Deborah remembered Hagman as a practical jokester.

“I was sitting next to the bathtub while he was taking a bubble bath. I was wearing this beautiful, expensive white silk outfit. I was talking to him, when he suddenly reached out and dragged me into the tub with him, totally destroying my outfit!”

As Deborah attempted to expand her acting talents and avoid being typecast back then, she had to live with the fact that to most fans she was still Mandy.

“Back in the 80s...everybody called me 'Mandy,' wherever I went, including abroad. When I was in Thailand, everybody was whispering 'Mandy, Mandy' to each other,” she said. “It was the same in Greece. In one Greek village, people were watching 'Dallas' on the communal TV set.”

She said her “Dallas” role, “evolved over time, and really grew with me. I learned so much. Various scenes also stick out for me, scenes that challenged me both as an actress and as a person.”
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    DEBORAH SHELTON as Mandy Winger in "Dallas"
Of the many women that J.R. (Larry Hagman) consorted with, Deborah as Mandy stands out as the crème de la crème. The 5-foot-8 brown-haired beauty with green eyes was so popular that after she was written out of the show, an outpouring of fan support brought her back to the nighttime soap.

Deborah said Mandy was originally written as  “really young blonde, an ex-hooker with a heart of gold,” and she thought the audition would be a waste of time, but after she landed the role the character was changed. Deborah appeared in 62 episodes of “Dallas,” from 1984-87.
“It was a great environment, very supportive and welcoming, and lots of fun,” she said on her official website,  www.deborahshelton.net. “The cast and the crew were all great – it was like one big happy family. There was constant practical joking.”

On her website, Deborah recalled shooting several memorable scenes with Hagman.

“I remember our first long scene together – the  one at J.R.'s private box in Texas Stadium,” she said. “It was like 105 degrees that day, and I was wearing a red wool dress. It was so hot; they had to keep rolling out my hair. Well, we had caviar and champagne, and the champagne was the the real thing!

“They kept retaking the scene – and I got pretty hammered! From then on, Mandy only ordered soft drinks.”
.No. 13
Deborah's most memorable movie role was playing Gloria Revelle in the erotic thriller “Body Double.” The 1984 film directed by Brian De Palma paid homage to Alfred Hitchcock's classic trio of films “Vertigo,” “Rear Window,” and “Dial M for Murder.”

As a beautiful, wealthy neighbor who arouses the main character (Craig Wasson) by performing an erotic dance at her window nightly, Deborah's character was brutually murdered by a psycho with a power drill and a foot-long bit.

The terrified expression on her face was real. “At one point the drill was an inch from my nose. When they turned that drill on, all the hairs on my spine stood up.”

Deborah had creative differences with De Palma; mostly, she didn't understand why her character didn't fight back when attacked by her assailant.

“Who stands around like that?” she asked. “Brian kept saying, 'Pathos, Debbie, pathos,' and I'm thinking, 'Stupidity, Brian, stupidity.'”

She told People magazine that she agreed to go along with the scene because she viewed the film as an avenue to becoming a bigger star. “Even if it's terrible, it's going to be seen.”
Deborah appeared in several other similar erotic films in the early 1990s that she now regrets taking the roles.

“Sometimes you want to work so badly that you focus on the positive aspects of a project to the point of exclusion of other aspects that are not so appealing,” she said in an interview on her website. “I never knew that scenes from those films would turn up all over the Internet. It's one thing to appear in a film that ostensibly only adults will see, and another thing altogether to have stills from those films easily available to anyone. It was embarrassing for my childrem, and I deeply regret that.”

Born in Washington, D.C., and raised in Norfolk, Virginia, Deborah attended charm school at age 14 which led to modeling work. She entered the Miss Virginia contest as a defiant gesture after an argument with her then-boy friend. Despite the fact that she thought she would throw up while competing, she won the 1970 Miss USA pageant while a 21-year-old student at Old Dominion University.
Deborah Shelton "Dallas" Mandy Winger
Deborah Shelton "Dallas" Mandy Winger
Deborah Shelton "Dallas" Mandy Winger
Deborah Shelton "Dallas" Mandy Winger
Deborah Shelton "Dallas" Mandy Winger
Deborah created some controversy with her honest opinions on women's liberation and the Vietnam War while doing interviews as Miss USA. “I really don't see why my opinions as Miss USA are any more important than they were before.”

Deborah finished as the first runner-up in the 1970 Miss Universe pageant.

Before she landed a role in “Dallas,” Deborah guest-starred in numerous TV series in the 1970s, including “B.J. And the Bear,” “The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo,” “T.J. Hooker” and “Cheers.”
Two More Classic TV Beauties from "Dallas"
“It was unbelievable! I was such a tomboy,” she told People of winning the title. “I had no clue that I would win. My dad didn't even want to show up, because he was sure he was going to have to suffer watching me lose. It was a major turning point in my life – I had to grow up a lot.”
Stepfanie Kramer "Hunter" Dee Dee McCall
Charlene Tilton "Dallas" Lucy Ewing
Heather Locklear "Dynasty" "TJ Hooker" "Melrose Place"
Lori Loughlin "Full House" Rebecca Donaldson
Morgan Fairchild "Flamingo Road" Constance Weldon Carlyle "Falcon Crest" Jordan Roberts
Donna Mills "Knots Landing" Abby Cunningham
Lisa Bonet "The Cosby Show" "A Different World" Denise Huxtable
Shelley Long "Cheers" Diane Chambers
Heather Thomas "The Fall Guy" Jody Banks
Victoria Principal "Dallas" Pamela Barnes Ewing
Linda Gray "Dallas" Sue Ellen Ewing
Stefanie Powers "Hart to Hart" Jennifer Hart
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