Larry Hagman – TV’s J. R. Ewing – Dead at 81
Larry Hagman, the actor who played J. R. Ewing in the television series “Dallas”, passed away today. He was 81.
The LA Times reported:
Fervor for the television show “Dallas” was intense in 1980, when the Queen Mother met actor Larry Hagman and joined the worldwide chorus asking: “Who shot J.R.?”
“Not even for you, ma’am,” replied Hagman, who portrayed villainous oil baron J.R. Ewing at the center of the popular prime-time soap from 1978 until 1991.
An estimated 300 million viewers in 57 countries had seen J.R. get shot by an unseen assailant, a season-ending plot twist that is credited with popularizing the cliffhanger in television series.
Hagman, who became a television star in the 1960s starring in the sitcom “I Dream of Jeannie,” died Friday at a Dallas hospital, said a spokesman for actress Linda Gray, his longtime co-star on “Dallas.” He was 81.
A year ago, Hagman announced his second bout with cancer. He had spoken candidly about decades of drinking that led to cirrhosis of the liver and, in 1995, a life-saving liver transplant.
“He was the pied piper of life and brought joy to everyone he knew,” Gray said in a statement. “He was creative, generous, funny, loving and talented…. an original and lived life to the full.”