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Pat Colbert, ‘Dallas’ Oil Baron’s Host Dora Mae, Dies at 77

Pat Colbert, best known for her role as Dora Mae, the stylish host and manager of the Oil Baron’s Club on the CBS primetime soap “Dallas,” has passed away at the age of 77. Pat’s sister, Tami Colbert, shared the news, revealing that Pat died on June 23 at her home in Compton after suffering three strokes over the last decade.

In addition to her memorable role on “Dallas,” Colbert portrayed the wife of Bill Cosby’s character in the 1987 spy spoof “Leonard Part 6.” She also made appearances in popular TV shows like “Benson,” “The Fall Guy,” “Sisters,” and “True Colors.”

Colbert’s talents extended to the NBC primetime soap “Flamingo Road,” where she played one of the working girls in the roadhouse run by Stella Stevens’ character, Lute-Mae Sanders. She participated in the two-hour pilot and recurred throughout the first season. However, her character was eliminated in the second season when the show transitioned the brothel into a more respectable supper club due to network pressures.

Despite this setback, Lorimar Productions offered Colbert another role. She appeared in 67 episodes of “Dallas” from 1983-91, initially starting in an uncredited role in season six. As the host of the Oil Baron’s Club, Dora Mae was part of an upscale restaurant frequently visited by the Ewing family and their business associates. This venue was inspired by the real-life Dallas Petroleum Club.

Shaun Chang from the movie and TV blog Hill Place discussed Colbert’s impact on “Dallas.” He noted that as the only recurring African American character, Dora Mae never had major storylines. However, she brought grace and intelligence to her role. “The leading characters, and the show itself, treated her with respect and without any sense of condescension,” Chang said. Dora Mae contributed significantly to the community feel of a show set in a major city.

Sandra Patricia Colbert was born in Los Angeles on January 16, 1947. Her father, LeRoy, worked in construction and even built the family’s home, while her mother, Eula, was a homemaker and foster care worker. Colbert attended Centennial High School in Compton before junior college. Before embarking on her acting career, she worked as a model for department-store print campaigns and served as a fashion consultant.

Colbert’s career was diverse, including a role as a nurse in Blake Edwards’ “S.O.B.” (1981), and appearances in “Capitol,” the “Dallas” spinoff “Knots Landing,” “Thom & Dusty Go to Mexico: The Lost Treasure” (2014), and “If Not for His Grace” (2015).

She is survived by her sister Tami, along with siblings Aaron and Johnetta, and her son Michael.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter