Calhoun: Wake-Up Call

John Forsythe, aka Blake Carrington, RIP -- and ditto for Denver's glamour days

Watching Dynasty was a guilty pleasure.

The Aaron Spelling-produced prime-time soap opera, inspired by the success of Dallas and allegedly set in Denver, ran from 1981 to 1989. And while this city went from boom to very, very busted, the Carrington clan always had plenty of cash, plenty of catfights between Alexis and the oddly spelled Krystle --- and at least a couple of shots at the start of the show actually snapped in Denver. (The bank building in the opening changed names twice during the show's duration, and is no longer a bank at all.)

The stars -- Joan Collins, Linda Evans and John Forsythe, who died this past weekend at age 92 -- even came to town in the mid-'80s to attend one of the Marvin Davis family's Carousel Balls and shoot a couple of scenes.

Otherwise, though, the Carringtons were all California.

Then oil baron/mogul Davis himself moved to California, taking his connections with him, and the Carringtons eventually ran out of gas... and oil, and convoluted plot-lines, and big hair and bigger shoulder pads. And Dynasty was done.

Still, when John Forsythe passed away, it was impossible not to flash back on those days when Dynasty was the biggest thing happening in Denver -- even if it wasn't happening in Denver at all.

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun