We all know Priscilla Presley as Elvis‘ ex-wife, but there’s a whole lot more to her than that. In fact, she has played a big part in two important pieces of our pop culture history — the TV show Dallas and the The Naked Gun movie franchise. Now, decades later, how does it feel for Priscilla, 74, looking back on these two very influential roles?
Dallas, of course, was the hit primetime soap opera revolving around the wealthy Ewings, a feuding family who were swimming in oil money. The show famously ran for 14 seasons, from 1978 until 1991. From season 7 to season 11, Priscilla took on the role of Jenna Wade — a part previously played by Morgan Fairchild and Francine Tacker.
“Those were great years for her,” an insider exclusively tells Closer Weekly. “She loved Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy … all of the cast really. She learned a lot too. Those were magical years for television and Dallas was a very special time for her.”
As for The Naked Gun — a trilogy which released installments in 1988, 1991 and 1994 — Priscilla won over audiences as Jane Spencer, the love interest and eventual wife of our hilarious hero detective Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen).
“The Naked Gun series surprised everyone — not just Hollywood executives, but her and Leslie, who she adored,” the Priscilla source continues. “That was an amazing ride, and to this day people still stop her in the streets to ask about the films.”
While we’re on the subject of projects she did take on, what about the ones she didn’t? Case in point: Charlie’s Angels. Priscilla had originally been offered one of the leading roles on the series that ran for five seasons from 1976 until 1981, but ultimately turned it down due to a lack of interest. Is there any lingering remorse on her end?
“At the time she didn’t like the concept of the series. She didn’t mind when it finally came out, and she loves the girls they hired,” the source notes, likely alluding to the original trio of Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett and Jaclyn Smith. “But it wasn’t right for her. She has no regrets.”
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