Joan Van Ark, Michele Lee and Donna Mills Honored for Knots Landing 40th Anniversary

Image: Bill Dow

Knots Landing actresses’ costumes on public display in Los Angeles.

In honor of Knots Landing’s 40th anniversary, stars of the classic primetime soap opera Joan Van Ark (Val Ewing), Michele Lee (Karen MacKenzie) and Donna Mills (Abby Ewing) will reunite to unveil costumes worn on the series for display at The Hollywood Museum in Los Angeles, California. A VIP reception will be held on January 18, with the exhibit opening to the public on January 19. Soaps.com has learned other stars expected to attend the event include Carolyn Hennesy (Diane Miller, General Hospital), Kate Linder (Ester Valentine, The Young and the Restless), Anson Williams (Happy Days), Don Most (Happy Days) and Leeza Gibbons Rose Parade host).

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Knots Landing ran from 1979 – 1993 as a spin-off of Dallas. Though the series was conceived before Dallas, it was initially rejected by the network. When Dallas became a phenomenon, characters who were introduced on the Texas-based soap opera moved on to Knots Landing. The drama focused on four married couples living in the cul-de-sac Seaview Circle, a suburb of California. The CBS soap opera also starred Ted Shackelford (Gary Ewing; Jeffrey Bardwell, The Young and the Restless), Kevin Dobson (Mac MacKenzie; Mickey Horton, Days of our Lives; Judge Devin Owens, The Bold and the Beautiful), William Devane (Greg Sumner; The Grinder), Nicollette Sheridan (Paige Matheson; Desperate Housewives; Dynasty), Michelle Phillips (Anne Matheson; Beverly Hills 90210), and Larry Hagman (J.R. Ewing; Desperate Housewives). Notable daytime alum who had long-running or recurring stints on Knots Landing included Peter Reckell (Bo Brady, Days of our Lives), Michael Sabatino (Lawrence Alamain, Days of our Lives; J.T. Cornell, Passions; Vince Russo, Guiding Light), Robin Strasser (ex-Vivian Alamain, Days of our Lives; Dorian Lord, One Life to Live), Stephen Macht (Trevor Lansing, General Hospital), Maree Cheatham (Marie Horton, Days of our Lives; Mona, Passions), Marcia Cross (Kate Sanders, One Life to Live), Louise Sorel (Vivian Alamain, Days of our Lives), Brian Austin Green (Beverly Hills, 90210) and Alec Baldwin (The Doctors).

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After Knots Landing ended in 1993, Joan Van Ark had guest starring roles on various TV shows, reprised her role as Valene Ewing for the Dallas reboot in 2013 and played Gloria Abbott for a time on The Young and the Restless from 2004 – 2005. Michele Lee went on to make appearances in TV shows Will & Grace, Married to the Kellys and See Dad Run, as well as the movie Along Came Polly. Though she left the series in 1989, Donna Mills returned for the finale in 1993. Afterward, she had roles on Melrose Place, Hilton Head Island and General Hospital, where she played Madeline Reeves.