Ken Kercheval, Cliff Barnes on ‘Dallas,’ dies at 83

Ken Kercheval, who played oil tycoon Cliff Barnes, the rival of Larry Hagman’s J.R. Ewing on “Dallas,” has died. He was 83.

A spokeswoman at Frist Funeral Home in Kercheval’s hometown of Clinton, Ind., confirmed his death on Wednesday to Variety, but did not provide additional information.

Kercheval and Hagman were the only two stars who appeared on CBS’ soap opera “Dallas” for its entire 14-season run between 1978 to 1991. Kercheval was a recurring character for the first two seasons, but was then upped to a regular role in the 1979-1980 season. He reprised his role in the 1996 “Dallas” reunion, the 2004 CBS reunion special and the 2012-2014 TNT revival. He was among five series stars who directed episodes, taking the helm for two episodes for Seasons 13-14.

When “Dallas” viewers often asked him when Cliff was “finally going to get J.R.,” Kercheval always answered: “This Friday night!”

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Ken Kercheval through the years
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Ken Kercheval through the years
Actor Ken Kercheval poses for a portrait in circa 1982. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - APRIL 11: Actor Ken Kercheval and guest attend the Wrap-Up Party for the Fourth Season of 'Dallas' on April 11, 1981 at Cattle Baron Restaurant in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
SANTA MONICA, CA - FEBRUARY 14: Actor Ken Kercheval attending 'The Fund for Animals Stars 'n Hearts Benefit' on February 14, 1982 at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Betty Galella/WireImage)
British actress Joan Collins and American actor Ken Kercheval showing smiling the Telegatto award won at the 3rd edition of Telegatto Television Awards. Joan Collins is one of the performers of the TV series Dynasty, Ken Kercheval of the TV series Dallas. Milan, 6th May 1986 (Photo by Angelo Deligio/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)
A promotional still from the American television series 'Dallas' shows cast member Ken Kercheval (as Cliff Barnes), in an open-necked shirt, as he hugs Audrey Landers (as Afton Cooper), dressed in a backless, black dress, June 1983. (Photo by CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 01: Ken Kercheval (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, UNITED STATES - JANUARY 01: Actors Larry Hagman (C) with his wife Maj (2R) and Ken Kercheval with his wife (L) with actress Zsa Zsa Gabor (R). (Photo by David Mcgough/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD - FEBRUARY 10: Entertainer Charo and actor Ken Kercheval attend the Plumstead Theatre Society Presents 'Henry FondaA Celebration of Life' Tribute Gala on February 10, 1985 at Henry Fonda Theatre in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
NEW YORK CITY - SEPTEMBER 27: Actor Ken Kercheval attends the Party for Laura Van Wormer's Book - 'Dallas: The Official Biography of the Ewings' on September 27, 1985 at Doubleday in New York City, New York. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Actor Ken Kercheval and wife Ava. (Photo by Kevin Winter/DMI/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS,CA - JANUARY 9: Actor Ken Kercheval and wife Ava Fox attend the Fourth Annual American Cinema Awards on January 9, 1987 at Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS,CA - MARCH 25: Actor Ken Kercheval attends the Party for Victoria Principal's New Book - 'The Diet Principal' on March 25, 1987 at Neiman-Marcus in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd/WireImage)
Actor Ken Kercheval and wife. (Photo by Kevin Winter/DMI/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS,CA - JANUARY 12: Actor Ken Kercheval attends the Eighth Annual American Cinema Awards on January 12, 1991 at Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES - MARCH 5: Actress Charlene Tilton, actor Ken Kercheval, actress Mary Crosby, actor Patrick Duffy and actress Linda Gray attend the Museum of Television & Radio's 11th Annual Television Festival - 'Dallas' on March 5, 1994 at Leo S. Bing Theater, Los Angeles County Museum of Art in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Ken Kercheval, RTL-'Nachtshow' am 29.07.1994 in Köln, Deutschland. (Photo by Peter Bischoff/Getty Images)
Ken Kercheval, Charlene Tilton, nach RTL-'Nachtshow' am 29.07.1994 in Köln, Deutschland. (Photo by Peter Bischoff/Getty Images)
Ken Kercheval during 2005 Emmy Creative Arts Awards - Arrivals at Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, CA, United States. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
SANTA MONICA, CA - MARCH 19: (L-R) Actress Sheree J. Wilson, Actor Ken Kercheval, and Actress Linda Gray arrive at the 2006 TV Land Awards at the Barker Hangar on March 19, 2006 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images)
Ken Kercheval, Steve Kanaly, Susan Howard, Charlene Tilton, Linda Gray, Larry Hagman, Mary Crosby, Patrick Duffy and Sheree J. Wilson, winners of the Pop Culture Award for 'Dallas' during the 4th Annual TV Land Awards - Press Room at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
Ken Kercheval (Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage)
SOUTH FORK ESTATES, TX - NOVEMBER 08: Ken Kercheval aka 'Cliff Barnes' attends the 30th Anniversary Reunion of the TV show 'Dallas' at South Fork Ranch on November 8, 2008 in Parker, Texas. (Photo by Peter Larsen/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Actor Ken Kercheval attends the Nathalie Dubois Pre-Emmy Gift Suite at Luxe Hotel on September 17, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images)
Ken Kercheval attends the Television Academy 70th Anniversary Celebration, in Los Angeles, California, on June 2, 2016. / AFP / CHRIS DELMAS (Photo credit should read CHRIS DELMAS/AFP/Getty Images)
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In the 1960s, Kercheval appeared on Broadway in Mike Nichols’ “The Apple Tree” and Harold Prince’s “Cabaret.” He also had roles in films like “Pretty Poison,” “Rabbit Run” and Sidney Lumet’s “Network” and “F.I.S.T.” Kercheval’s small-screen career was prolific, with appearances on “Search for Tomorrow” in the ’60s and early ’70s, “CHiPs,” “The Love Boat,” “Murder, She Wrote,” “ER” and more.

Kercheval was born on July 15, 1935, in Wolcottville, Ind., and raised nearby in Clinton. He attended the Indiana University to major in music and drama, and later studied at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York with Sanford Meisner.

A heavy smoker, Kercheval had part of his lung removed in 1994 after he was diagnosed with lung cancer.

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