Pat Colbert, Compton-raised actor who was elegant Dora Mae in TV's 'Dallas,' dies


Pat Colbert, the Compton-raised actor who manned the Oil Baron’s Club as host Dora Mae in the hit TV series “Dallas,” has died. She was 77.

Colbert died peacefully on June 23 in her home in Compton, her younger sister Tami Colbert confirmed to The Times. She had suffered three strokes over the past decade. A cause of death was not revealed, but “we just know it had to be a result of the different strokes,” Tami said.

“She was just good. She was good at everything she started out to do,” Tami said. “She made it a point to get there and do well at it.”

Colbert pursued a decades-long career from the late ’70s to 2015, but she was best known for her 67-episode tenure on the hit CBS drama “Dallas.” As the show’s sole recurring Black character, according to the Hollywood Reporter, Colbert turned a minor role into a memorable one. As the elegant face of the Oil Baron’s Club, Colbert’s Dora Mae shared the screen with members of the main Ewing family portrayed by Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray, among others.

The actor appeared in “Dallas” from 1983 to 1991, according to IMDB. Before the Emmy-winning series, Colbert took on minor parts in “Flamingo Road,” “Capitol,” “The Fall Guy” and “Knots Landing.” After her time as Dora Mae, Colbert appeared in the shows “Sisters” and “True Colors”

Colbert also appeared in a handful of films including “Leonard Part 6,” in which she starred as Bill Cosby’s on-screen wife. Her film credits also include “S.O.B.,” “Hysterical,” “Thom & Dusty Go to Mexico: The Lost Treasure” and “If Not for His Grace,” according to IMDB.

Sandra Patricia Colbert was born Jan. 16, 1947, in Los Angeles, but lived most of her life in Compton. Her father, LeRoy, worked in construction, and her mother, Eula, worked in foster care. As a child, Colbert was also interested in high fashion and modeling.

Inspired by their mother, Colbert worked with her sister and channeled her Hollywood connections to organize movie screenings — including some at Westwood theaters — for her foster community, Tami said.

“We’d get a bunch of the kids together and some of their foster parents and go do screenings for movies that hadn’t been released yet,” Tami said. “That was exciting.”

Tami said the actor also worked with “stars and friends that she knew” to make it possible for foster children to watch a golf tournament.

To Tami, Colbert should be remembered “as a go-getter.”

“An achiever [and a] very kind, and interesting person,” she added. “If she didn’t know something, she would try to find it out for you.”

In addition to Tami, Colbert is survived by older sister Johnetta Driscoll, brother Aaron Colbert, son Michael and nieces and nephews. The family has scheduled a viewing and funeral service for next week.



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