Veteran actress Charlene Tilton has been partially deaf since her childhood - and she hid her condition from TV bosses during her run in legendary drama series Dallas.
The diminutive blonde suffered perforated eardrums when she was a youngster but her mother was so poor she was unable to pay for treatment.
When she landed her role as Lucy Ewing in the hit sex-and-scandal TV series, Tilton developed a way of filming her scenes without betraying her secret - but she was eventually forced to confess after repeatedly missing her cue during a shoot with Larry Hagman.
Tilton tells the Daily Express, "My eardrums were perforated and it left me with hearing loss. I knew I was hard of hearing but it was just something I lived with.
"When I worked on Dallas I had to go to black-tie events for work and I would just smile and say 'Yes' to whatever anyone was saying. God only knows what I was answering Yes to. It was always frustrating that I could never hear people's names, especially names I needed to know such as network executives."
Tilton has now taken to wearing a hearing aid so she has no problems understanding her pals - and she's amazed at the difference the device has made to her life.
She adds, "It is wonderful. I hadn't realised how much I was missing."
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