Larry Hagman, who played astronaut Major Anthony Nelson on I Dream of Jeannie and the evil patriarch, J. R. Ewing on the TV series Dallas, has passed away due to a long battle with cancer at the age of 81.
The son of legendary actress Mary Martin and a district attorney, Mr. Hagman was born on September 21, 1931, in Fort Worth, Texas.
Following the divorce of his parents, he went to live with his grandmother. After her passing, at the age of 12, he moved back with his remarried mother who had launched a Broadway career.
Acting caught his eye, attending Bard College in New York and soon entered the US Air Force where he produced and directed several plays. After completing his service, he appeared in off-Broadway and Broadway plays with his stage debut in South Pacific in England that his mother starred in, performing alongside another unknown actor by the name of Sean Connery.
Little known facts about Mr. Hagman was that he was Who drummer Keith Moon's best friend after they met on the David Essex film Stardust, the sequel to That'll Be the Day.
In 1995, he received a liver transplant due to years of heavy drinking since his teens.
Some of the notable movies he was in were Edgar G. Ulmer's The Cavern, In Harm's Way, The Hired Hand, the seldom seen classic thriller A Howling In the Woods that also co-starred Barbara Eden, The Eagle Has Landed, the science/thriller The Third Twin and the Blake Edwards comedy, S.O.B.
He also directed and had a small part in the campy, horror sequel to the 1958 film, The Blob, entitled Beware! The Blob.
Mr. Hagman was a true star. He made us laugh at his character's predicaments in his comedic roles and made us hate him when he was portraying bad guys. He was the consummate actor and loved what he did. He will always be remembered.