Actor Abby Dalton dies at 88


LOS ANGELES – Actor Abby Dalton, best known for her role as Julia Cumson in ‘Falcon Crest’, died last week at the age of 88.

The Emmy-nominated star began appearing in “Rock All Night,” a 1957 film about a group of hostages captured by two criminals at a club. She played the role of Julie, a singer trapped at the club who was one of the main characters.

Dalton continued to work with Roger Corman, who directed and produced “Rock All Night”, on a handful of other projects including “Teenage Doll” and “Stakeout on Dope Street”. Her launch in the public eye came quickly, and in 1959 she was cast in Jackie Cooper’s “Hennesey” television series. The role earned her an Emmy nomination in 1961 for Outstanding Performance in a Supporting Role by an Actor or Actress in a Series.

She has also had lead roles in “The Joey Bishop Show” and “The Jonathan Winters Show,” which both saw Dalton take on the character of the titular actors’ wife.

Abby Dalton in 1981.Lorimar Film Entertainment via Everett Collection

Throughout the 1970s and 80s, the actor graced television and movie screens. She played Anne Fields in the 1976 “A Whale of a Tale” and had a role in the 1989 film “Roller Blade Warriors: Taken by Force”.

But the majority of his work was devoted to television. She has played smaller roles in a host of series, but has also played recurring roles in “Adams of Eagle Lake” and “Hotel.”

In 1981, Dalton found his best-known role in “Falcon Crest,” a family politics drama behind a thriving vineyard. She stayed with the series until 1986. The show received high marks throughout this time, often attracting guest stars.

His most recent project did not come to film or television, but as a voice in the upcoming book “Deconstructing the Rat Pack: Joey, The Mob and the Summit” by Richard Lertzman.

Dalton is survived by her husband Jack D. Smith and children Matthew, Kathleen and John, as well as her grandchildren and great grandson.


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