Monday, November 02, 2015

Rita Lakin talks about her writing work on "Dynasty" and more in her new autobiography

Rita Lakin once wrote for our beloved "Dynasty" TV series. She had a longstanding relationship with powerhouse Aaron Spelling, working for him on several of his projects. As she worked her way up in the biz in the 1960s and '70s, she even was offered another little TV show that she didn't think would become much. "This one sounded so dull and cliche'-ridden," she writes in her new autobiography, "The Only Woman in the Room." "I could just imagine my good-old boy heroes riding around in their pickup trucks with a dead buck deer with huge antlers tied on their hoods. Drinking hard liquor, talking about oil as they brought their trophies home to their trophy wives."

Yea. "Dallas" actually wasn't anything like that.

Yes, that's right -- Lakin was offered the chance to help create the "Dallas" TV series in the late '70s. And she muses in her book how she turned down something that became such a smash hit. "Not my cup of tea," she said at the time. "Who would watch? Who would care? Certainly not me."

Ah, the ironies of life.

But hey, Lakin did great, just the same, doing not only that "Dynasty" gig, but also "Peyton Place," "Mod Squad," "Dr. Kildare," some assorted TV movies. She worked her way up in a business dominated by men. She is to be admired for her diligence, despite being that only female in the room, building such a wonderful, successful career.

I got the chance to review Lakin's new book for Foreword Reviews. Catch the review in the next quarterly magazine or online at the Foreword site.

And by the way ... that whole "Dallas" thing? Well, do you recognize the name Howard Lakin from the credits? That is Rita's son -- he's the one who ended up working on "Dallas." Guess they've got their own family "dynasty" going on!

-- BRB

Photo by Billie Rae Bates / BRBTV
Copying with credit is OK; a link would be grand

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