Charlene Tilton remembers ''Dallas'' -- The actress talks about the series' lasting appeal

By Nicholas Fonseca
Updated November 05, 2004 at 05:00 AM EST

As lovably trampy Lucy Ewing Cooper on Dallas, Charlene Tilton made life at Southfork, ahem, exciting. Now 45, the actress, who has since starred in several TV movies, is back on the ranch, co-producing Dallas Reunion: The Return to Southfork, a CBS special (Nov. 7, 9 p.m.) featuring her and her old castmates.

Why organize a reunion now? A whole new generation is becoming familiar with the show. My daughter and her friends have Dallas Fridays. She says to me, ”Mom, this show is genius! This is better than The O.C.!”

Why is it still so appealing? We had big hair and shoulder pads, but the show holds up. I said that to Larry Hagman, and he said, ”Honey, good acting and good writing are never dated.”

Any favorite story lines? Lucy was engaged to marry a gay guy. Twenty-five years ago! Before Will & Grace! It was gut-wrenching.

Are you hooked on any current shows? American Idol! I vote until those phone lines close. When Clay and Ruben were up, my answering machine said, ”Clay! Clay! All the way! Don’t forget to vote!”