Victoria Principal (born January 3, 1950) is an American actress,
best known for her role as Pamela Barnes Ewing on the long-running CBS
nighttime drama Dallas from 1978 to 1987.
Victoria was born Vicki Ree Principal, in Fukuoka, Japan, the older of two daughters of Ree Veal and Victor R. Principal. Victoria gave a 1950 year of birth in a 2007 interview with the official Dallas website. She stated that she "...felt that was the only way to clear this up once and for all. My name is my real name; my age is my real age. Someone on the internet, years ago, printed a different age than I am and Iím in the process legally of clearing that up, because I have never lied about my age." However she did say that she was the first baby born after the war (which ended in 1945)
Her paternal grandparents were immigrants from Italy and her mother was born in Georgia and is of English descent. Her father was a sergeant in the Air Force and like most military brats, Victoria moved often, growing up in London, Florida, Puerto Rico, Massachusetts, and Georgia, among other places, and attending 17 different schools. She studied at the Royal Academy of Ballet while in England.
She acted in a commercial when five, and began modeling in high school. She enrolled at Miami-Dade Community College, intending to study medicine eventually enrolling in, but not completing, chiropractic college. She continued modeling, winning the Miss Miami title in 1969, but serious injuries in a car crash made her refocus her energy on acting. She moved to New York City, working as a model and actress. After a modeling job in Europe, she studied at Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and then moved to Los Angeles in 1971.
Victoria moved in and lived with Billionaire Financier, Bernard Cornfeld, at 19 and dated numerous actors and personalities at the height of her fame in the late-1970s, including: Andy Gibb (with whom she recorded a duet "All I Have To Do Is Dream" in 1981), Steven Spielberg (during her work on Earthquake and his pre-production on Jaws), and Frank Sinatra.
Victoria met Christopher Skinner in 1978 when he played a bit role on Dallas. After a very short time, she married him, but they divorced in 1980. In 1985, she married Hollywood plastic surgeon Dr. Harry Glassman after a three-year relationship. She has no children from either marriage.
In January 2003, her husband was arrested on a domestic violence charge. On May 27, 2006 she filed for divorce from her husband of 21 years, after they separated in March 2006 citing irreconcilable differences.
On December 27, 2006 the divorce was finalized after Glassman, labeled "Dr. McGreedy" by the press, received the Beverly Hills home and an estimated $25 million from Principal. Victoria Principal currently lives in Malibu, with other homes in Utah and Switzerland.
She is training for her booked flight on Richard Branson's commercial space flight venture, and is scheduled to be one of the first female civilian astronauts in June 2010.
On May 5, 2009 according to a complaint filed by Principal's maid, Maribel Banegas, the former television star pulled a gun after Banegas "took too long walking the actress' dog one evening."
The report claims that, after Banegas dilly-dallied with Principal's dog, the actress fired her, went upstairs, returned with a firearm, and told an onlooking maid to get back so she could have a clean shot at Banegas.
Banegas then locked herself in the bathroom and called 911. She claims that, all the while, Victoria stood outside the bathroom door and repeated her death threats. Banegas is now suing Victoria for lost wages, in addition to "willful and conscious disregard" for her safety.
Victoria Principal, in a still from Dallas.Her first film was as a Mexican mistress in Paul Newman's The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972) for which she earned a Golden Globe Nomination as Most Promising Newcomer. Her next film was The Naked Ape (1973) with Johnny Crawford, in which she appeared topless (years later, on The Tonight Show, she said that this was the worst movie of her career). That year she appeared in a nude Playboy pictorial. She later claimed that she did not read the fine print for her contract for The Naked Ape, which was produced by Playboy, when she signed it, as it was the fine print that required her to do the nude pictorial. Ironically, when she became famous on "Dallas", nude pictures of Victoria from various photo shoots years before began to circulate and remain internet favorites to this day.
In 1974, she landed a huge break when she was cast in a co-starring role in the successful disaster film epic, Earthquake. Victoria continued to act in lesser known films such as I Will, I Will...For Now and Vigilante Force. In 1977, Aaron Spelling offered her a role in the pilot of his television series Fantasy Island. She accepted, and soon after she landed her most famous role, that of Pamela Barnes Ewing in the television series Dallas in 1978. Dallas became a huge global hit, making Victoria a household name across the world. In 1983, she earned a Golden Globe Nomination as Best Actress in a Television Series.
After nine years, Victoria decided to leave Dallas in 1987. She then went on to star in various television movies such as Mistress, Blind Witness, Naked Lie, Sparks: The Price of Passion, and Don't Touch My Daughter, some of which she co-produced. In 1994, she appeared in an episode of the hit sitcom Home Improvement.
In late 1999, she and her Dallas co-star Patrick Duffy appeared in an episode of the animated series Family Guy, in which they played their Dallas characters in a live-action section of episode (as opposed to animated) and parodied the infamous "Dallas shower scene" in which she dreamed up her Dallas husband's death. In the episode the show's family copes with the aftermath of a nuclear holocaust on January 1, 2000. However, at the end of the episode it is revealed to have all been a dream of Pam Ewing's. The animated television series South Park also features a school Victoria named Victoria Principal, a play on the actress's name.
Victoria returned to primetime soap operas in 2000 when she appeared in the short-lived NBC TV series Titans, produced by Aaron Spelling.
When Victoria signed her Dallas contract, she omitted the clause that would have given the network the right to consent and profit from her outside endeavors. She explained, "As a result thatís why, you can only notice in hindsight, I was the only person in the cast who did commercials, who was doing movies of the week, who wrote books and these all belong to me. I retained the control and ownership of my image. No one owns me."
When she left the show in 1987, she began her own production company, Victoria Principal Productions. In the mid-1980s, she became interested in natural beauty therapies and promoted a self-named line of skin care products called Victoria Secret, and has also written three books about beauty and skin-care.
This Victoria Principal Biography Page is Copyright © 2004 - 2009 Chuck Ayoub