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Linda Evans

Linda Evans
Linda Evans in 2012
Born Linda Evenstad
(1942-11-18) November 18, 1942
Hartford, Connecticut, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1960-1997
Spouse(s) John Derek (1968-1974)
Stan Herman (1976-1981)
Website .com.lindaevansofficialwww

Linda Evans (born on November 18, 1942) is an American actress known primarily for her roles on television. In the 1960s, she gained notice for playing Audra Barkley in the Western television series, The Big Valley (1965–1969). However she is most prominently known for the role of Krystle Carrington in the 1980s ABC prime time soap opera Dynasty, a role she played from 1981 to 1989.


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
  • Personal life 3
  • Filmography 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Early life

Born Linda Evenstad in Hartford, Connecticut, Evans was the second of three daughters to a couple who were professional dancers. "Evenstad" was the name of the small farm in Nes, Hedmark in Norway from where her paternal great-grandmother emigrated to the US in 1884 with her young son (Evans' grandfather) and a couple of relatives. When Evans was six months old, the family moved from Hartford to North Hollywood. To bring her out of her shyness, a teacher insisted that she take drama at school. When she started her professional career, she changed her last name to "Evans".


Evans in The Big Valley, 1965

Evans' first guest-starring role was on a 1960 episode of Bachelor Father, which starred her future screen husband, John Forsythe. She would co-star with him twenty years later on Dynasty. After several guest roles in The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet between 1960–62, and guest appearances on television series such as Wagon Train and Outlaws, Evans gained her first regular role in 1965 in The Big Valley. Playing Audra Barkley, daughter of Victoria Barkley (played by Barbara Stanwyck), Evans was credited in the series until it ended in 1969, though she was only a semi-regular castmember during the last two seasons.

On December 31, 1967, John Derek recruited his wife to operate one of his cameras after he had been commissioned by daredevil Evel Knievel to film his motorcycle jump of the fountains at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. It was Evans who captured the iconic images of Knievel's devastating crash as the jump failed.[1]

With George Peppard in Banacek, 1975

Throughout the 1970s, Evans continued to appear on television largely in guest roles. She appeared in a slew of detective shows such as The Rockford Files, Mannix, Harry O, Banacek, McCloud and McMillan & Wife. In 1977, she starred with James Franciscus and Ralph Bellamy in the espionage drama series Hunter, though the show lasted for only 13 episodes.

In films, Evans co-starred with Lee Marvin and Robert Shaw in a 1979 thriller, Avalanche Express, and in 1980 she co-starred in one of Steve McQueen's final films, the western Tom Horn.

Then came her breakthrough role in television. In 1980, Evans was cast as John Forsythe's wife, Krystle Carrington, in Aaron Spelling's opulent new primetime soap opera, Dynasty. Intended as ABC Television's answer to the hit CBS series Dallas, the show first aired in January 1981. Although initially sluggish in the ratings, audience figures improved after the show was revamped and British actress Joan Collins was brought in to play opposite Evans and Forsythe as the evil Alexis Carrington. By the 1984-85 season, Dynasty was the number one show on American television, even outranking Dallas.

Audiences became enthralled by the onscreen rivalry and infamous catfights between Krystle and Alexis, and Evans and Collins became two of the most celebrated television stars of the decade. Evans was nominated five times for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a TV Drama series (every year from 1982 to 1986), winning in 1982 in a tie with Barbara Bel Geddes of rival soap Dallas. Evans also won five People's Choice Awards as Favorite Actress in a Drama Series in 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, and 1986, and was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead actress in a Drama Series in 1983. Due to her character's name on Dynasty, Evans appeared in an ad campaign for Crystal Light beverages, starting in 1984.

She left Dynasty in 1989, four months before the series came to an end. After leaving Dynasty Evans semi-retired from acting and made only occasional television appearances. Instead, she devoted her time to fitness issues and set up a small chain of fitness centers. In the 1990s, Evans hosted infomercials for Rejuvenique, a mask for toning facial muscles. She had previously written the Linda Evans Beauty and Exercise book in 1983.

Evans at Carousel Ball in Denver, 1995

In 1991, she returned to the role of Krystle Carrington for the television miniseries Dynasty: The Reunion. Following this, she appeared in three made-for-TV movies in the 1990s, but then retired from screen acting altogether in 1997.

In 2005, actress Melora Hardin portrayed Evans in Dynasty: The Making of a Guilty Pleasure, a fictionalized television movie based on the creation and behind the scenes production of Dynasty.[2]

In 2006, Evans reunited with her Dynasty castmates for the non-fiction reunion special Dynasty: Catfights and Caviar. She then starred in the stage play Legends opposite her former Dynasty rival Collins. In 2009, Evans appeared in and won the British TV program Hell's Kitchen, working under Michelin-starred chef Marco Pierre White.[3]

Evans has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6834 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.[4]

Personal life

Evans has been married twice. Her first marriage was to actor and film producer John Derek. They married in 1968 and divorced in 1974 after Derek left Evans for Bo Derek who was 30 years his junior. Evans' second marriage was to Stan Herman, a property executive, from 1976 to 1981. In 1989, Evans began a relationship with new age musician Yanni, which lasted until 1998. She has no children.

After being diagnosed with idiopathic edema,[5] Evans began investigating alternative healing, delving into Eastern philosophy and naturopathy. In 1985, she became involved with controversial metaphysical teacher J. Z. Knight and her Ramtha's School of Enlightenment and eventually moved to Rainier, Washington to be closer to Knight and her school.[6][7]

Evans appeared in Playboy magazine at the behest of her then-husband John Derek in 1971. As she gained tremendous fame on Dynasty, the photos were published a second time in 1982.


Year Title Role Notes
1960 Bachelor Father Liz McGavin Episode: "A Crush on Bentley"
1960-1962 The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet Various 5 episodes
1962 Outlaws Daughter Episode: "All in a Day's Work"
1963 The Eleventh Hour Joan Clayton Episode: "Where Ignorant Armies Clash"
1963 The Lieutenant Nan Hiland Episode: "The Two Star Giant"
1963 Twilight of Honor Alice Clinton
1965 Those Calloways Bridie Mellott
1965 Wagon Train Martha Temple Episode: "Herman"
1965 Beach Blanket Bingo Sugar Kane
1965 My Favorite Martian Sally Farrow Episode: "Martin's Favorite Martian"
1965-1969 The Big Valley Audra Barkley Series regular, 112 episodes
1969 Childish Things Pat Jennings
1973 Female Artillery Charlotte Paxton TV Movie
1973 McCloud Geri March Episode: "Butch Cassidy Rides Again"
1974 Banacek Cherry Saint-Saens Episode: "Rocket to Oblivion"
1974 Mannix Lorna Episode: "The Ragged Edge"
1974 Nakia Samantha Lowell TV movie (pilot for TV series Nakia)
1974 Harry O Marian Sawyer Episode: "Guardian at the Gates"
1974 The Klansman Nancy Poteet
1975 McMillan & Wife Nicole Avery Episode: "Night Train to L.A."
1975 The Big Rip-Off TV Movie
1975 Mitchell Greta
1975 The Rockford Files Claire Prescott / Audrey Wyatt Episodes: "Claire" and "The Farnsworth Stratagem"
1977 Hunter Marty Shaw Series regular, 13 episodes
1978 Nowhere to Run Amy Kessler TV Movie
1978 Standing Tall Jill Shasta TV Movie
1979 Avalanche Express Elsa Lang
1980 Tom Horn Glendolene Kimmel
1981-1989 Dynasty Krystle Grant Jennings Carrington
Rita Lesley
Series regular, 204 episodes
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama (1982)
People's Choice Awards for Favorite Female TV Performer (1983-1986)
People's Choice Awards for Favorite Female Performer in a New TV Program (1982)
Soap Opera Digest Award for Outstanding Actress in a Prime Time (1984-1985)
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (1983)
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama (1983-1986)
Nominated — Soap Opera Digest Award for Favorite Super Couple: Prime Time (1986, 1989)
1982 Bare Essence Bobbi Rowan TV Movie
1981-1983 The Love Boat Various 6 episodes
1983 Kenny Rogers as The Gambler: The Adventure Continues Kate Muldoon TV Movie
1986 North and South, Book II Rose Sinclair TV Mini-Series
1986 The Last Frontier Kate Hannon TV Mini-Series
1990 She'll Take Romance Jane McMillan TV Movie
1991 Dynasty: The Reunion Krystle Grant Jennings Carrington TV Mini-Series
1991 The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw Kate Muldoon TV Movie
1995 Dazzle Sylvie Norberg Kilkullen TV Movie
1997 The Stepsister Joan Curtis Shaw Canfield TV Movie
1997 European Soundmix Show Host


  1. ^ TNT Television Biography, accessed May 15, 2011
  2. ^ : Credits"Dynasty: The Making of a Guilty Pleasure". Retrieved February 27, 2009. 
  3. ^ "When Linda Evans won Hell's Kitchen". BBC News. Retrieved April 28, 2009. 
  4. ^ "Linda Evans - Hollywood Star Walk - Los Angeles Times". 2010-06-24. Retrieved 2013-11-13. 
  5. ^ UpToDate: Idiopathic edema
  6. ^
  7. ^

External links

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