It’s exactly a month today since we lost acting legend Larry Hagman – and I still can’t believe it. Like most kids growing up in the 1980s, I had a bit of a penchant for glitzy, glam American soaps like Dynasty and Dallas – even though I know I was a bit on the young side! I don’t know how or why my mother allowed me to stay up past my bedtime to view such shenanigans but I did and I have fond memories of watching JR’s dastardly deeds along with my mum. I also have fond memories of watching Hagman’s classic comedy series, I Dream of Jeannie, weekday afternoons with my grandad, after school.
Although he was an established actor who had starred in films and TV series’ such as Nixon, Superman, Primary Colors and Nip/Tuck, it is his role as evil oil baron JR Ewing for which he will forever be synonymous. Who can forget that smirk… the dirty chuckle… the non-stop plotting and scheming? “Of course it’s fun to play the villain,” declared Hagman during filming back in 2011. And as we all know, it’s a role he played to perfection.
Ken Kercheval, who played JR’s arch rival Cliff Barnes, once said that in real life, Hagman was the complete opposite of the conniving character he played so well in Dallas. That could well be true. I remember his appearance on Channel Five’s Open House With Gloria Hunniford and he came across as the most down to earth man and the only wicked thing about him was his sense of humour. The fact that some of his fellow cast mates were at his bedside when he sadly passed away speaks volumes.
It’s fitting that in the end his ashes were scattered across the ranch at Southfork. Larry Hagman wasn’t just the star of Dallas; he was Dallas. the new series will not be the same without him.
R.I.P Larry. Thanks for the entertainment. x