Cathy Podewell had roles before and after the soap opera, but she's still most associated with the character of Cally Harper, a young waitress who ends up marrying J.R. Ewing (Larry Hagman) on Dallas. She was in the main cast of the popular series from 1988 to 1991, as Cally endured some wild storylines, including lying about being pregnant after a one-night stand with J.R.
While Podewell will always be Cally to soap opera watchers, she's also popular with horror fans, thanks to her role in 1988's Night of the Demons. The movie, about a group of high school students who embark on a seance with disastrous effects, became something of a cult classic. After those roles, Podewell racked up a few more parts over the years, but she mostly disappeared from Hollywood until very recently. Here's what she's been up to.
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She's a wife and mother.
In 1989, Podewell married Steven Glueck, a sales representative for a clothing line, according to the Chicago Tribune. The couple are together to this day and have three children together: two sons and a daughter. They keep their personal lives private, and Podewell stepped back from working as often as she had been as they grew their family.
Though not an actor, Glueck made a cameo in a Season 14 episode of Dallas, playing Cally's new husband after her split from J.R.
She took a long hiatus from acting.
While Podewell took on other jobs during her Dallas run (including guest spots on Growing Pains and Murder, She Wrote and a few film roles), she slowed down afterwards. Other than a 1993 episode of Beverly Hills, 90210 and a 1995 episode of Walker, Texas Ranger, she was not working in the industry.
She explained to Cryptic Rock in 2020 that this was because she wanted to devote more time to her family. "I am very grateful for around five years of work, I worked pretty straight and solid," she said. "Then I had a baby. I got married in 1989, and my son was born in 1992. I think the last few things I did were in 1991, I was actually two months pregnant with my son. I keep saying I've been on hiatus ever since. My youngest son is 16, so I am really trying to wrap my head around the notion of getting back into it. I'm not scared of it, but it's starting over for sure. I figure, I did it once, maybe I can do it again—I will be playing grandma roles now."
Podewell added, "Being a mom has sort of been my passion and I haven't regretted all these years of mommydom." The soap star also said that, while she doesn't regret the years that she took off, during which she only did a couple of short films, she didn't want much more time to go by before she worked again.
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She returned to the Dallas universe.
In 2013, Podewell (pictured above with the late Ken Kercheval, who played Cliff Barnes on Dallas) reprised the character of Cally in the 2012 Dallas revival. She appears in an episode featuring a memorial for J.R., who had died of cancer—or murder, depending on your fan theory.
Her history in horror brought her back to acting in a more significant way, however. Podewell told Cryptic Rock that it was when she attended a fan convention for Dallas in 2019 and was approached by fans of her genre movies that she got the idea to get back into the game.
She has some new projects in the works.
And get back in the game, she did. In 2021, Podewell returned to the screen in a horror movie called Reunion From Hell. The actor shared a photo of herself and writer/director/producer Hayden Newman on Instagram and wrote in the caption about her comeback. "The power of YES!! I always told my kids that, given an opportunity to experience something was better than saying no and staying home, which would always be the expected experience," Podewell said. "I had, for years said that after my youngest graduated HS that I'd go back to acting. Well 2 weeks after that milestone, I received an email from Hayden asking if I'd read the script they had written! It seemed groundbreaking to me so I said yes, please! Cannot believe that we had our premiere last weekend!!"
The bug has definitely bit the Dallas star again. Her IMDB profile shows that she has five more projects in some stage of planning or production now.