelible mark on the world of television and film. Her dedication to her craft and her ability to create memorable characters have solidified her place as one of Hollywood’s most enduring icons.

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