Joan Van Ark is an award-winning American actress known for her role as “Valene Ewing”, a fictional character in the CBS soap opera entitled “Knots Landing” (1979), which happens to be an offshoot of another CBS soap opera entitled “Dallas”. Joan Van Ark has been active in Hollywood since the late 1960s and has remained relevant to this day.
Given the many filmographic merits of her name, it is safe to say that Joan Van Ark has well deserved her A-list status in Hollywood. With over 400 soap opera episodes in her name, Joan has undoubtedly had an enviable acting career to date. Unfortunately, we can say that she herself has been unlucky with beauty-enhancing plastic surgery. Her trouble with plastic surgery has in no way improved her beauty, on the contrary, she has suffered from it. Nevertheless, in my opinion, she is still one of the queens of soap operas in Hollywood today.
Joan Van Ark was born on 16 June 1943 in the city of New York. At the age of 15, Joan Van Ark was already a chief reporter at her high school. She distinguished herself in this position so much that she was given the opportunity to interview the then famous Hollywood actress Julie Harris. After the interview session, Julie was completely impressed by Joan’s charisma and eloquence. She saw the actress in Joan and recommended her for the graduate program at the Yale School of Drama.
In addition, Joan was awarded a full scholarship to participate in the graduate program at the Yale School of Drama. This step made her one of the few students to be accepted into the Yale School of Drama; right after high school, without a bachelor’s degree. She was also the second youngest student to be accepted into the Yale School of Drama after Julie Harris. For reasons unknown, Joan spent only one year at the Yale School of Drama. But as fate would have it, Joan tied in with Julie in the cast of the CBS television series Knots Landing (1979). And just as you have, they ended up playing the roles of the mother (Julie) and daughter (Joan).
Joan Van Ark – Career
Joan Van Ark began her theater career when she made her first appearance in the five-act comic play called The Miser, written by the famous French playwright Moliere and performed at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It was then performed alongside Cronyn and Jessica Tandy in Arthur Miller’s The Death of a Salesman at the same Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. Joan spent a season on the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., and after that, she was part of the cast of Mike Nichols’ Barefoot in the Park.
Van Ark has made several major appearances on Broadway. Of particular note is her role in the New York production of Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women, which later won the Pulitzer Prize. Joan Van Ark has also appeared in some prominent theatres in the beautiful city of Los Angeles, where she appeared in great plays such as Cyrano de Bergerac. For her exceptional acting, Van Ark was awarded the Los Angeles Drama Critics Award, the Chemin de Fer, and Heartbreak House. Joan would then play the role of “Lady Macbeth” is one of Williams Shakespeare’s greatest plays, Macbeth. She also led the Williamstown Theatre Festival productions of “Night of the Iguana” and “The Legend of Oedipus”. Joan received a Tony nomination for her commendable performance in the play entitled The School for Wives and won the Theater World Award for her stunning acting in The Rules of the Game.
- The New Temperatures Rising Show (1972)
- We’ve Got Each Other (1977)
- My First Love (1988)
- Shakedown on the Sunset Strip (1988)
- Always Remember I Love You (1990)
- Terror on Track 9 (1992)
- Tainted Blood (1993)
- Someone’s Watching (1993): here she doubled as an actor as well as a producer.
- Menu for Murder (1994)
- Knots Landing: Back to the Cul-de-Sac (1997)
- Boys Will Be Boys (1999); in which she acted and directed.
- Held for Ransom (2000)
- UP, Michigan! (2001)
- My Name Is Earl (2009)
- Archer Ruth (2011)
- Watercolor Postcards (2012)
- Dallas (2013)
- Psycho Wedding Crasher (2017)
Joan Van Ark is also a voice actress and provides the voices for some remarkable cartoon and video game characters, including Spider-Woman (1979), the Saturday morning Santo Bugito cartoon series (1995) by CBS, and Fallout 4 (2015). In 1997, she directed a short documentary about homelessness and domestic violence for the Directors Guild of America. This documentary received many awards from fans and Hollywood actors. It was even nominated for a Daytime Emmy.
Family, Husband, children
Van was named after the legendary Joan of Arc by her parents Dorothy Jean Van Ark and Carroll Van Ark, both New York-based writers. However, Joan’s father, who is of Dutch descent, also worked in advertising and was also a PR consultant. Jean and Carroll will eventually move to Boulder, Colorado, where they raised Joan and her three siblings Carol, Mark, and Dexter.
Joan, unlike her character Valene (which she played in Knots Landing), has only been married once. In fact, she is married and has remained married to her high school sweetheart John Marshall, a former award-winning reporter who once worked for KNBC-TV (an NBC owned television station in Los Angeles). He currently runs eNewswires.com, an online news network. Joan and John have been married since February 1, 1966, and they are happy together without rumors of infidelity or divorce.
Van and John have only one child, a daughter named Vanessa Marshall, who was born on October 19, 1969, and like her mother is a successful actress, director, and model. Vanessa is more popular for her speaking roles in numerous cartoons, movies, and video games. Some of these are Avengers Assemble, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Ben 10, Dr. Dolittle 3, Garfield’s Pet Force, Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, Advent Rising and Diablo III, etc. However, Vanessa has not taken over a keyword from her mother, as she is already divorced. In 2001 she married the dubbing artist Andrew Kishino, but since 2007 their paths have separated.
Sadly and surprisingly, the net worth of Joan Van Ark is currently unknown. However, we can safely assume that her finances are in order, as she has had an extremely successful and illustrious acting career.