Joan Van Ark rose to fame as Valene Ewing on Dallas, but foremost the spinoff series Knots Landing. The actress reprised her role in 2012 for one episode, and today, she’s happily married to her high school sweetheart with whom she’s had one daughter.

Van Ark has gotten older, but the 78-year-old is still going strong. This is all you need to know about Joan Van Ark’s life – and why she claims that the downfall of Knots Landing was all her fault.

Joan Van Ark was born on June 16, 1943, in New York City, New York, as one of four children of Dorothy Jean Van Ark and Carroll Van Ark. She and her family moved to Boulder, Colorado when she was 7 years old, and later in her career, the change of setting helped her plenty.

Joan Van Ark – early life & career

Even though her parents – with her mother working as a writer and her father in public relations – never worked in the film business, Van Ark knew from the start that she wanted to become an actress.

She told We Love Soaps that when the quarterback of her high school football team didn’t invite her to prom, Joan decided that she was to work in show business.