Victoria Principal is an American actress, best-selling author, and businesswoman who is best known for her role in the TV series ‘Dallas.’ She was part of the show for nine long years. In an acting career spanning more than thirty years, she has been seen in a number of TV series and TV movies. She has appeared in a handful of feature films like ‘The Naked Ape’ and ‘Earthquake’ as well. Over the years, the actress has also evolved into a successful skin care specialist, producer, businesswoman, and philanthropist. Principal Secret, her skin care line, is much acclaimed and has produced several breakthrough skin care treatments. Her venture into television as a producer has been successful as well. Victoria Principal is very health conscious and believes in leading a balanced lifestyle. She has shared her healthcare and skin care insights via her four bestselling books. Later on in her career, she began to focus on social and environmental causes. Her contributions to the Malibu Ballot initiative, Gulf Coast region cleanup program, and Victoria Principal Foundation are examples of her commitment towards these issues.
Childhood & Early Life
Victoria Principal was born in the beautiful city of Fukuoka, Japan, on January 3, 1950. Her father, Victor Rocco Principal, was a sergeant in the United States Air Force and was stationed in Fukuoka at that time. Her mother, Ree Principal, was a homemaker of English descent. Her paternal grandparents were of Italian descent.
Since her father was in the United States Air Force, she and her younger sister, Kim, got to grow up in different places like, Japan, London, Puerto Rico, Florida, Georgia and Massachusetts. There was so much moving around that it is said that both the sisters attended at least 17 different schools in the course of their education!
Principal attended the well-known Royal Ballet School in London. After graduating from South Dade Senior High School, Florida, in 1968, she enrolled for the medical program at Miami-Dade Community College.
As fate would have it, she met with a serious accident when only one year into her studies. Her recovery took several months, and during this time, she decided that she wanted to pursue acting as her career.
She shifted to New York and pursued both acting and modeling. She was very serious about her acting career, and to develop her skills, Victoria Principal enrolled at the famous Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and studied under the private guidance of Professor Jean Scott.
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Victoria Principal’s acting career started when she was only five; she began by appearing in commercials. However, it was her first movie, ‘The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean,’ in 1972, that introduced her as an actress to the world. Her portrayal of Marie Elena, a Mexican mistress, was highly appreciated and earned her a Golden Globe nomination for ‘Most Promising Newcomer.’
‘The Naked Ape’ in 1973 was her next big project. She even posed naked for ‘Playboy’ magazine to promote this movie. The film was, however, a disaster at the box office. The following year she appeared in the film ‘Earthquake.’
After a while, Victoria Principal grew disappointed with how her career was progressing and quit acting to become an agent in 1974. Three years later, she decided to study law but did not have enough money to do so. When Aaron Spelling gave her an offer of playing a role in ‘Fantasy Island’ in 1977 in return for one year of tuition fees for law school, she readily accepted.
In 1978, she accepted the role of Pamela Barnes Ewing in the series ‘Dallas’ and became a household name the world over. She was associated with the series for nine long years, and during this time, she earned considerable fame and money. It also got her a ‘Golden Globe’ nomination for ‘Best Actress in a Dramatic Series.’
In 1987, she quit ‘Dallas’ and got into production with the formation of Victoria Principal Productions. The company is solely focused on producing movies for television and has earned quite a reputation in this field.
‘Michael Kael vs. the World News Company’ (1998) was the last movie that she acted in. In the ensuing years, she acted in numerous TV shows like ‘Titans’ (2000-01), ‘The Practice’ (2000), and ‘Dallas Reunion: The Return to Southfork’ (2004).
Acting is not Victoria Principal’s only passion. She is also passionate about health and skin care issues. It was her own sensitive skin that got her involved in finding an effective skin care regimen. With the help of skin care experts, she created skin care products that were effective, safe, and affordable.
In 1989, she launched her own skin care line called Principal Secret, which is known for skin care products like Reclaim, Argireline, and Reclaim Botanical. In 2000, she joined ‘Society of Cosmetic Chemists’ in order to provide better skin care products.
She is also the author of four bestselling healthcare books. Her first book, ‘The Body Principal-the Exercise Program for Life,’ was published in 1983. Her subsequent books, ‘The Beauty Principal’ (1984), ‘The Diet Principal’ (1987), and ‘Living Principal: Looking and Feeling Your Best at Every Age’ (2001), were all focused on building and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Her stint on the series ‘Dallas’ (1978-1987) is without doubt one of Victoria Principal’s most prominent work. Her role of Pamela Barnes Ewing, the wife of Bobby Ewing, has been etched forever in the viewers’ memory. The popularity that she garnered from this show played a prominent role in the success of her other projects like Principal Secrets and Victoria Principal Productions.
Family & Personal Life
In 1978, Victoria Principal met Christopher Skinner, who played a minor role in Dallas, and soon they were married. Due to some irreconcilable differences, they were divorced after only two years of their marriage.
In 1981, she met Andy Gibb, who was known as a teen idol, singer, and songwriter, on ‘The John Davidson Show’ and they soon got involved romantically. However, her relationship with him lasted for only a year due to his drug problem.
Victoria Principal married for the second time in 1985 to Dr. Harry Glassman, a prominent Beverly Hill plastic surgeon. Their marriage ended in a divorce after twenty long years in 2006. She has no children.
She does not like talking about her height, but she is cool with discussing her age.
Victoria Principal has a ranch in California where she rehabilitates emotionally abused and physically injured animals and they live on the ranch for the rest of their lives.