Goodbye, Darlin’: Actor Larry Hagman Dies At 81

Larry Hagman

Larry Hagman, left, first met RECOiL writer/director Brian DiMaio, right, in the mid 1970’s on the set of the failed TV series “Plano” about two tackle box salesmen from Plano, TX. The pair would try again the following season with the series “Fort Worth.” DiMaio gave up on the TV business and turned to film just as Hagman found success with the series “Dallas.”

Dallas, TX (no, really)—TV’s J.R. Ewing, Larry Hagman, died at a Dallas hospital on Friday from complications from throat cancer. He was 81.

Known the world over as evil, scheming oil tycoon J.R. Ewing from two different incarnations of TV’s “Dallas,” Hagman secured his place in TV history when nearly half of the United States tuned in to see “Who Shot J.R.” as the third full season of the series got underway, solving the second season’s cliffhanger.

Hagman was the son of Broadway superstar Mary Martin, and first gained fame playing astronaut Tony Nelson opposite Barbara Eden on NBC’s “I Dream of Jeannie.” for five years.

But it was his role as J.R. on CBS’ “Dallas” that made him the highest paid actor on TV and a worldwide star. He earned two Emmy nominations for the role, but did not win. He was the only actor to appear in all 357 episodes of “Dallas.”

Besides being a fixture on television, Hagman appeared on the big screen in “Superman,” “Nixon,” “RECOiL” and “JFK.”

TNT revived “Dallas” last summer, airing ten episodes in the first season. Hagman was in the middle of filming the sixth episode of the second season when he died. Producer of the show haven’t said how they will write Hagman’s death into the show.

He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Maj, and their two children, Heidi and Preston.

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