Victoria Principal - sweet, homely Pam Ewing of "Dallas" - loves making big deals. She has an acre of land in Beverly Hills and the latest Mercedes sports car to prove she knows how to make them.
"My career is a tug of war between my love for business and my love for acting," she said. "I am a full-time businesswoman and a full-time actress, and I love making a deal."Victoria Principal Productions - "a very modest name," she says with a laugh - has become one of the most successful small production companies in the U.S. television industry.
She has produced and starred in a half dozen major television productions, including "Naked Lie," "Blind Witness," "Sparks" and "Just Life," and is completing another of her productions, "Nightmare."
"I find producing the projects in which I appear is double the duty and also double the pleasure," the slim, mini-skirted, 41-year-old actress said in an interview.
Her company, at a time when the industry is turning to smaller budget films, has recently taken on more staff, including big names in the industry.
"Money has never been my main goal," she said. "When there is a project I like, I must be a part of it. I want to act in it. I want to produce it.
"And then there is the joy of pitching it to the television networks. I think to myself: Here is this great idea and they are going to love it," she says with a gurgling laugh.
Principal says she never lets business get in the way of her marriage to Dr. Harry Glassman, a plastic surgeon. "From the beginning we agreed we would never go longer than three weeks without seeing each other," she said.
"When I am on location, he flies out every other weekend," she said. The four dogs stay home.
Principal began her film career with a bang, as the mistress of Paul Newman in "The Life and Times of Judge Roy Beam" in 1971. The role changed her life.
"I was catapulted from anonymity to being known all over the United States in three months, and this is shocking to a young person," she said.
"I had no family or friends in Los Angeles and so there was no one I could turn to to reconcile my confusion about this."
Subsequent film roles were less memorable and Principal, the daughter of a sergeant major, gave up acting. She could always fall back on her old job - teaching backgammon professionally.
She became an actors' agent and went to law school in the hope she could become a studio executive. Then came "Dallas" in 1978.
Principal, who has also used her business instincts to make a string of successful investments, was said to have negotiated a deal for $25,000 an episode. By the fifth season, she had more than doubled her salary.
"I finally left `Dallas' because I wanted to grow as an actress and because I wanted to get my production company running," she said.
"I devoted myself to my company for the next two years, working full time in the office, taking meetings and learning how to buy and develop projects.
"I have a good track record because, of all the projects I developed, only one has not been made," she said.
She also wrote a book on keeping fit "The Body Principal," followed by "The Diet Principal" and "The Beauty Principal."
For "Blind Witness," Principal said she attended a Blind Institute and had lens fitted that made her legally blind.
"I wore them from when I got up until just before I went to bed so I could understand what it was like to live in the dark," she said.