VetFamily: Victoria Principal, Daughter of an Air Force Veteran

Victoria Principal

The latest chapter in Victoria Principal’s storied career is space travel. Daughter of an Air Force Veteran, she has her sights on taking to the skies like her dad and becoming one of the first civilian women in space.

"Maybe my greatest fear in life is not to be challenged, is to grow weary of life, and not to be passionate about it," said Principal who offers a resume filled with diverse accomplishments. As an agent, actress, producer and businesswoman, Principal is best-known around the world for her role as Pamela Barnes Ewing (1978-1987), the stylish, reconciled wife of oilman Bobby Ewing (played by Patrick Duffy) on CBS' long-running prime-time soap opera "Dallas." The role earned Victoria a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a TV-Series – Drama.

Victoria Principal is the eldest of two daughters born in Japan to Victor Principal and Ree Veal. Her father, a U.S. Air Force sergeant, was often transferred to different duty stations, so the family moved regularly. Victoria grew up in London, Florida, Puerto Rico, Massachusetts and Georgia, among other places. Alongside her younger sister, she attended 17 different schools. While in England, Victoria spent two years studying at the Royal Academy of Ballet. At that time, she was only the second American ever accepted into the prestigious program.

Victoria's acting career began when she made a commercial at age five, and she began modeling in high school. Enrolled at Miami-Dade Community College to study chiropractic medicine, a car accident led her to abandon her medical career goal and reset a path to acting. She returned to London to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

Her career in acting spans over 30 years, and her “Body Principal” products in the 1980s set off a unique physical fitness boom for women across America. Principal has also appeared on more covers of "TV Guide" than anyone else with the exception of Lucille Ball. Professionally, she is well known nowadays for her skin care products often promoted on infomercials. While she faced major adjustments after a high-profile divorce in 2006, she finds her new life enriching:

“Well I no longer live in the city. I live basically on the edge of the world in a seaside community. It’s further out from Los Angeles and from the business so to speak. I’m living a life, which is more in unison with nature, where life is not centered around show business, where dinner conversations are infrequently about show business. I feel it’s a much more well rounded life,” she says on the official “Dallas” Web site.

One could also say getting more “in unison with nature” has been taken to a higher level. Principal recently announced she teamed up with Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, planning an outer space journey in September, 2008, and is reported to have begun training for the mission.

“I have a history of enjoying unusual experiences, thrills I suppose. Someone asked me if I thought I was taking a risk and very often I think when we don’t do things that is the greater risk. I consider this living. If you think about how many people have lost their lives going into space more people lose their lives every hour on the freeway,” she says on the “Dallas” Web site.

Over a 12-year period, Victoria served the Arthritis Foundation as Honorary Chairperson and Ambassador to Government, receiving special recognition from then President Ronald Reagan as both of her parents suffered from the disease.

Currently, she also is the co-chair of Victory Over Violence, the LA County Domestic Violence Council Community Advisory Board. The Community Advisory Board is a coalition of representatives from the entertainment industry, business, government, and community who have come together with the dual purposes of increasing public awareness of issues surrounding domestic violence and increasing shelter and victim resources.

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