Larry Hagman who became a global icon playing the TV villain J.R. Ewing in the hit series "Dallas" died late Friday evening at Medical City Dallas Hospital. He was 81 years old. In June 2011, Hagman was diagnosed with stage 2 throat cancer. "People who smoke or use tobacco are at risk of developing throat cancer", a PubMed Health expert said in 2011. "Excessive alcohol use also increases risk. Most cancers of the throat develop in adults older than 50," he continued. In 1995 Hagman admitted he had been a heavy drinker, and a heavy smoker as a young man, after he underwent a life-saving liver transplant.
Shortly after his death, the cast of "Dallas 2012" released the following statement: "Larry Hagman was a giant, a larger than life personality whose iconic performance as J.R. Ewing will endure as one of the most indelible in entertainment history. He truly loved portraying this globally recognized character, and he leaves a legacy of entertainment, generosity and grace. Everyone at Warner Bros. and in the "Dallas" family is deeply saddened by Larry's passing, and our thoughts are with his family and dear friends during this difficult time." There was no immediate comment from Warner on how they would deal with Hagman's passing.
Larry Hagman got his first role as Major Anthony Nelson, in "I Dream of Jeannie", a sitcom from the 1960s. In 1978, he made his first appearance as J.R. Ewing on the hit series "Dallas". The show quickly became the world's most popular soap-opera and made Hagman a superstar. In 2012 TNT continued the Dallas saga with a spin-off version of the original show. Larry's worsening health condition caused a production halt after the 6th episode of season 2.
"Larry was back in his beloved Dallas, re-enacting the iconic role he loved most," his family said. "Larry's family and close friends had joined him in Dallas for the Thanksgiving holiday. When he passed, loved ones surrounded him. It was a peaceful passing, just as he had wished for."
I know what I want on J.R.'s tombstone, Hagman said in 1989. "Here lies upright citizen J.R. Ewing. This is the only deal he ever lost."