While most of us recognize him from his iconic role on Dallas, Larry Hagman was also known to television audiences as Major Anthony Nelson in I Dream of Jeannie, that premiered in 1965. Interestingly the actor was no stranger to the Air Force upon winning the role- in 1952 he was drafted by the U.S. Air Force during the Korean war and entertained troops until his discharge in 1956. I Dream of Jeannie became a hit due to his chemistry with Barbara Eden. I remember watching it after school growing up, thanks to syndication and a whole new generation was recently introduced to the show when TV Land began reruns in 2002. During his career, he appeared in numerous television and movies, including Superman, JFK and Primary Colors. He also took on Broadway and appeared in Comes A Day, God and Kate Murphy, The Nervous Set, The Warm Peninsula and The Beauty Part.
His career really skyrocketed when he agreed to take the role of devious, conniving business man, J. R. Ewing in 1977. To this day Dallas remains one of the longest lasting prime-time dramas in American television history. Who can forget the phrase, "Who shot JR?" In 1980 the episode called "Who Done It" garnered 53.3 rating and is the second highest-rated prime-time telecast ever! I was in 6th-7th grade when the 'Who Shot JR' storyline began, then came to its' conclusion and I remember even though I wasn't allowed to watch it, my friends and I talked about it. They would fill me in each week. It was my first taste of prime-time serial drama. Luckily Turner Network Television (TNT) took a gamble and returned the popular serial to our screens...they haven't disappointed! This summer Larry Hagman returned to the role that made him a household name, battling his brother Bobby for South Fork Ranch- business never looked so fun! Fans completely embraced the series again and loved seeing JR back to his old tricks, proving once again to be just as backstabbing, cunning and ruthless as ever!
This afternoon fans took to twitter to express their shock and sadness after hearing the news. PartyWill tweeted, "
Fans have been waiting to see Dallas return for Season 2 in January and now, it'll be bittersweet to see the legendary actor's last days in his infamous role. All of us on RHeart send our love and condolences to Larry's family, friends and colleagues. He will forever be remembered as J.R. Ewing, the character we loved to hate...rest in peace J.R., you will be missed!
♥Join us on November 28th at 10pm (ET) as we pay tribute to the legendary Larry Hagman.