Marlene Forte Marlene Forte

Cuban-born actress Marlene Forte, who had recurring roles on Crossing Jordan and House of Payne, has won the final series regular role on TNT's Dallas pilot. Marlene will play Carmen, the Ewing family's longtime housekeeper, whose daughter, Elena (Jordana Brewster), enjoys a friendship with Ewing cousins John Ross (Josh Henderson) and Christopher (Jesse Metcalfe). The cast is just now heading down to Dallas to begin shooting the pilot episode.

Though Carmen is described as having worked for the Ewing family for many years, Dallas loyalists may remember that the original Southfork maid was named Teresa, played by Roseanna Christiansen from 1982—91. With Elena set to mix it up with the Ewing boys, it is expected that Carmen will enjoy a much richer role than Teresa, whose main function was watering Miss Ellie's rhododendrons, serving huevos rancheros and routinely announcing to poor Sue Ellen than "Mr. Ewing will be working late tonight."

Subscribe to TV Guide Magazine now!