The legendary actress, best known for her role in the award-winning television series Dallas, says she has seen God's hand on her life and that her Christian faith is the key to daily peace.
Charlene Tilton starred in over 240 episodes of the Emmy-winning series Dallas from 1978 to 1990 before transitioning to movies. Her latest project is the Pure Flix romantic comedy Heaven Sent, which she calls the "best thing I've ever done." She and co-star Karen Abercrombie portray middle-aged friends who get a second chance at romance.
Tilton told Christian Headlines that God has guided her through life's storms. She lived in foster care as a child. In 2010, her fiance Cheddy Hart died of a heart attack.
"I've… seen the hand of God in my life since I can remember, at five years old. God's hand has been on me," Tilton told Christian Headlines. "And I know His hand's on everybody, but it's just if you choose to acknowledge it, and feel it and be still and listen to that still small voice that will guide you and show you the ways to go."
Her Christian faith, she said, means "everything" to her. She noted that she starts every day with prayer and Bible reading, adding that she gets in the "presence of God" because "that's where you find the fullness of joy."
"I get up early," she said. "... In His presence is the peace that passes all understanding. And I can tend to operate in anxiousness and worry – that's me."
Tilton said her anxious thoughts likely are due to her growing up in a foster home and having a mother who was mentally ill.
"Not knowing where I was sleeping next, where I was going to be," she said, describing her childhood. "... I tend to operate on being anxious, so I have to make sure I stay in God's presence, and peace be still, you know?"
In the faith-based Heaven Sent, Tilton and Abercrombie portray former singers who are ready to date again. (Abercrombie's character meets a widowed pastor.)
"I love the fact that they didn't portray the pastor as a caricature – they made him like a real person. And there's people on the praise and worship … that are having marital problems. So I love the fact that they weren't too heavenly minded," she said. "... [T]hey are real people. Yeah, they love the Lord. And they're Christians, but they're having problems."
Heaven Sent, she said, is a movie that fans of feel-good romantic comedies may want to watch over and over again.
"This might be one of those movies that people will watch more than once. I hope so," she said. "I really think it's good."
Photo courtesy: ©PureFlix, used with permission.
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.