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.
Mary Martin, his famous mother, became 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 stayed in the show for nearly a year.
Hagman’s first big break was in soap operas, including Search for Tomorrow, and The Edge of Night. He spent most of his career in television, but occasionally dabbled in cinema. Larry had notable roles in in Fail Safe, Ensign Pulver, In Harm’s Way, Mother Jugs and Speed, Harry and Tonto, Superman, JFK, and Nixon.
NBC wanted a supernatural show to compete against My Favorite Martian and Bewitched. They developed the popular sitcom I Dream of Jeannie, and it ran from 1965 to 1970. Hagman played the straight man to Barbara Eden, Bill Daly, and Hayden Rorke with great appeal.
LARRY HAGMAN BARBARA EDEN
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 remains one of the longest lasting full-hour primetime dramas, behind Bonanza, Gunsmoke, and Law & Order. Whenever a reunion program was produced, Larry was the first to sign on, including a TNT production that aired this past summer. Dallas the Rewind is scheduled to return in January.
ORIGINAL CAST OF DALLAS
He was the chairman of the American Cancer Society’s annual Great American Smokeout for many years, and worked on behalf of the National Kidney Foundation. For his role as J.R. Ewing, Hagman was nominated for two Emmys in 1980 and 1981, but didn’t win. He also received four Golden Globe Awards nods, between 1981 and 1985.
Larry Hagman was 81. His close friends Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray were reportedly by his bedside when he died peacefully.
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