|Portrayed by||Morgan Brittany|
|First appearance||October 30, 1981|
Little Boy Lost
|Last appearance||October 2, 1987|
The Sun Also Rises
Morgan Brittany described the casting process: "I came back to Los Angeles and my agent called me saying they were looking for a new character on a television show, but they didn't really know what they wanted. They didn't know if they wanted young or old, but they did know she was the half-sister of Pamela Ewing. I told them I didn't really want to go, but they urged me. I went to MGM studios and walked into a room where there was tons of girls; tall, short, blonde, skinny, you name it. The show still didn't know what they wanted. So I sat down and they gave me two pieces of paper to read. After an hour and a half I was called in. By that time I was very upset and I did not want to be there. I clearly had an attitude! I read the two pages, then got up and said, "Look, that's all the time I have. I have to go." Then, I walked out. While I was leaving I realized I’d never done anything like that before. How could I do that? I called my agent and said, "I really blew it. I was so rude and nasty to these people and they are never going to want me." But that’s what they wanted! They liked the attitude. So, from that reading, they decided what they could turn the character Katherine into."
Katherine was an only child and, while she was growing up, she was unaware of her half-siblings, Cliff (Ken Kercheval) and Pamela Barnes (Victoria Principal), from her mother's previous marriage to Willard "Digger" Barnes (David Wayne/Keenan Wynn). Her father was a multi-millionaire. He was the owner and founder of Houston's Wentworth Industries; and he, too, was unaware of his wife's previous marriage and other children although, unlike Katherine, Herbert never found out about their existence.
When Katherine was first seen in the show she appeared annoyed at her half-brother Cliff, due to his lack of subtlety with how he ran Wentworth Tool & Die, which was Herbert Wentworth's first company. At that time, Katherine had a much better relationship with her half-sister Pam.
After her mother's death in an airplane crash, Katherine quickly became infatuated with her brother-in-law, Bobby Ewing (Patrick Duffy), which complicates Bobby's marriage with Pam. Katherine is jubilant when her subtle scheming from behind the scenes makes the vital difference in leading to Bobby and Pam divorcing. However, an old flame of Bobby's, Jenna Wade (Priscilla Beaulieu Presley), reappears on the scene, putting another obstacle in Katherine's way of trying to form a relationship with Bobby. Katherine unsuccessfully attempts to bribe Jenna to leave Dallas. She then tracks down Jenna's ex-husband, Renaldo Marchetta (Daniel Pilon), in another attempt to split up Bobby and Jenna.
Katherine then sleeps with Bobby's brother J.R. (Larry Hagman) in the hope that it would persuade J.R. to help her in breaking up Bobby and Jenna. Instead, J.R. records their love-making and proceeds to blackmail her. J.R. makes it clear that he wants Bobby to marry Jenna, believing that such a marriage would reduce Bobby's appetite for the top job at Ewing Oil, would reduce Bobby's ties to the Barnes family, and would prevent a powerful alliance of Bobby in Ewing Oil with Barnes-Wentworth businesses that J.R. would feel more threatened by in the event of a Bobby-Katherine relationship. Eventually, Katherine confesses to Bobby that she had slept with J.R., wrongly believing that J.R. has already played Bobby the tape of them in bed, but Bobby tells Katherine that he has never liked her in a sexual way. Bobby starts to realize the trouble that Katherine has caused in his life, and Pam later finds out that Katherine faked a letter which led to the end of Bobby and Pam's marriage. Pam tells Katherine that she doesn't want to see her again. This sends Katherine over the edge into psychotic behavior. She shoots Bobby in J.R.'s office, which leaves him temporarily blinded rather than killing him. She follows up with an unsuccessful attempt to murder Bobby by lethal injection while he is recovering in the hospital. She is arrested for attempted murder, but she is then released on bail and flees to Europe.
Even from afar, the character continues her schemes, arranging for Renaldo Marchetta to be murdered and for Jenna to be framed for the killing. When Jenna is eventually cleared, the fugitive Katherine returns to Dallas and discovers that Bobby and Pam have reconciled. In the finale of season 8, Katherine drives a car towards Pam but Bobby pushes her out of the way and is hit by the car himself. Bobby later dies in hospital. After the impact, Katherine's car had veered out of control and she too was killed. However, in the last scene of the final episode of season 9 (a year later), Pam wakes up one morning and finds Bobby in the shower, alive and well. It becomes clear that the car accident and Bobby's death, as well as the entirety of season 9, was merely a dream that Pam had had. Thus Katherine was actually still alive.
With Katherine's death having been reversed due to the dream revelation, she later makes a brief appearance in season 11) at the bedside of badly-burned Pam, where she declares her jealousy of Pam's stable life. When Bobby also comes to visit, her final attempts to obtain his love are rejected and her threats are met with a commitment to turn her in to the police should she ever attempt to take revenge. This is the last time that Katherine is seen.
Dallas revival (2012–2014)
A new series of Dallas premiered in 2012. Although Katherine never made an appearance, she was mentioned to have died during the intervening years by Bobby in the second season episode "Ewings Unite!", while discussing her mother Rebecca's will.
- Curran, Barbara A. (2005). Dallas: The Complete Story of the World's Favorite Prime-Time Soap. Cumberland House Publishing. ISBN 978-1581824728.
- Laura Van Wormer (1985). Dallas: The Complete Ewing Saga. Doubleday. ISBN 978-0863790799.
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