Barbara Stanwyck) daughter, Audra Barkley, in the 1960s Western TV series, The Big Valley (1965–1969). Her most prominent role was that of long-suffering heroine Krystle Carrington, the wife of Blake Carrington (played by John Forsythe), in the 1980s ABC prime time television soap opera Dynasty, a role she played from 1981 to 1989.
Personal lifeShe was born Linda Evenstad in Hartford, Connecticut, the second of three daughters to a couple who were professional dancers. "Evenstad" was the name of the small farm in Nes, Hedmark in Norway from where her paternal great-grandmother emigrated to the US in 1884 with her young son (Evans' grandfather) and a couple of relatives.
When Linda was six months old, the family moved from Hartford to North Hollywood. To bring her out of her shyness her parents insisted that she take drama at school. When she started her professional career, she changed her last name to "Evans".
Evans has been married twice, first to actor and film producer John Derek from 1968 to 1974. Derek left Evans for Bo Derek who was 30 years his junior. Evans' second marriage was to Stan Herman, a property executive, from 1976 to 1981. In 1989 Linda dated new age musician Yanni in a relationship that lasted until 1998.
After being diagnosed with idiopathic edema, Evans began investigating alternative healing, delving into Eastern philosophy and naturopathy. In 1985 she became involved with controversial metaphysical teacher J. Z. Knight and her Ramtha's School of Enlightenment, and eventually moved to Rainier, Washington to be closer to Knight and her school.
CareerEvans' first guest-starring role was on an episode of Bachelor Father, which starred her future series' lead, John Forsythe. She would co-star with him on Dynasty, as the wife of an oil multimillionaire more than two decades later. Before then, she co-starred opposite longtime actress Barbara Stanwyck on The Big Valley. During her third and fourth and final seasons on air, her screen time had been reduced, due to her new marriage with Derek, but was on the show for the entire run.
On December 31, 1967, Derek recruited his wife to operate one of his cameras after he had been commissioned by daredevil Evel Knievel to film his motorcycle jump of the fountains at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. It was Evans who captured the iconic images of Knievel's devastating crash as the jump failed.
During the 1980s Linda Evans and her Dynasty co-star, Joan Collins, became the two most celebrated female television stars of the decade, displaying an on-screen adversarial chemistry. For her role as Krystle, Evans was nominated five times for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a TV Drama series (every year from 1982 to 1986), winning in 1982 in a tie with Barbara Bel Geddes of rival soap Dallas. Evans won five People's Choice Awards as Favorite Actress in a Drama Series in 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, and 1986, and was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead actress in a Drama Series in 1983.
Due to her character's name on Dynasty, she starred in an ad campaign for Crystal Light beverages, starting in 1984.
Regularly listed as one of the most beautiful women in America, she appeared in Playboy magazine at the behest of her then-husband John Derek in 1971; those photos were published a second time in 1982 when she was turning 40.
For her contribution to the television industry, Linda Evans has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6834 Hollywood Blvd.
After she left Dynasty Evans semi-retired from acting and only made occasional television appearances. Instead, she devoted her time to fitness issues. She set up a small chain of fitness centers, and in the 1990s, Evans hosted infomercials for Rejuvenique, a mask for toning facial muscles. She also published the "Linda Evans Beauty and Exercise" book in 1983.
In 2005 actress Melora Hardin portrayed Evans in Dynasty: The Making of a Guilty Pleasure, a fictionalized television movie based on the creation and behind the scenes production of Dynasty.
In 2006 Evans reunited with her Dynasty castmates for the non-fiction reunion special Dynasty: Catfights and Caviar. She then starred in the stage play Legends opposite her former Dynasty rival Collins.
In 2009 Evans appeared in and won the British TV programme Hell's Kitchen, working under Michelin-starred chef Marco Pierre White.
- Twilight of Honor (1963)
- Those Calloways (1965)
- Beach Blanket Bingo (1965)
- Childish Things (1969)
- The Klansman (1974)
- Mitchell (1975)
- Avalanche Express (1979)
- Tom Horn (1980)
- The Last Frontier (1986)
- Trekkies (1997, documentary)
- Bachelor Father in episode "A Crush on Bentley" with future Dynasty co-star John Forsythe (1960)
- The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet (5 episodes, 1960–1962)
- The Eleventh Hour as Joan Clayton in episode entitled "Where Ignornant Armies Clash" (1963)
- The Big Valley (1965–1969) as Audra
- Female Artillery (1973)
- Nakia (1974)
- The Rockford Files (first season) as Claire Prescott in episode "Claire" (1975)
- The Rockford Files (second season) as Audrey Wyatt in episode "The Farnsworth Strategem" (1975)
- The Big Rip-Off (1975)
- Hunter (1976, pilot for series)
- Hunter (1977, canceled after 8 episodes)
- Nowhere to Run (1978)
- Standing Tall (1978)
- Dynasty (1981–1989)
- Bare Essence (1982)
- Kenny Rogers as The Gambler: The Adventure Continues (1983)
- North and South, Book II (1986, miniseries)
- The Last Frontier (1986)
- She'll Take Romance (1990)
- Dynasty: The Reunion (1991)
- The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw (1991)
- Dazzle (1995)
- The Stepsister (1997)
- Hell's Kitchen (2009) (UK)