Joan Van Ark is a name that many younger people and millennials may not know. Unfortunately, if they have heard of it may be because she is often considered by the media to be a perfect example of a “plastic surgery fail.” But before we get into that, let’s first unravel the other details of Van Ark’s life so that we may all understand her influence on society apart from her appearance.
The Birth of a Great Actress
Joan Van Ark was born June 16, 1943 in New York City. She ended up growing up in Boulder, Colorado. She got her foot in the acting door at 15 when she met Julie Harris, the youngest student to attend the Yale School of Drama on scholarship. Van Ark, a student reporter at the time, was recommended to attend the program by Harris. She ended up being one of very few students to participate in the graduate program without first getting her undergraduate degree. However, she only attended for a single year.
From that moment on, Van Ark had caught the acting bug. Her career officially began at the Guthrie Theater, which was founded in 1963 in Minneapolis, MN. This theater was founded as a center for theater performance, production, and education, while separating itself from the ideals surrounding Broadway at the time. Sir Tyrone Guthrie, Oliver Rea, and Peter Zeisler had a resident acting company in mind. The goal was to perform classic plays in a rotating repertoire without sacrificing professional standards. Van Ark’s first role was in the classic Moliere’s The Miser, a five-act comedy in prose. She spent a season acting in Washington, D.C. and then set off on a national tour of Barefoot in the Park. She would soon be on Broadway.
Her Television Debut
1972 was the year Van Ark stepped off the live stage and made it to the silver screen. After a failed television pilot and several guest roles on other programs, she hit the jackpot in 1978 with her role as Valene Ewing. Valene Ewing was originally a one-time appearance on Dallas, turned into several different appearances on subsequent episodes, and finally became a starring role in the spin-off Knots Landing in 1979. Knots Landing, a prime time soap opera, aired for fourteen seasons with Van Ark starring in thirteen.
As Van Ark was getting years of experience under her belt, she was also racking up some achievements. In the midst of her career she won a Theatre World Award, a prestigious American honor given to actors and actresses for outstanding New York City performances. In 1971 she also received a Tony nomination for her role in The School for Wives, another Moliere comedy. She received not one, but two Soap Opera Digest Awards for Best Actress in Knots Landing and was nominated six other times.
After her longtime soap opera run, Van Ark appeared several other times on television, some successful and some not. She did a bit of voiceover work for Archer and brought back her Knots Landing character for a brief appearance in the new Dallas series, just to name a couple of roles. Today she lies relatively low, which is understandable considering the lengthy and intense workload she carried throughout the years.
Her personal life is simple to an outside eye; Van Ark married John Marshall, a former KNBC-TV reporter, in early 1966. They are still married today. Together they had one child, a daughter named Vanessa Marshall. Vanessa, born in 1969, is a model and actress. There isn’t much more to report, which to the media is probably quite the letdown. Without marriage drama or custody battles, those in charge of celebrity news find other aspects of famous lives to discuss.
JOAN VAN ARK PLASTIC SURGERY
These days the talk of Joan Van Ark centers around her appearance. With little to no drama in her marriage and personal life available for the media to prey upon, she has especially fallen victim to harsh criticism of her apparent plastic surgery. As a woman in her 70s, it’s hard to fault her if she has had the desire to undergo surgery to hold on to some youth. It’s even more understandable considering the pressures of Hollywood, especially on mature women who have held fame in the past.
When we look at before and after photos of Van Ark, it’s hard to say that there isn’t a considerable change. Perhaps the most striking difference is her nose. These days her nose is more defined, seems a bit thinner, and also has sharper angles. It seems a bit unlikely that her nose would change in such a way with age, so it seems that there may have been a rhinoplasty involved.
Botox and fillers also seem to be at work in Van Ark’s recent photos. Her cheeks are lifted and plump, showing no typical signs of aging. There is also a lack of fine lines and wrinkles where one would expect them to be. However, the way her skin seems to be tightened and stretched around her features may indicate either too many procedures or a procedure gone wrong. Her expressions seem forced and uncomfortable, her skin tone is uneven, and her natural beauty seems to be completely hidden in favor of an idea of what youth is supposed to look like. Naturally, she has neither confirmed nor denied these rumors. When faced with questions about her plastic surgery during interviews, she simply ignored the question and changed the topic.
Van Ark’s case is an interesting one. She started her career in a world where the media wasn’t easily accessible or running rampant, and now after the peak of her fame her name is attached to plastic surgery rumors instead of her successful career. Unfortunately, she may never see the day where the rumors are put to rest. Hopefully instead she will leave behind an impressive legacy of stage actress turned silver screen star.