A middle-aged Cliff Barnes, as seen on the CBS-TV series "Dallas".
|Clifford "Cliff" Barnes|
Head of the Office of Land Management
Assistant District Attorney for Dallas County
Legislative Counsel to Dave Culver during his campaign for the U.S. senate
Legislative counsel to Texas State Senator Bobby Ewing
President of Wentworth Tool & Die
Vice-President of Operations at Stonehurst Oil
1/3 Owner and CEO of Barnes-Wentworth Oil
CEO of Ewing Oil
Head of the Oil Regulatory Commission
Owner and Chief Executive Officer of Barnes Global
|Marital status:||Divorced (twice)|
|Spouse(s):||Jamie Ewing (married 1985-1987);|
Michelle Stevens (1991)
|Other Relationships:|| Sue Ellen Ewing (dated in 1979 and 1983);|
Afton Cooper (dated in 1980s);
|Parent(s):||Digger Barnes (father) |
Rebecca Wentworth (mother)
|Sibling(s):|| Tyler Barnes (brother, deceased)|
Catherine Barnes (sister, deceased)
Pamela Barnes Ewing (half sister)
Katherine Wentworth (half sister)
|Children:||Pamela Rebecca Ewing (daughter with Afton Cooper)|
|Other relatives:||Christopher Ewing (nephew);|
Bobby Ewing (former brother-in-law);
Jack Ewing (former brother-in-law)
Mark Graison (brother-in-law) (Dream Season only)
Maggie Monahan (Aunt)
Jimmy Monahan (Cousin)
|Played by:||Ken Kercheval|
|Appears on:||Dallas (first series)|
Dallas (second series)
Clifford "Cliff" Barnes is the competitor and sometimes enemy of the J.R. Ewing. Cliff Barnes is the son of Digger Barnes and Rebecca Wentworth. His mother abandoned him when he was very little, and he grew up with his father Digger, cousin Jimmy Monahan and his half sister, Pamela Barnes Ewing, who he believed to be his full sister. Unbeknownst to him or the family, her real father was Hutch McKinney. Digger's sister Maggie Barnes Monahan helped raise Cliff and Pam and took care of Digger during his drunken binges.
Cliff had a romantic relationship with J.R.'s wife, Sue Ellen Ewing, once during the second season of Dallas, and then again during the fifth season.
During the fifth season, Cliff proposed marriage to the recently divorced Sue Ellen, however she turned him down and eventually remarried J.R. Cliff did find happiness again with aspiring singer Afton Cooper, the sister of Lucy Ewing's husband, Mitch Cooper. It would later transpire that Afton gave birth to a daughter, Pamela Rebecca, after the end of her relationship with Cliff. At the start of the penultimate season, it was revealed that Pamela was indeed Cliff's daughter, although Afton, disgusted by Cliff's lying to her, tricked him into believing otherwise.
During the beginning of Dallas, Cliff worked for the state of Texas, building an impressive recorded reputation as investigator of corruption within the independent oil companies. It was no coincidence that these investigations often cited or targeted Ewing Oil. During the second and third seasons, Cliff's career took an upward swing when he was appointed Chief of the Office of Land Management, a fictional enormously powerful state agency that coordinated and approved all ventures that affected the surface and geological texture of Texas land, including oil drilling permits. In an attempt to lure Barnes out of this powerful position, J.R. Ewing enlisted attorney Alan Beam in a scheme to form an exploratory funding committee (funds solely provided by J.R. Ewing) promoting Barnes as a candidate for the U.S. Congress. The scheme worked as Barnes resigned from his position to run for Congress. After his resignation, the money flow to the campaign stopped and Barnes was forced to drop out of the race. In a major step backwards, Barnes took a position as a Dallas assistant district attorney (Shortly after taking the position, Barnes promoted the prosecution of Jock Ewing for a 30 year old murder, which was dismissed after, ironically, Digger Barnes confessed to the murder on his deathbed). In season four, Cliff Barnes began working with State Senator Dave Culver, believing that Culver (the son of Sam Culver, a Texas and national political icon) would be destined for powerful office. During this time, Cliff also formed a "personal" relationship with Donna Culver (who was Dave's most trusted advisor and the widow of Sam). Relations between Donna and Cliff soured and quickly ended when Dave was appointed to the U.S. Senate and Donna's party committee chose Bobby Ewing (instead of Barnes) to run for his vacant state senate seat. After Bobby Ewing won the senate race (as a favor to wife Pam) he asked Barnes to be his chief senate counsel. Cliff accepted but after a short tenure, they had a falling out over Cliff's decision (without consulting Bobby) to start a senate investigation against J.R. for alleged organization of a counter-revolution in Southeast Asia.
In the course of the fourth season, Cliff's mother, Rebecca Wentworth made a dramatic reentry into his life. After much debating, Cliff forgave her for her desertion. It also delighted Cliff that his mother was an important lady who was wealthy and powerful in her own right. Rebecca eventually offered him the presidency of Wentworth Tool & Die, a small subsidiary of Wentworth Industries, which made parts for oil rigs. Cliff happily accepted and did extraordinarily well for a time. Eventually Cliff asked for, and received, complete autonomy at Wentworth Tool & Die - but his fortunes took a dramatic downturn when he wasted Wentworth funds on a phony deal engineered by J.R. Cliff's mother subsequently sacked him - this, coupled with Sue Ellen's decision to remarry J.R around the same time, drove Cliff to attempt suicide.
Cliff recovered, and Rebecca subsequently bought out Wade Luce Oil, renaming it Barnes-Wentworth Oil. Rebecca asked Cliff to run the company for her and he accepted - blaming J.R. for Cliff's suicide attempt, Rebecca encouraged Cliff to use the company (and the place in the Cartel which came with it) to gain revenge. Armed with a new lease on life, and a new hatred for the Ewings, he became driven to succeed, and as a result, turned Barnes-Wentworth into a very successful company. That year Cliff won the coveted "Oil Man Of the Year" award at the Oil Baron's Ball. However, instead of enjoying his success he embarrassed himself by verbally trashing Jock Ewing and Ewing Oil during his acceptance speech, resulting in a huge brawl.
Rebecca died soon after from injuries sustained in a plane crash, and Cliff inherited Barnes-Wentworth Oil, lock, stock, and barrel - as well as a third of Wentworth Industries (much to the disgust of his half sister Katherine).
Cliff married Jamie Ewing, daughter of the late Jason Ewing and therefore a cousin of J.R. and Bobby in 1985, but the union was unhappy at first, Cliff having married Jamie purely for the inheritance he always believed to be his birthright. During the 1985-86 season they realized how much they loved one another and became close. In April 1986, Jamie was seen trapped in a blazing car and presumed dead. But the entire 1985-86 season turned out to be the nightmare of Cliff's sister Pam. So Cliff and Jamie's happy marriage and her supposed death were just a dream and thus Cliff and Jamie never found happiness. She left him in fall 1986 and the union was headed for a divorce when it was explained that Jamie was killed due to a fall while on a mountain climbing holiday.
Cliff eventually realizes his dream of taking over a share of Ewing Oil and for a time enjoys a good personal and business relationship with Bobby, whilst J.R. is temporarily sidelined from the business. It is notable that Cliff and Bobby appear to find mutual respect and liking only after Pamela has gone and their family ties are effectively severed. Cliff is also shown at this time to be a loving and attentive uncle to Christopher, who is suffering from the absence of his mother. Cliff enjoys a seemingly open welcome to Southfork during this time, something that would have been unheard of in earlier seasons. J.R. eventually returned to Ewing Oil and while they were briefly able to coexist, it didn't last. J.R.'s maneuvering and Cliff's inattention to the business due to his attempts to win back Afton, ("the only woman I ever loved") soon had Cliff falling out of favor once again with the Ewings. By the end of the series, the feud that had characterized much of Dallas's run was firmly back on.
Cliff had grown up poor in contrast to J.R. after the partnership between Cliff's father Digger and Jock Ewing dissolved, due in large part to Digger's heavy drinking. Jock went on to found Ewing Oil. Digger blamed Jock for his subsequent bad luck and was jealous of Jock's wealth. Cliff inherited Digger's resentment of the Ewings. As time went on his hatred for the Ewings (with the exception of J.R.) dissipated, and realized that his father was equally at fault as Jock was in regards to their feud. Throughout the series Cliff had a reputation for being cheap and naive in contrast to J.R. Whereas J.R. always dined in fine restaurants, wore a stylish Stetson, lived on Southfork and lavished his mistresses with generosity; Cliff often preferred take-out Chinese cuisine, wore cheap suits, lived in a condominium and assumed his romantic interests would clean his home. While J.R. was smooth talking and charismatic, Cliff tended to speak before he thought and frequently stuck his foot in his mouth. Much of the drama of Dallas was centered around Cliff's attempts to revenge himself against J.R. politically, romantically and financially. Typically, Cliff's schemes failed because of J.R.'s under-handed cleverness.
Cliff eventually got one over JR shortly before the TV series ended when he took over Ewing Oil.
In 2012, Cliff is involved in the casino business. He returns to Dallas and has a meeting with Bobby Ewing at Southfork Ranch. Cliff wants to buy the Southfork, which Bobby has put up for sale. J.R. walks in on their conversation and warns Cliff against trying to buy the Ewing family home. Cliff later invites his nephew, Christopher Ewing and his new wife Rebecca to dinner and expresses an interest in investing in Christopher's energy project. Christopher declines, as he thinks that Cliff just wants to antagonize the Ewings again. However, Cliff warns him to not let the Ewings destroy him like they did his mother Pamela. When J.R. arrives at Sue Ellen's office to give her Miss Ellie's pearls, a good luck charm for her campaign, Cliff arrives to take Sue Ellen to lunch to discuss politics and her upcoming run for governor. When questioned about trying to buy Southfork, Cliff announces, "I will never stop fighting for what is rightfully mine."
It is revealed in the season one finale that Christopher's wife Rebecca is indeed Cliff's and Afton's daughter Pamela Rebecca Cooper, now going by the name Rebecca Barnes, although posing as Rebecca Sutter. Cliff is shown to be behind Rebecca's attempt to hustle Christopher. Before leaving, Cliff instructs his right-hand man Frank Ashkani to protect Rebecca when the Ewings find out about who is who.