Larry Hagman, passes at 81

By Michael Vass | November 24, 2012

While many of the younger generation may not be familiar with Larry Hagman, more than half of America is. Larry Hagman was a familar fixture in television, and likely best known for his work on Dallas as the incredibly watchable J.R. Ewin.

But the actor was more than just an evening soap opera fixture. Hagman was a former Broadway actor of much acclaim. But his big break came after his performance in Fail-Safe, a movie proiduction of a book of the same name. This lead to his starring role in the television show I Dream of Jeanie. For most televison stars a 5 year career in a hit televison show – that garnered more viewers than many of the top 10 of network television shows today – would be a career high. But Hagman had more to do.

Dallas, starting in 1977, was a pinnacle of television acting that few actors can ever hope to attain. The cliff-hanger of who shot J.R. drew more media attention than the combined viewership of many modern successes in a full season. Even now Dallas can be seen in some 90 countries. Hagman appeared in all 357 episodes, 2 television movies, and the 2012 revisioning of the Dallas series – all as the loved and hated J.R. Ewin character.

But there was also another side to Larry Hagman. The man that spent 1 day a week where he would not say a word. In fact he would use whistles to indicate his thoughts and needs. He was a notorious drinker, who received a liver transplant and reformed his ways. He was a heavy smoker, who became an anti-smoking advocate.

Larry Hagman was many things, but an enetertainer was foremost among his attributes. His ability and his unique style will be missed.

We present this small glimpse of Larry Hagman, in a serious role, in Fail-Safe. Perhaps it will help identify the loss that has occured. We wish our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Hagman.

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