Susan Howard, best known for her eight years as Donna Krebbs in the prime-time soap opera, Dallas (1978) was born Jeri Lynn Mooney in Marshall, Texas. “I grew up with my father telling me that I was talented and beautiful and wonderful. I respected and loved my father, so I believed him – until I grew up and looked in a mirror and saw that my daddy had sort of colored the truth. But, by then, it was too late. I was hooked”, she said of her life-long desire to be an actress and the support she got from her family to realize the dream. After excelling in the dramatic arts at Marshall High, where she won the UIL Best Actress Award, she was accepted at the University of Texas. There, she spent two years before Hollywood lured her farther west. Several years as a member of the Los Angeles Repertory Company, plus her years at the University of Texas, instilled in her the discipline and perspective she needed to finally make it in Hollywood. After several years of guest shots on television shows; including Bonanza (1959), The Flying Nun (1967) and I Dream of Jeannie (1965), Susan was offered the co-starring role opposite Barry Newman in Petrocelli (1974). For her portrayal of “Maggie Petrocelli”, she was nominated for both Emmy and the Golden Globe awards.
The role of “Donna Culver Krebbs” came Susan’s way in 1978, as a one-time guest shot. The producers were so pleased with her performance, they enlarged the part and asked her to stay. She remained until 1987, when the script for the new season called for Donna to begin an affair with one of the other characters. She refused the change and left the show.
She and her husband Calvin Chrane now live outside Austin, Texas. She was appointed by then-Governor George W. Bush to be a commissioner for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. She is also a member of the board of directors for the National Rifle Association where she serves as Chair of the Public Policy Committee. The Chranes have one daughter, Lynn, and two grandchildren, Daniel and Noelle. Susan Howard continues to be a frequent visitor to Marshall where her mother and brother reside. She is an active member of the Writers Guild of America, and continues writing for television, something she began on Dallas (1978).
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