Joan Van Ark Biography
Sun Sign: Gemini
Born in: New York City, New York
Famous as: Actress
Spouse/Ex-: John Marshall (m. 1966)
father: Carroll Van Ark (1897-1972)
mother: Dorothy Jean Van Ark
children: Vanessa Marshall
City: New York City
U.S. State: New Yorkers
Joan Van Ark is an American actress whose most prominent roles include Valene Ewing in ‘Dallas’ and the spin-off series ‘Knots Landing’, Gloria Fisher in ‘The Young and the Restless’, and Annie Carlisle in ‘Temperatures Rising’. A native of New York, she was initially interested in journalism before deciding to pursue a career in acting. She subsequently attended the Yale School of Drama for a year. In 1967, she made her screen debut in the TV series ‘Run for Your Life’. Her big screen debut came about almost five years later, in the mystery horror ‘Frogs’. Active in the industry for the past five decades, she is a life member of The Actor’s Studio. Distinguished by her natural blonde hair, sultry voice, southern accent, and light blue eyes, Van Ark won a Theatre World Award in 2001 for her performance in the revival of ‘The School for Wives’.
- Born on June 16, 1943, in New York City, New York, USA, Van Ark is one of the four children of Dorothy Jean Van Ark (née Hemenway) and Carroll Van Ark. She has one sister, Carol, and two brothers, Mark and Dexter.
- Her late father used to work as an advertiser and public relations consultant. Both he and his wife were also authors. The family later relocated to Boulder, Colorado, where she and her siblings were raised.
- Pursuing her early interest in journalism, she served as a student reporter in her high school. At the age of 15, she got the chance to interview actress Julie Harris, who advised her to seek admission at the Yale High School.
- Despite not having an undergraduate degree, she became the second youngest student to enrol at the school on a scholarship, after Harris. However, she dropped out a year later.
- Joan Van Ark started her career on stage. She had her debut in the Minneapolis Guthrie Theater's production of Moliere's ‘The Miser’. Her other theatre credits include ‘Death of a Salesman’, ‘Love Letters’, ‘Three Tall Women’, ‘Cyrano de Bergerac’, ‘Ring Around the Moon’, ‘As You Like It’, ‘Macbeth’, ‘Night of the Iguana’, ‘The Exonerated’, ‘The School for Wives’, and ‘Five by Tenn’.
- After debuting on television with the recurring character Donna Hayward in NBC’s drama series ‘Run for Your Life’, she was cast in her first significant soap opera role as Janie Whitney #3 in NBC’s ‘Days of Our Lives’ in 1970.
- In the 1970s, she appeared in a series of TV shows, including ‘Mod Squad’, ‘Bonanza’, ‘The Guns of Will Sonnett’, ‘Gunsmoke’, ‘The Silent Force’, ‘Matt Lincoln,’ and ‘The Odd Couple’. Between 1972 and 1973, she played Annie Carlisle in ABC’s sitcom ‘Temperatures Rising’.
- In her big screen debut ‘Frogs’, she starred alongside Ray Milland and Sam Elliott. Her second cinematic outing was in the 1977 Japanese-American tokusatsu production, ‘The Last Dinosaur’.
- In 1998, she portrayed Vice President Elizabeth Lane in Mark Sobel’s action thriller ‘Loyal Opposition’. She was cast as Nancy Donovan in the 2000 thriller ‘Held for Ransom’. She shared screen space with Catherine Lazo and Kipp Tribble in the 2001 romantic comedy ‘UP, Michigan’.
- Van Ark worked with C. Thomas Howell and Lala Sloatman in Andrew Van Slee’s thriller ‘Net Games’. In recent years, she has appeared in films like ‘Diamond Zero’ (2005), ‘Channels’ (2008), and ‘Watercolor Postcards’ (2013).
- Over the years, Van Ark has built up an impressive body of work in telefilms. She has appeared in ‘Someone's Watching’ (1993), ‘Boys Will Be Boys’ (1994), ‘Moment of Truth: Cult Rescue’ (1994), ‘When the ‘Dark Man Calls’ (1995), and Psycho Wedding Crasher’ (2017), just to name a few.
- She was cast in another popular soap opera, CBS’ ‘The Young and the Restless’, in which she portrayed Gloria Abbott. Van Ark joined the show in 2004 and appeared in 54 episodes before Judith Chapman replaced her in 2005.
- Joan Van Ark is best known for her portrayal of Valene Ewing in CBS’ primetime soap opera series ‘Dallas’ and its spin-off series ‘Knots Landing’ (1978-93). Her character debuted in 1978 in an episode of ‘Dallas’ and went on to become one of the main protagonists of ‘Knots Landing’.
- She is one of the three actors, along with Ted Shackelford and Michele Lee, to appear in both the pilot and the series finale of ‘Knots Landing’. For her performance, she won two Soap Opera Digest Awards. She reprised her role in the 1997 miniseries as well as the 2012 continuation of ‘Dallas’.
- On February 1, 1966, Joan Van Ark exchanged wedding vows with former KNBC-TV reporter, John Marshall. She gave birth to their daughter, Vanessa Marshall, on October 19, 1969. Vanessa has followed in her mother’s footsteps to become an actress. She is also a model and singer.
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