I was really surprised to hear this news tonight and was hoping it was one of the hoaxes that gets around when I first saw it online, but DallasNews.com had an earlier version of the story up before they put the one linked below.
I remember my grandparents, mainly my grandmother, always watched it on Friday nights when I was a kid. I was more interested in Dukes of Hazzard in the CBS lineup that night of the week at the time.
It was said that he drank four bottles of champagne a day on the set of the original Dallas series.
I watched it later in reruns and liked it, and I really got into the new series last year on TNT. Hagman really took over that series just like he did the original. It’s good to see that his friendship with Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray had continued to long to the point that they were at his bedside when he passed.
Besides his first major role that everyone remembers, as Maj. Tony Nelson on I Dream of Jeannie, I really liked him as Gov. Fred Picker in the movie adaptation of Primary Colors.
Don’t forget – Hagman’s mother was actress Mary Martin. She also died of cancer (colorectal for her -her son had throat cancer.) His wife has Alzheimer’s.
Here’s a clip reel of Hagman’s performances.
Some of the best of J.R. Ewing:
Larry Hagman, the North Texas native who played the conniving and mischievous J.R. Ewing on the TV show Dallas, died Friday at a Dallas hospital. He was 81.
Mr. Hagman died at 4:20 p.m. Friday at Medical City Dallas Hospital from complications of his recent battle with cancer, members of his family said.
“Larry was back in his beloved Dallas, re-enacting the iconic role he loved most,” the family said in a statement. “Larry’s family and close friends had joined him in Dallas for the Thanksgiving holiday. When he passed, he was surrounded by loved ones. It was a peaceful passing, just as he had wished for. The family requests privacy at this time.”
The iconic role of J.R. Ewing metamorphosed Mr. Hagman’s life. He rocketed from being a merely well-known TV actor on I Dream of Jeannie and the son of Broadway legend Mary Martin, to the kind of transnational fame known only by the likes of the Beatles and Muhammad Ali.
Mr. Hagman made his home in California with his wife of nearly 60 years, the former Maj Axelsson. Despite obvious physical frailty, he gamely returned to Dallas to film season one of TNT’s Dallas reboot and part of season two.
Linda Gray’s agent, Jeffrey Lane, said the actress was at Mr. Hagman’s bedside when he died, according to The Sun in London. He said another co-star, Patrick Duffy, was also present. “They had been friends for 35 years and they had worked together for many years, so obviously it is devastating,” Mr. Lane told The Sun.
Here’s an interview Hagman did a few years ago about politicians and LSD: