Larry Hagman, the man who starred as the wicked J.R. Ewing on the popular CBS series Dallas, died Friday at the age of 81. Hagman had been fighting health complications since 1992, when he was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver and eventually had a liver transplant. “As J.R., I could get away with anything — bribery, blackmail and adultery,” Hagman said in a statement when he was diagnosed last year with cancer. “But I got caught by cancer.”


Hagman was born in Fort Worth in 1931. His father, Benjamin, was a lawyer and his mother, Mary Martin, was a famous actress. After bouncing around in school and attending Bard College, Hagman pursued a career in show business, even working for the USO while serving in the Air Force. He rose to fame in the mid-60s with his role as the astronaut Tony Nelson opposite Barbara Eden in I Dream of Jeannie. Hagman starred on Dallas from 1978—1991, and also appeared on the new reboot of the series, which airs on TNT. Hagman also made guest spots on Nip/Tuck and Desperate Housewives.



Producers of the new Dallas, Cynthia Cidre and Michael Robin, issued the following statement through Warner Bros. "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."


Hagman is survived by his wife of over 50 years, Maj Axelsson, his son, Preston, his daughter Kristina, as well as a half sister, grandchildren, a niece and his nephews.



Check out this compilation of some of Hagman's best zingers from his time on Dallas:

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