Fall River’s Connection to the Smash Hit Television Series ‘Yellowstone’
Yellowstone has become a television and streaming phenomenon, bringing viewers into the soap opera lives of the Dutton family, and through its spinoffs taking them through the history of the family and its Yellowstone ranch.
As the Paramount Network show is set to begin airing on CBS this coming Sunday, September 17, we ask the question: even though Yellowstone takes place in Montana, did you know it actually has a connection to Fall River, Massachusetts?
Yellowstone most recently aired the first half of Season 5 on Paramount; the show is expected to wrap up after the second half of the season airs, due to star Kevin Costner wanting out to work on other projects. There’s no airdate planned due to the ongoing writers’ and actors’ strike.
In fact, it’s because of that strike that CBS is looking to fill some of its primetime hours this fall by running cable’s No. 1 program on its broadcast network, from the beginning. If you’ve never seen Yellowstone and don’t have Paramount Network or Peacock, you’ll be able to watch a likely edited version of the show Sundays at 9 p.m.
So what’s the connection to Fall River?
Wendy Moniz, who plays Congresswoman-turned-Governor-turned-U.S. Senator Lynelle Perry on Yellowstone, is a graduate of BMC Durfee High School.
According to online bios, Moniz was born in Kansas City, Missouri in 1969. It’s uncertain when she moved to Fall River, but she did graduate from Durfee in 1987 and earned a spot in the Durfee Athletic Hall of Fame.
According to the Hall of Fame website, she set 12 school or class records in track and field, including most points in a season, specializing in sprints and jumps. She was also eighth in the state in the 400 meters in 1986. She also played field hockey and was a cheerleader, including being named a Team All-American cheerleader in 1987.
While at Durfee, Moniz was also part of the school’s theatrical productions.
From there, she went on to Siena College in New York, earning a bachelor’s degree in English and theater in 1991.
In 1995, she made her television debut on the CBS daytime soap opera Guiding Light, where she spent four years as a series regular. She also met her second husband, actor Frank Grillo, on the show. The two were married from 2000 until 2020 and Moniz went by Wendy Moniz-Grillo during that time.
Moniz later landed roles in the TV film adaptation of Tuesday with Morrie, and regular roles on series such as Nash Bridges, The Guardian, Damages, Blue Bloods, House of Cards and more.
Moniz began playing Lynelle Perry on the first season of Yellowstone in 2018, and has also had a recurring role on Law and Order: Organized Crime in recent years.
And here you probably thought Emeril Lagasse was the only television star to come from Fall River!