The actor lost his battle to cancer at the age of 81 at Medical City in his part-time home of Dallas, where he’d been filming the second season of TNT’s revival of the famous prime-time soap opera.The 81-year-old actor was surrounded by friends and family before he passed peacefully, “just as he’d wished for,” the statement said. Ewing basically laid the foundation for the evolution of the TV anti-hero evident in In the days ahead, there will be lots more memories, as well as speculation on how J. Ewing will inevitably meet his maker on the revived show.He does not want for food, shelter, disposable income, rewarding work, or the love of family and friends.
As Alan Peppard of the wrote, Hagman lived part of the year in a penthouse at the Mansion on Turtle Creek, and “became part of the fabric of the city.”Then as now, his acting chops and semi-comic villainy (and, this time around, his unruly eyebrows) were the best thing about Dallas. But what stood out over the weekend is just what a unique talent and unconventional character Larry Hagman was–hilarious, creative and one heck of an interview.
As Harry Hurt III wrote in his June 2012 days, he was known for taking LSD, leading impromptu parades on the beach in Malibu, and not speaking on Sundays, just because. According to Hagman, that desire for consumer goods was part of the reason for the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989 and crumbling of Soviet rule. And a career-spanning clip reel, from , that was assembled for Hagman’s 2009 induction into the Austin Film Society’s Texas Film Hall of Fame. Whatever makes you you, you find out is just this little speck in the cosmos, but you’re a part of the cosmos at the same time.
In many ways, it was a highly skilled pantomime act; always less than believable, never less than rivetingly watchable. Dallas began in the 1970s and ended in the 1990s, but it was defined by — and indeed helped to define — the 1980s.
JR was almost as emblematic of the decade of Reaganomics as Ronald Reagan himself, coincidentally an old friend of Hagman’s mother, the actress Mary Martin.
In other words, practically everyone in the show was a suspect.
He had swindled all the other major Texan oilmen by selling them his wells in south-east Asia, just before the wells were nationalised.
Moreover, the character became not just figuratively but also literally synonymous with event television, the phenomenon now diminished by the proliferation of channels, but which back then meant tens of millions of people watching the same programme at the same time.
In 1980, the question of who shot JR in the concluding episode of the second series of Dallas assumed global significance.
His political opponents also capitalised on the mystery, distributing campaign badges that bluntly stated: “A Democrat Shot JR”.
The extent of the mystery owed everything to JR’s amorality.
Hurt’s profile now stands as a comprehensive obit for the great actor and great Texan, from his beginnings as the child of musical superstar Mary Martin to his lifelong marriage to Maj Hagman and his TV marriage to (and close off-screen friendship with) Linda Gray. But I did want to be spread over a field and have marijuana and wheat planted and harvest it in a couple of years and then have a big marijuana cake, enough for 200 to 300 people. • A pair of don’t-miss You Tubes: Three minutes of wall-to-wall, classic J. • On the occasion of that Hall of Fame event, Hagman told Chris Garcia of the Austin American-Statesman that taking LSD was “possibly the most important thing I’ve ever done in my life.” Garcia: Oh, my God. • One of Hagman’s more unlikely friendships was with the late Keith Moon, wildman drummer for The Who.