Today , we at Chitownstarconnections are deeply saddened. Yesterday, a television icon passed into immortality. While Larry Hagman was still enjoying life playing the role that made him a legend, he passed away in Dallas ,Texas on Friday. The cause of death was from throat cancer and he was surrounded by his dearest friends in the world when he passed away.
Show business was in Larry’s blood from the start. He was the son of another entertainment legend, Mary Martin. Larry took to the stage early on his life appearing in productions with his legendary mother. Larry also once said that his role as JR was inspired by the men his father did business with in Texas. Larry truly was a son of the Lone Star state , since he was born in Weatherford , Texas. While Larry was in the Air Force, he met his soulmate, Maj. Sadly a few years ago, Maj had to be hospitalized and eventually put in a home for her Alzheimer’s .
After many minor roles, Larry got the first break of his career by being cast in the sixties sitcom “I Dream of Jeannie” As Major Nelson, Larry played straight man to star Barbara Eden. The show lasted only four seasons, but remains popular today. In 1978, Larry was handed two scripts and chose “Dallas.” The storyline was originally supposed to focus on Pamela Barnes Ewing and her husband, Bobby. Hagman and his co star , Linda Gray , showed so much chemistry on screen that the powers that be moved them to the forefront of the show. In 1980, Larry became a major celebrity when his character , JR was shot by a mystery assailant. The world watched with baited breath when Kristin Shepard , played by Mary Crosby. (I am actually a distant relative to Mary) was revealed as the shooter. The episode airing the revealation is known to this day as the highest rated episode for a regular television series.
Dallas was a huge part of my life. I wrote articles about it in high school and looked forward to coming home on Friday nights to watch the Ewing adventures with my late mother. The show ended in 1991, but it didnt stop there. There were television movies, reunion specials, and most recently the revival on TNT. Chitownstarconnections would like to send their condolences to the family and friends of Larry. He will truly be missed.
Here is Larry with his momma, Mary Martin.
Here is a lovely family portrait of the Hagman clan. Larry is survived by his two children, Preston and Heidi, his wife, Maj, and his grandchildren.
Here is Larry as the lovable Major Nelson on “I Dream of Jeannie.” Larry also learned about directing when he was on the show.
Here is Larry in the role that made him an icon. As JR Ewing, he would portrary one of the evillest characters on television. Larry is surrounded by the members of the fictional Ewing family circa 1980.
This is the last project that Larry worked on. He was reprising the role of JR for the new Dallas on TNT.
Loyal to the end, his costars and best friends, Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray were at his bedside when he passed away Friday afternoon.
Rest in peace Larry. There will never be another like you and you will never be forgotten. Long live the legend of John Ross Ewing Jr.