A member of a stage and screen dynasty has died. Larry Hagman, the son of Mary Martin, has passed away. Best known for playing J.R. Ewing on Dallas, and Major Tony Nelson on I Dream of Jeannie, the versatile actor performed in front of (and behind) the small screen. LARRY HAGMAN —->
<– Mary Martin, his famous mother, was a contract player with Paramount in 1938. She moved to Broadway and appeared in Annie Get Your Gun, Peter Pan, and The Sound of Music (among others). In 1951, Hagman appeared in the London production of South Pacific with his mom, and remained in the show for nearly a year.
His subsequent big break came in the soap operas, Search for Tomorrow and The Edge of Night. He spent most of his career on television, but occasionally dabbled in cinema. Larry had notable roles in Fail Safe, Ensign Pulver, In Harm’s Way, Superman, Harry and Tonto, Mother Jugs and Speed, JFK, and Nixon.
LARRY HAGMAN BARBARA EDEN
NBC wanted a fantasy comedy to compete against My Favorite Martian and Bewitched. They developed the popular sitcom I Dream of Jeannie, running from 1965 – 1970. Hagman played the straight man to Barbara Eden, Bill Daly, and Hayden Rorke with great appeal.
ORIGINAL CAST OF DALLAS
Dallas was on the air for 14 years. Displaying his versatility, Hagman became a villainous icon on television. Larry was the only actor to appear in all 357 episodes. A top rated program in the history of small screen was the Who Shot J.R. episode. Dallas is one of the longest lasting full-hour primetime dramas, behind Bonanza, Gunsmoke, and Law & Order. When a reunion program was produced, Larry was the first to sign on, including a TNT production that aired this past summer. This was in tribute to Barbara Bel Geddes, who was the initial member approached and cast in the original series. Dallas the Rewind will return in January.
For his role as J.R. Ewing, Hagman was nominated for two Emmys in 1980 and 1981, but he didn’t win. He also received four Golden Globe Awards nods, between 1981 and 1985. He was the chairman of the American Cancer Society’s annual Great American Smokeout for many years, and also worked on behalf of the National Kidney Foundation.
His close friends, Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray, were reportedly at his bedside when he died, peacefully. Fans and locals flocked to Southfork, a tourist ranch home north of Dallas, bringing flowers to honor the actor’s memory.
Larry Hagman was 81.
Until next time> “never forget”