Abby Dalton, 'Falcon Crest' Star, Dead at 88

Abby Dalton, who starred in the 1980s primetime soap opera Falcon Crest, died on Nov. 23 at age 88. She died in Los Angeles after a long illness, her family told The Hollywood Reporter Monday. Dalton's film and television career stretched back to the late 1950s, and she was best known for her roles on the 1960s sitcoms Hennesey and The Joey Bishop Show before her run on Falcon Crest.

Dalton was born in Las Vegas as Gladys Marlene Wasden. Her Hollywood career started in 1957, when she appeared in several Roger Corman movies, including Rock All Night and The Saga of the Viking Women and Their Voyage to the Waters of the Great Sea Serpent. She went on to appear in episodes of Rawhide, Maverick, Sugarfoot, Jefferson Drum, and The Rifleman. In 1959, she joined Hennessey, a military sitcom starring Jackie Cooper as the title character, a U.S. Navy physician. Dalton starred as the nurse Lt. Mattha Hale and appeared in the show's three seasons. After it ended, she joined The Joey Bishop Show from 1962 to 1965.

Her biggest film role came in the 1966 remake of The Plainsman. She starred as Calamity Jane in the Western, opposite Don Murray and Guy Stockwell. The original 1935 film starred Gary Cooper and Jean Arthur. Dalton also starred in A Whale of a Tale (1976) with William Shatner and Cyber Tracker (1994) with Don Wilson.

During the 1980s, Dalton starred as Julia Cumson on Falcon Crest. Her character was the older daughter of Jane Wyman's Angela Channing and the mother of Lance Cumson, played by Lorenzo Lamas. The series ran on CBS and was created by Earl Hamner Jr. Julia's story was shocking, with her going to a psychiatric hospital after she shot two people. The character ent to a convent in the sixth season and was never heard from again.


After Falcon Crest, Dalton appeared in an episode of Murder, She Wrote in 1986, and an episode of Hotel in 1987. Her last television appearance came in a 1997 episode of L.A. Heat. In 2013, she made her last credited appearance in a short film called Mrs. Sweeney.

Dalton was married to Jack Smith. Her daughter, Kathleen Kinmont, 55, is also an actress, having appeared on Renegade, Baywatch, and Days of Our Lives. In addition to her daughter, Dalton is also survived by Smith, songs Matthew and John, grandchildren Mac, Jack and Ayden Gracel, and great-grandson Mathias.