The actor who portrayed the notorious yet beloved character of J. R. Ewing on the classic drama and the rebooted series “Dallas” passed away Friday. Larry Hagman was 81.
The native Texan first became famous playing the nice-guy astronaut Major Nelson on “I Dream Of Jeannie” in 1965, but it was his portrayal of ruthless oil baron J.R. Ewing on “Dallas” that shot him to international fame. He recently reprised his role as J.R. on TNT’s reboot of “Dallas,” introducing the nefarious Ewing to a new generation.
Hagman had been battling throat cancer for the past 13 months. He surrounded by family, friends, and loved ones at Medical City Hospital in Dallas on Friday when he passed.
His “Dallas” cast mates took commented on his passing. Linda Gray tweeted, “So sad to lose such a wonderful dear bigger than life friend. Larry Hagman was one of a kind and will be with us all forever.”
Patrick Duffy, who was at Larry’s bedside on Friday, issued a touching statement, “Friday I lost one of the greatest friends ever to grace my life. The loneliness is only what is difficult, as Larry’s peace and comfort is always what is important to me, now as when he was here. He was a fighter in the gentlest way, against his obstacles and for his friends. I wear his friendship with honor.”
Barbara Eden, who was his co-star on “I Dream of Jeannie,” also tweeted, “Larry Hagman not just a great actor, not just a television icon, but an element of pure Americana. I’ll miss him. -Barbara”
“Dallas” is currently in production for the second season of the new series, and producers will address the passing of Larry Hagman on the show.