Josh Henderson is a 32 year old actor and singer. Back in 2001, just a year after graduating High School, he competed on a reality show called Popstars and was selected, along with Donavan Green, Monika Christian, Laurie Gidosh, and Dorothy Szamborska, to be in a pop music vocal group called Scene 23.
After one album the group didn’t really take off and so they disbanded, and Josh turned his attention to acting. In 2005 he was cast in a TV show on F/X called OVER THERE, about a group of U.S. army soldiers stationed in Iraq, which is where I first noticed him. He played a young soldier who was injured by a land mine and had to have one of his legs amputated. I only watched a few episodes, but I remembered being impressed by him in his scenes. That show only lasted one season and his was later cast on Desperate Housewives, which I used to watched but had stopped by the time he arrived, so I never saw him on it. Henderson only came to my attention again in 2011 when he was cast as John Ross, the son of iconic TV character J.R. Ewing, in TNT’s revival of Dallas.
I’ve written before about how important the character of J.R. Ewing and actor Larry Hagman (R.I.P.) have been to my life, so the role of J.R.’s now-adult son is some very big shoes for any actor to fill, and from the very first episode Henderson filled them perfectly. While I can complain about the writing of Dallas TNT, as they often seemed unsure of whether John Ross was supposed to be just like his father or totally different, I can never complain about Henderson’s acting. He always did his best with the material he was given, and more than held his own in every scene, even when going up against veterans like Hagman, or Linda Gray (who played his mother, Sue Ellen).
Things really picked up in Season 2, when the paired up John Ross with Pamela Barnes who was played by actress Julia Gonzalo, whom I’ve written about before.
Those two had such great chemistry together, it was off the charts. The show took several turns in season 3 which I was not that happy with but, again, I’ll always praise Henderson’s acting. Throughout the season he was able to show a wide range of emotions: angry, wickedness, kindness, regret, and sadness. Dallas Decoder has a great rundown of some of Henderson’s best scenes from Season 3.
But my favorite scene is from the finale. John Ross has just found out that he’s lost everything that mattered to him (his company and his wife) and is alone in an elevator where he just breaks down and starts crying. This is the most emotional we’d ever seen John Ross. And the song playing in the background is an original song written and performed by Josh called “I See You”
I love the fact the he’d saved a voice message from J.R. and plays it to try and cheer himself up.
Well, the series was canceled at the beginning of the month, and although there’s a #SaveDallas social media campaign going on, trying to get it picked up by another network, it seems unlikely to me. It’s a shame because I do think Henderson was the perfect actor to carry on the legacy of J.R. Ewing. But I no doubt that this young man has a bright future ahead of him, and I will definitely be checking out whatever projects he gets involved in in the future.