Joan Van Ark (born June 16, 1943) is an American actress, most notable for her role as Valene Ewing, which she originated on the CBS series Dallas and continued for thirteen seasons on its spin-off, Knots Landing. Van Ark has also received a Theatre World Award and been nominated for a Tony Award for her stage work. Van Ark was born in New York City, the daughter of Dorothy Jean (nee Hemenway), a writer, and Carroll Van Ark, who was born in Holland, Michigan, and worked in advertising and public relations. Her father named her after Joan of Arc because he was certain that she would become famous. Van Ark's paternal great-grandfather, Gradus, was an immigrant from the Netherlands. Both of Van Ark's parents and her sister, Carol, were writers.
Contributions by 188.8.131.52, Thomholl, and Enewshound.