Jared Martin, Who Played Rodeo Cowboy Dusty Farlow on 'Dallas,' Dies at 75
The actor roomed with Brian De Palma in college and starred in the director's first movie.
Jared Martin, the Dallas actor who portrayed Dusty Farlow, the rodeo cowboy and Sue Ellen Ewing seducer who perished in a plane crash, only to have producers resurrect his character by popular demand, has died. He was 75.
Martin died Wednesday of pancreatic cancer at his home in Philadelphia, his son, Christian Martin, told The Hollywood Reporter.
Martin roomed with Brian De Palma when they both attended Columbia University in New York and appeared in the first and third features of the director's career: Murder a la Mod (1968) and The Wedding Party (1969).
In De Palma's inaugural effort, Martin played "a mad photographer-murderer who liked to lick the blood off his victims' bodies," he recalled in a 1981 interview with People magazine. "Brian used Hershey syrup for blood and paid me $35."
Martin's career also included starring roles on two sci-fi TV series: 1977's The Fantastic Journey at NBC and a 1988-90 adaptation of War of the Worlds, which aired in syndication.
In 1979, the handsome actor signed a contract to appear as the cowpoke Steven "Dusty" Farlow — the adoptive son of Clayton Farrow (Howard Keel) — on three episodes of the third season of the smash CBS primetime soap Dallas.
"They brought Dusty Farlow on to make goo-goo eyes at Sue Ellen [Linda Gray], become moderately involved with her, tempt her and then she basically remembered who she was and went back to J.R. [Larry Hagman]," Martin said a few years ago in an interview for a Dallas fan site.
Dusty (fans nicknamed him "Lusty Dusty") was incinerated in a plane crash, but after J.R. was shot by an unseen assailant in that season's finale, viewer polls and Las Vegas oddsmakers made the character a favorite to be the answer to the burning question, "Who shot J.R.?"
So producers found a way to have him return.
"My agent said, 'Get ready, they are going to bring you back,'" Martin remembered. "I said, 'How? I'm dead.' My agent says, "Oh, this is Hollywood, they will think of something.'"
It turns out Dusty had survived, but his injuries rendered him impotent, paralyzed from the waist down and confined to a wheelchair.
"He was being nursed back to health by an extremely beautiful woman. That was something America kind of wanted to see at the time; don't ask me why, but they did," Martin said. "So I came from being very much of an episodic television actor to being part of the most successful and fabulous series ever to have been known to humankind."
Dusty would make a miraculous recovery and even return to the rodeo circuit.
Born in Manhattan on Dec. 21, 1941, Jared Christopher Martin was the son of famed New Yorker artist and illustrator Charles E. Martin. He attended The Putney School in Vermont and Columbia, then followed De Palma to Hollywood.
The blue-eyed Martin also appeared in such movies as Westworld (1973), The Second Coming of Suzanne (1974) and Pia Zadora's The Lonely Lady (1983) and on TV's The Partridge Family, Dan August, Night Gallery, The Rookies, The Waltons, How the West Was Won, The Incredible Hulk, Scarecrow and Mrs. King, The Love Boat, Hunter and L.A. Law.
After retiring from acting, Martin co–founded and served as creative director of the Big Picture Alliance, a nonprofit group that introduces inner-city kids to the art of filmmaking, and worked as a professional painter and photographer.
And just last year, Martin co-directed the feature film The Congressman, starring Treat Williams.
His son Christian is general manager for video at SiriusXM, and his wife is Liz Cole, an executive producer at Dateline NBC.
Martin's survivors also include his wife, Yu Wei, whom he married in 2000, and grandchildren Charlie and Emilia.