THEY SHARED SPOUSES AND LOVERS, hurled insults and champagne flutes and perpetrated countless acts of seduction, betrayal and murder. So of course the Jan. 30 wrap party for Knots Landing, marking the end of the last of those 14 sin-filled seasons, was positively kissy-kissy. A reflective Michelle Phillips (who plays witchy Anne Matheson) summed up the mood: “Bittersweet.”
A crowd of 350—including series alums John Pleshette, Don Murray, Constance McCashin and Donna Mills—gathered at L.A.’s Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel three days after the taping of the last episode (a cliff-hanger airs March 11, with the big two-hour finale scheduled for May) to taste grilled chicken and toast plot lines. The throng also raised their glasses to longevity: Knots is the third-longest-running hour-long dramatic serial in television history, behind only Gunsmoke and Dallas, from which Knots was spun off.
For original cast member Michele Lee (Karen Mackenzie), it was a teary evening. Said Lee: “We’ve been through marriages [she’s currently married to TV exec Fred Rappoport], divorces [hers was from actor James Farentino], babies and deaths”—including that of Larry Riley (Frank Williams), who succumbed to AIDS last June at 39. But Nicollette Sheridan, whose seven-season role as the alluring Paige Matheson brought her stardom, was less sentimental, if nevertheless enthusiastic about her Knots tenure. “It’s been a kick in the ass,” she said. “We’re outta here.”