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Pat Colbert, Beloved ‘Dallas’ Actress, Dies at 77

 July 11, 2024

Pat Colbert, known for her iconic role as Dora Mae in the CBS drama Dallas, has passed away at the age of 77.

Colbert’s death marks the loss of an influential figure in television history, remembered for her professional contributions and pioneering presence as an African American actress in the series, as Breitbart reports.

Born Sandra Patricia Colbert, the actress had been battling several medical issues over the past decade, including three strokes. Despite these health challenges, Colbert's impact on the entertainment industry remained significant.

Colbert’s Early Life and Career

Colbert’s father worked in construction, while her mother was involved in foster care. Her upbringing set a foundation of resilience and determination, traits that would define her career.

In 1983, Colbert appeared in the seventh season of Dallas, playing the role of Dora Mae, the manager of the Oil Baron's Club. This character was notable for being the only recurring African American character on the show.

Colbert’s portrayal of Dora Mae continued until the show’s final season in 1991, a testament to her enduring presence in the series.

Memorable Roles Beyond Dallas

Colbert’s career was not limited to Dallas. In 1987, she acted alongside Bill Cosby in the movie Leonard Part 6, in which she played the character Allison Parker. This role showcased her versatility as an actress.

She also starred in the ABC series The Fall Guy in 1981, further solidifying her position in the television industry.

Her roles, though varied, consistently highlighted her talent and dedication to her craft.

Impact on Diversity in Television

Shaun Chang of the blog Hill Place commented to the Hollywood Reporter, “As the only recurring African American character on the series, Dora Mae never had a storyline, because Dallas never tried to pretend to be anything more than the saga of the Ewing family, but she played the role with elegance and intelligence.”

Colbert's presence in Dallas was a significant step for African American representation in mainstream television, despite the limited scope of her character’s storyline.

Her role opened doors for future generations of African American actors in the industry, establishing her legacy as a trailblazer.

Personal Life and Legacy

Colbert’s personal life was marked by her strong family ties. She is survived by her sister, two other siblings, and her son, Michael.

Her family and close friends remember her not just for her professional achievements, but also for her warmth and resilience in the face of personal challenges.

Despite her passing, Colbert’s legacy endures through her contributions to television and the barriers she broke as an African American actress.

Funeral Arrangements Pending

As of now, a date for Colbert’s funeral has yet to be set. Her family is expected to announce further details in the coming days.

The entertainment community mourns the loss of a remarkable talent who made significant strides in her career while overcoming numerous obstacles.

Colbert’s life and career serve as an inspiration to many, highlighting the importance of perseverance and dedication.

In conclusion, Pat Colbert’s death at the age of 77 marks the end of an era for Dallas fans and the television industry at large. Her roles in Dallas, Leonard Part 6, and The Fall Guy remain memorable. Colbert’s pioneering presence as an African American actress continues to inspire future generations, ensuring her legacy lives on. She leaves behind a loving family and a lasting impact on those who admired her work.