TX—Larry Hagman, star of hit T.V. series “ Dallas”, died Friday afternoon at
the age of 81, from complications of liver cancer at a hospital in Dallas.
Hagman has received world fame for his role as J.R. Ewing, a corrupt oilman in the 1978 show “Dallas” that ran for 14 years and with plans of reinventing itself on TNT this year. In 1980, the show became a major hit when viewers had to guess who shot Hagman’s character J.R., where it was later revealed in the episode named “Who Done It” that it was the sister of J.R’s wife in the show. To this day, it remains one of the most watched episodes in television history.
Hagman was born to Broadway actress Mary Martin and to Ben Hagman, a lawyer and grew up in Fort Worth, Texas during the midst of the Great Depression. He was a stage actor for many years, and gained stardom from a leading role in the film “I Dream of Jeanie.” In 1995, Hagman was diagnosed with liver cancer after years of heavy drinking and battling with alcoholism.
The actor’s death has ignited a mournful outcry across social media, where a number of stars have expressed their feelings about the loss of an icon. Simon Cowell tweeted, “Very sad to hear about Larry Hagman. He was the best TV baddie and from people who met him all said he was a great guy. He will be missed.” Katie Couric also noted on his passing, and uploaded a photo to Instagram of the two of them together.
Hagman’s family stated on his website, “Larry was back in his beloved Dallas re-enacting the iconic role he loved most. 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." On Saturday morning, The Today Show commemorated Hagman’s story on NBC.
During an interview for Showbiz 411 just months before his passing, Hagman and his co-star Linda Gray were asked if they were nervous about starting the show back up on TNT. They responded by saying that they were not nervous, just very excited. Hagman jokingly responded by saying, “I’m 80 years-old and it’s a job (laughs). It’s more than a job. It really is. We were on for 13 years and we influenced a lot of people and children’s’ idea of what it is like to grow up and we’ve ruined a whole generation. So we hope to ruin a couple of more generations.”
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