What can you tell me about the actress who plays Pamela Barnes on “Dallas”?
–Robert Miller, New Orleans, Louisiana
Argentine-born Julie Gonzalo, 32, moved with her family to Miami, Florida, when she was 8 years old, making her bilingual in Spanish and English.
She initially worked as a print model, during which time she began taking acting classes. She moved to Los Angeles when she was 20, launching her career with a role in the indie film, “I’m With Lucy,” which was quickly followed by “Freaky Friday” and the short-lived TV series “Greetings from Tucson.”
Her other film credits include “Must Love Dogs,” “Christmas with the Kranks,” “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story,” “A Cinderella Story,” “Cherry Crush” and “Vamp U.”
But it is her role as Parker Lee in “Veronica Mars” that is considered by many to be her breakthrough. Following the cancellation of “Veronica Mars,” Gonzalo went on to “Eli Stone,” for which she won the ALMA for outstanding supporting actress in a drama series for her role as Maggie Dekker in 2008.
Gonzalo also guest-starred on “Castle,” “Nikita,” “The Glades,” and “CSI: Miami” before becoming a series regular on “Dallas.”
Initially, she played Rebecca Sutter, wife to Christopher Ewing, but the couple divorced and it was revealed she was actually Pamela Rebecca Barnes, daughter of Cliff Barnes, the Ewing family’s arch enemy. Even so, it didn’t stop Jon Ross Ewing from falling in love and marrying her.
Of her work on “Dallas,” now in its third season, she says, “I’m still the same person I was 10 years ago. I don’t really change whether I’m in a hit movie or on a hit show. As an actor, the goal is to just keep working. As long as I have a job, I feel blessed. It’s been a really great run to have such an easy show to work on.”
Gonzalo, who admits to buying all 14 seasons of the original “Dallas” series when she landed the role of Pamela, also feels lucky to have had the opportunity to work with Larry Hagman prior to his death, which happened during the second season of the series on November 23, 2012.
“I think the first few months of his passing, it was very somber on set,” she recalls. “But I think in a strange way, it really united us and made us all close. And by us, I mean the crew, the cast and everybody involved in the production. It just made everybody more eager to work. There’s this level of wanting to do the best we possibly can for him. Our motto became: ‘Let’s do it for Larry.’ … He always spoke about doing the show for another 14 years and we should only be as lucky.”