'Dallas' villain Larry Hagman dies of cancer
Nobody had to shoot J.R. this time around; it was cancer that took the life of actor Larry Hagman on Friday at age 81. Long since inseparable from his J.R. Ewing character on Dallas, Hagman's obituaries around the world no double took note of his role in '80s pop culture lore.
"It is with sad news that we announce Larry passed away this afternoon, Friday, Nov. 23, 2012," Hagman's official website said. His family has released this statement: "Larry was back in his beloved Dallas re-enacting the iconic role he loved most. 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."
For those of you unfortunate enough to miss the '80s, the weekly viewings of Dallas were mandatory. Hagman, previously known best as Lt. Anthony Nelson on TV's I Dream of Jeannie from 1965 to 1970, found his biggest fame beginning in 1978 as the deliciously evil Texas oil tycoon. When his character was nearly murdered in 1980, it spawned the pop culture milestone question: "Who shot J.R.?" (Turned out it was Kristen Shepherd, the sister of J.R.'s wife, as nearly 350 million viewers later found out.
Hagman reprised the role when Dallas was re-imagined by TNT for a new series in 2012. He had already filmed his appearances for the show's second season, which begins in January.