- NAME: Larry Hagman
- OCCUPATION: Theater Actor, Television Actor, Television Producer
- BIRTH DATE: September 21, 1931
- DEATH DATE: November 23, 2012
- EDUCATION: Bard College, Weatherford High School
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Fort Worth, Texas
- PLACE OF DEATH: Dallas, Texas
- Full Name: Larry Martin Hagman
- AKA: Larry Hagman
Best Known For
Larry Hagman starred opposite Barbara Eden on the sitcom I Dream of Jeannie and played J.R. Ewing on the primetime drama Dallas.
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Hagman and Eden proved to be a popular pairing with lots of on-screeen chemistry. In his 2001 memoir Hello Darlin', Tall (and Absolutely True) Tales About My Life, Hagman wrote about the success of the show: "It was good wholesome, escapist fun, with a healthy dose of sexual tension."
The sitcom, which was on the air for five years, also gave Hagman a chance to show off his comedic talents and work behind the camera, directing several episodes.
After finding sitcom stardom, Hagman found success by taking on darker material, including his most famous role: Playing J.R. Ewing, the villainous oil tycoon, on the hugely popular night-time soap opera Dallas. The show, which debuted in the spring of 1978, followed the lives of the Ewings, a wealthy Texas family. As J.R. Ewing, Hagman clashed with his brothers Bobby, played by Patrick Duffy, and Gary, played by Ted Shackelford, over the family's business. Linda Gray played his alcoholic wife, Sue Ellen.
J.R. Ewing was the kind of character that audiences loved to hate. At the end of the 1979-1980 season, viewers had to puzzle over one of the most riveting cliffhangers of television history??: "Who shot J.R.?" As one of the most popular characters on TV, J.R. survived his injuries and Hagman remained on the show until its end in 1991.
Fans were delighted when Hagman reprised his role on the 2012 television reboot of Dallas; he returned with fellow original cast members Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray, along with a new ensemble of actors.
Hagman experienced a health crisis in 1992, when he was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver. Years of drinking had taken its toll on his health, and after a malignant tumor was found on his liver, in August 1995, he underwent a 16-hour liver transplant.
After struggling with his health, Hagman returned to acting. He played another corrupt Texas oilman in Oliver Stone's 1995 movie Nixon, appeared in several Dallas television movies and guest-starred on TV series, including the plastic surgery drama Nip/Tuck in 2006.
In 2011, Hagman revelead that he had been diagnosed with cancer, and spoke candidly about his wife's battle with Alzheimer's disease.
Despite his personal struggles, Hagman remained positive and continued to portray his most famous character, J.R. Ewing, on Dallas. Sadly, Hagman died in Dallas on November 23, 2012, at the age of 81, from complications of cancer. He is survived by and his wife Maj and his two children, Kristina Mary and Preston Hagman, along with five granddaughters. After his death, his I Dream of Jeannie co-star Barbara Eden said of Hagman: "I can honestly say that we've lost not just a great actor, not just a television icon, but an element of pure Americana."
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