She rescues animals that have been neglected and abused and rehabilitates them on her ranch. "It’s something that fills me with joy every day," she said.
Many celebrities choose to work in showbiz until the very end. They devote every day of their life to their craft of entertaining people. But others, like Victoria Ree Principal, go on a little detour.
Victoria, who was born on January 3, 1950, in Japan, landed her first job in a television commercial when she was just five years old. In 1968, when she was enrolled at Miami–Dade Community College, she chose to study medicine. Unfortunately, according to IMDb, she met with a grave accident that shattered her dreams of becoming a medical practitioner. Eventually, she moved to New York to focus on acting.
But after a while, she lost interest in acting and started studying law. Between 1975 and 1977, when she was working as a talent agent, she received scripts for the show Dallas, and went for it.
”I had left acting to be an agent and was on my way to law school, but when a friend dropped off a Dallas script, I read it. When I finished, I knew my life had changed – that part was mine. So I called the [casting] person and said, ‘I’m sending someone in.’ She said, ‘Who?’ I said, ‘Just put down my name. It will be a surprise.’ And it certainly was a surprise – I showed up with me! I sent myself in for it!” Victoria said, per TV Guide.
Eventually, she landed the role of Pamela Barnes Ewing and the rest is history. And apparently, she always knew the show was going to be a hit!
“When I went in for the part on Dallas, I had already fallen in love with the show and with the part, so my feeling from the moment I read it was that it was incredibly special and that I really, really wanted to be a part of it. I could not imagine not being Pam,” she said per PEOPLE.
"The first five years on were so unbelievably wonderful — then some key writers departed, and by year seven there was a decline in the writing, which was an enormous part of my decision to leave." After spending nine years on the show, she left in 1987 when her character, pregnant Pam, died in a car accident. "They wanted a longer contract, and I said no. I was completely transparent. I learned a lot from playing Pam. She was someone with such innate goodness and who was courageous in fighting for what she believed in. It was really a privilege to play her,” she told Entertainment Weekly.
After leaving the show, she produced and starred in a few shows like Naked Lie, Blind Witness, and Sparks: The Price of Passion. She also authored two books, The Body Principal and The Beauty Principal, while working on Dallas, and after her exit, she wrote a third, The Diet Principal.
In 1991, she launched the skincare company, Principal Secret. “By the time I turned 50 I felt that I wanted to make a change in my life,” Principal said. “My interest had shifted in such a way that to not pursue my passion, which more and more really was my skincare company and creating products that could help many people.”
However, in 2019, after nearly three decades, she announced she was stepping away from the company.
Victoria has been spending a lot of time on her ranch outside of Los Angeles, where she rehabilitates animals.
"I rescue and rehabilitate animals that have been neglected and abused. They need medical care, patience, and love to recover physically, emotionally, and in spirit. This is not a charitable organization but rather something I have dreamed of and they all live out the rest of their lives with me. It’s something that fills me with joy every day," said Principal to TV Insider.
A fascinating life journey, indeed.
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photos By (L) Hulton Archive (R) Vince Bucci