Big Daddys linked to Big D location, cast
Date: Sunday, June 26, 2011
By Patty Montagno
It was just another typical day for Wylie resident and Big Daddy’s Roadhouse owner Kelly Duncan until his phone rang. When Duncan answered he immediately recognized the familiar voice of the caller.
Actor Larry Hagman called to order lunch from his old friend.
Hagman and several other celebrities were at Southfork Ranch recently filming a pilot for the TNT cable network regarding the second generation of the famous Ewing family. Also seen on the set were former Dallas stars Patrick Duffy, Linda Gray, Charlene Tilton and Steve Kanaly.
“Larry said ‘Kelly, get out here right now,”’ Duncan said. “‘Patrick and I need some good Texas barbecue.’”
Duncan and his staff were very obliging and immediately loaded the company van with loads of brisket, smoked sausage, pit ham, ribs, beans, slaw and cucumber salad. At a moment’s notice, they brought enough food to feed the cast, crew and Southfork Ranch staff.
“I was happy to do so,” Duncan said. “These people are like family to me. From what I saw, the pilot episode will be great entertainment. I will jump out there and say it will get picked up as a series. ”
Duncan can make that prediction based on personal history.
Duncan’s father, J.R. (Joe) and mother Natalie built the infamous 5,000-square-foot mansion on family acreage in 1970 and called it Duncan Acres. It was a working ranch with thoroughbred racehorses and quarter horses.
The “Dallas” show exteriors were shot on the ranch from 1978 to 1989.
“I grew up in that house,” Duncan said. “It was my home and life. I graduated from Plano High School in 1974.”
Duncan said since the cast and crew filmed every year in Southfork he quickly became friends with everyone.
“When the cast wasn’t filming outside they would stay inside our house because it was so hot outside,” he said. “I got to know some very hardworking people who just happened to be celebrities. We knew their families too.”
Duncan said although the family acted in a few background shots, they were quite comfortable staying behind the camera.
After graduating high school Duncan moved into a little house on the south end of the property. He trained racehorses all over the state.
“When I married and started to raise a family I decided to stay in the area,” he said. “I always loved food, especially barbecue, so I opened Big Daddy’s in 1999. I have a wonderful son, Morgan, who is a professional farrier.”
Southfork Director of Sales and Marketing Janna Timm said everyone was thrilled when TNT made the arrangements for the filming.
“It really was like a family coming home,” she said. “They built this elaborate wedding set and took it down immediately after shooting. Everyone loved seeing Kelly, and his barbecue was delicious. We hope the pilot is picked up and the cast will be returning to film more episodes.”
And if Duncan’s prediction is true – J.R. and his crew will be back to Southfork very soon.
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