May 6, 2020

‘Dallas’ star Charlene Tilton says faith has kept her out of ‘dark places’ during coronavirus pandemic


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Charlene Tilton is at peace living in solitude amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“Before all of this happened, I went to my local bookstore and stocked up,” the former “Dallas” star told Fox News. “So I’ve been doing a lot of reading and meditating. I’ve also done a lot of Zoom chats with friends, which has been wonderful. We play a two-hour trivia game every Saturday and it’s a riot.”

The 61-year-old, who is currently quarantining in Tennessee, also shared that she wants to get up to speed with the times.

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“I’ve been doing a lot of online classes too,” she explained. “I took a class on Instagram because I’m horrible at social media. I’m seeing so many people doing a lot of creative things on social media so it’s an exciting time to learn.”

The actress also revealed that the COVID-19 crisis has given her a deeper appreciation for the nation’s truck drivers, who are among those risking their personal health to ensure shelves are stocked in stores and hospitals receive necessary supplies.

Actress Charlene Tilton attends the Charmaine Blake Presents The Faber Ryan Youth Foundation Gala at Live House Hollywood on October 12, 2019, in Hollywood, Calif.

Actress Charlene Tilton attends the Charmaine Blake Presents The Faber Ryan Youth Foundation Gala at Live House Hollywood on October 12, 2019, in Hollywood, Calif.
(Photo by Greg Doherty/Getty Images for Charmaine Blake)

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“Honestly whenever I see a trucker now, it almost makes me cry,” she said. “They’re working so hard right now and they’re doing the best that they can to keep things running, to make sure grocery stores are stocked. I drive a lot, so when an 18-wheeler is in front of you, you can’t help but think, ‘Why is this stupid truck ahead of me when I’m in a hurry?’ Now, are you kidding? I’m going to blow a kiss every time I see a trucker and say thank you. I will never get impatient being behind a truck ever again.

“My God, they’re keeping our country running and well supplied,” she shared. “Things are so difficult right now that all you can do is pray for them, which I do every day. I pray every day. I’m grateful for the life I have, but there are so many others braving through.”

Tilton stressed that now more than ever people should “live in faith, not fear.”

“You have to be responsible,” she explained. “You can’t be running around without a mask. You have to think about others and not just yourself. And when it comes to isolating, I’m not looking at this as loneliness. I’m looking at this as solitude, time that you need for yourself, time to grow safely. I’ve been spending my time with the Bible, meditating and just exercising as much as I can when I’m not cooking.”

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American actress Charlene Tilton, circa 1980.

American actress Charlene Tilton, circa 1980.
(Getty)

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The actress said she hopes fans will use any extra time to find some peace from the safety of home and focus on routines that can help uplift their mood during unprecedented times.

“We don’t have a lot of control of this situation,” Tilton said. “The only thing you can do is give in to God. You need to have faith and in a way, fight for peace in your heart, spirit and soul. I know it sounds counterintuitive, you’ve got to fight for the peace of mind. I’m finding different ways to stay positive, including playing Bible scriptures on YouTube. And listen, my mind can go into a dark place like anybody else’s right now. But I choose to pray. God promises to give beauty for ashes. I believe in that. I’m fighting to stay in peace.

“I’m also noticing a lot of beautiful things that have come out of this too,” she shared. “Creativity is thriving, we are helping our neighbors more and so many have stood up to keep this country running. There is still a lot of political divide, but I’m also seeing a lot of love. And we’re now having a greater appreciation for things we once took for granted.”

Tilton said staying in touch with family, friends and even with some of her “Dallas” castmates has been essential to keeping her optimistic about the future.

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Cast members of the TV program 'Dallas' attend a party thrown for them by the Worldvision television company at the Century Plaza Hotel, LA, May 1978. From left to right, they are Linda Gray, Steve Kanaly, Charlene Tilton, Larry Hagman, Victoria Principal and Patrick Duffy.

Cast members of the TV program ‘Dallas’ attend a party thrown for them by the Worldvision television company at the Century Plaza Hotel, LA, May 1978. From left to right, they are Linda Gray, Steve Kanaly, Charlene Tilton, Larry Hagman, Victoria Principal and Patrick Duffy.
(Photo by Richard Harrison/Fotos International/Archive Photos/Getty Images)

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“We’re still very close,” Tilton said. “We just have so many great memories that we love re-living from our time in the series. We’re still very much a family.”

Tilton starred in “Dallas” as Lucy Ewing Cooper from 1978 until 1990. She would go on to appear in the show’s reboot from 2012 until 2014.

Her co-star Larry Hagman, who starred as beloved villain J.R. Ewing in the series, passed away in 2012 at age 81 from cancer. At the time of his death, he was in Dallas filming an episode of the reboot.

“We had so many fun times together,” Tilton recalled. “He used to love bubbles and he would sneak around with all of these bubble machines and disappeared. I’m talking about hundreds of bubbles. He brought so much joy to the set. I still miss him very much.”



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