Larry Hagman, who returned for the revival of “Dallas” on TNT as the devious Texas oilman J.R.Ewing, died 11/23 at 81 in Dallas of complications from throat cancer.
The son of Mary Martin, the musical-theater star indelibly linked to the role of Peter Pan, Hagman made his first mark as Major Anthony Nelson, the astronaut who meets and marries a 2,000-year- old genie-in-a-bottle on “I Dream of Jeannie.” That aired on NBC from 1965 to 1970.
The long-running CBS series “Dallas” was Hagman’s biggest role. TNT brought back the series in 2012 with many of the original characters. While filming the new series, Hagman said, “Of course it’s fun to play the villain.”
In a statement to the Dallas Morning News, Hagman’s family said “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.”
Linda Gray, who plays Sue Ellen Ewing on Dallas, called Hagman her “best friend for 35 years” and was at his bedside when he died, her agent told the BBC. In a statement, she said: “He was the Pied Piper of life and brought joy to everyone he knew. He was creative, generous, funny, loving and talented and I will miss him enormously. He was an original and lived life to the fullest.”
Hagman underwent a life-saving liver transplant in 1995 after excessive drinking brought on cirrhosis. Although Hagman was a member of a 12-step program, he publicly advocated marijuana as a better alternative to alcohol. Hagman was born in Weatherford, Texas, near Fort Worth in 1931.