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Jeri Gaile's New Life Shapes Up as Wife of J.R. Ewing's Worst Enemy

Faces . . .

January 26, 1991|SUSAN KING

Most "Dallas" fans don't recognize series regular Jeri Gaile when they see her in person.

"I wear so much makeup and not a lot of clothes on the show," she says. "They don't recognize me when I am dressed. Mostly men recognize me. Men sympathize with me and women think I am a cheap tramp."

Gaile is in her third season on the long-running CBS series as Rose, the vampish wife of J.R. Ewing's worst enemy, Carter McKay. During her first two years on "Dallas," Gaile slinked around in the skimpiest of lingerie. This year, she's finally out of the bedroom and wearing dresses.

"I had so much (skin) exposed," says the ballerina-turned-actress. "But it was a lot of fun. I have worn much less when I was dancer."

Rose, Gaile says, really isn't a bad girl, it's just that she's "been used and abused. She was a little naive waif thrown into the den of sharks." And thrown into the arms of many men. Take last season, when Rose married McKay. 'She thought it was for love, but in reality her husband wanted to blackmail Cliff Barnes," Gaile says. "And in order to make it a really powerful blackmail it was better for Cliff to sleep with a wife than a mistress."

The blackmail worked, but the marriage is on the rocks. "It's pay-back time," Gaile says. "Rose has finally decided to get back at the people who abused her."

That includes having a "tawdry little affair" with J.R. "He seduced her on her husband's desk in his office," Gaile says. "It was pretty tacky."

Gaile became an actress after a severe knee injury ended her ballet career. "I had danced from age 4 to 18," she says. "It was very depressing. I stayed in my room for almost a year."

Though she loves acting, Gaile still misses the world of dance. "Just last year was the first time I have been able to see live ballet," Gaile says wistfully. "It was my entire life for so long."

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