Bel Geddes, who played Ewing family matriarch Miss Ellie, died in 2005, and in the first Dallas broadcast since her passing, her screen son Bobby will be seen visiting the character’s grave.
Viewers will be told Miss Ellie died in 2001.
Patrick Duffy, who steps back into his role as Bobby when the show relaunches in the U.S. in June (12), tells TVGuide.com, “Barbara is a big piece of our history, and it’s important to me to honour her. To come back with Linda (Gray) as Sue Ellen and Larry (Hagman) in his J.R. hat, and then see the words ELLIE SOUTHWORTH EWING FARLOW on the gravestone made me think, ‘Oh, that’s right – she’s gone.’ It was hard to get through the dialogue.”
Duffy reveals producers have also factored in a nod to Jim Davis, who played Miss Ellie’s husband Jock Ewing until his death in 1981, by asking designer Richard Berg to paint a portrait of Jock and Miss Ellie which hangs in the family home at Southfork Ranch in the new series.
Duffy adds, “He captured Jim and Barbara in a look to each other that is unbelievable. That painting is actually alive and gives me a nice feeling that they’re always there. Through the whole first season, I don’t think an episode goes by that Mama is not mentioned in reference to Southfork and the land.”