When I hear the name “Ewing”, two names come to mind, Patrick Ewing and J. R. EwingLarry Hagman, the actor who played the memorably sinister villain, J. R. Ewing, has passed away. The primetime soap opera, Dallas, ran for a solid fourteen seasons from 1978 to 1991. Hagman, a North Texas native, he, who easily stood out as the nefarious antagonist on the hit CBS series, died Friday at a Dallas hospital. He was 81 years old at the time.

Who shot J. R.?” was a synonymous catchphrase aligned with one of the most famous television cliffhangers.  It referred to the March 21, 1980, Dallas episode, A House Divided, where mystery surrounded the season-ending murder attempt of Hagman’s character. The Dallas character he portrayed was so iconic, people forget that he also headlined the popular and campy ’60s NBC sitcom I Dream of Jeannie with Barbara Eden. He played Captain/Major Anthony “Tony” Nelson, an astronaut who discovers a bottle with a genie it, who then becomes her master, whom he eventually falls in love with and marries.

Hagman, most recently, had reprised his role as J. R. Ewing on the TNT reboot of Dallas.

The Dallas Morning News reports:

Mr. Hagman died at 4:20 p.m. Friday at Medical City Dallas Hospital from complications of his recent battle with cancer, members of his family said.

“Larry was back in his beloved Dallas, re-enacting the iconic role he loved most,” the family said in a statement. “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. The family requests privacy at this time.”

Larry Hagman has a secure place in pop culture and pop television history. Rest in Peace.



MAD Magazine #223, June 1981