Dallas star Larry Hagman has died at the age of 81. The actor, who was famed for playing J.R. Ewing on the hit show, died at a Dallas hospital on Friday after complications with his recent battle with throat cancer. He is survived by wife Maj, who he married in 1952. In 2008, Maj was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease.
Legend: Dallas star Larry Hagman, pictured (left) in the iconic show with Linda Gray in 1978 and (right) on November 15, has died at the age of 81 after complications with cancer. He was famed for playing J.R. Ewing
Hagman returned to Dallas to reprise his role as cunning villain J.R. in the show's reboot, which started airing in June of this year. 'Larry was back in his beloved Dallas, re-enacting the iconic role he loved most,' the star's family said in a statement. 'Larry’s family and close friends had joined him in Dallas for the Thanksgiving holiday. When he passed, he was surrounded by loved ones. It was a peaceful passing, just as he had wished for. The family requests privacy at this time.'
His co-star Linda Gray, who played his on-screen wife Sue Ellen Ewing, was at his bedside when he died at 4.20pm, her agent Jeffrey Lane has stated. Mr Lane added that Patrick Duffy, who played his brother Bobby, was also at Hagman's bedside at Medical City Dallas Hospital. 'They had been friends for 35 years and they had worked together for many years, so obviously it is devastating,' Mr Lane told The Sun.
Rest in peace: Hagman had spent the Thanksgiving holiday in Dallas with his nearest and dearest
Hagman announced in October 2011 that he had a 'treatable' form of throat cancer and would receive treatment while filming the Dallas reboot. At the time the star said: 'As J.R. I could get away with anything - bribery, blackmail and adultery. But I got caught by cancer. I do want everyone to know that it is a very common and treatable form of cancer. 'I will be receiving treatment while working on the new Dallas series. I could not think of a better place to be than working on a show I love, with people I love.' The late actor added: 'Besides, as we all know, you can't keep J.R. down!'
Hagman was last seen in public on November 15, when he attended the White Bridle Society's Da Vinci, Wine and Roses benefit at held at the Lisa Blue Baron Mansion in Dallas. He always refused to let his wife's illness get him down and said: 'She's not very well. But those were the cards we were dealt, so we'll play with them. More than half a century of happy years is a lot to draw on.' The couple has two children: Heidi Kristina, born in 1958, and Preston, born in 1962.
Surrounded by loved ones: Hagman had family and friends, including Linda Gray, who played Sue Ellen in Dallas, by his side when he died
Close cast: Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray, seen with Hagman (right) in August, were by his hospital bedside when he died
A joint statement by Warner Bros and Dallas executive producers Cynthia Cidre and Michael Robin said: '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.'
'Unrestrained personality': Hagman next to a camera in 1978 on the set of Dallas
Meanwhile, TNT said in a statement: 'All of us at TNT are deeply saddened at the news of Larry Hagman's passing. He was a wonderful human being and an extremely gifted actor. 'We will be forever thankful that a whole new generation of people got to know and appreciate Larry through his performance as J.R. Ewing. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this very difficult time.' Hagman's Dallas co-star Ken Kercheval, who played Cliff Barnes, led the Twitter tributes to the late actor. He tweeted: 'A friend and long time partner... the other half...RIP Larry Hagman.... your spirit will live long.
Doing what he loved: Hagman, seen with Linda Gray, Patrick Duffy and Brenda Strong, who plays his new wife Ann Ewing in the new version of the show
Revamped cast: (Left to right) Jordana Brewster, who plays the cook's daughter Elena Ramos, Josh Henderson, who is J.R.'s son John Ross, Gray, Hagman, Duffy, Strong, Jesse Metcalfe, who plays Christopher Ewing, and Julie Gonzalo, his fiance
Making mischief: J.R. was a central character on the show and always causing trouble. Here he is pictured with the cast in 1978
William Shatner also paid tribute with the words: 'My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Larry Hagman. My best, Bill.' Piers Morgan reached out and posted: 'Very sad to hear that Larry Hagman has died. His J.R. Ewing character was the greatest TV villain of them all. Wonderful actor. #RIP.' The comedian Chris Addison said: 'Larry Hagman dead? We've fallen for that one before. But just in case, RIPJR.' Sharon Osbourne said: 'So sad to hear about the passing of Larry Hagman. Sending love and respect to his family.' And Boyzone singer Ronan Keating, 35, added: 'Fond memories of watching Dallas with my mam. Goodnight Larry and thank you. #legend.' Hagman was born in Fort Worth, Texas, on September 21, 1931.
Relishing his role: Hagman, pictured in May, was delighted to be reprising his role as J.R. and announced he would be having treatment for throat cancer while working
Talented: Hagman was also famed for playing Anthony Nelson in I Dream of Jeannie from 1965 to 1970. Here he is alongside Barbara Eden, who played Jeannie
Together again: Hagman laughing away with Duffy and Gray on the red carpet at the 2012 TCM Classic Film Festival opening night gala in Hollywood in April
Patrick Duffy, left, Linda Gray, center, and Larry Hagman present the award for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a drama series at the 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles
Family man: Hagman is survived by his wife Maj, their daughter Heidi and son Preston. They are pictured in 1982
Man and wife: Larry's wife Maj, who he married in 1954, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease in 2008. She is seen with him in 2005
I DREAM OF JEANNIE CO-STAR PAYS TRIBUTE TO 'UNRESTRAINED' LARRY
He was drafted into the United States Air Force during the Korean War in 1952 and began his acting career by starring in the off-Broadway play Once Around the Block in 1956. Hagman made his Broadway debut in 1958 in Comes a Day, dabbling in television at the same time. His first big role came in 1965 in I Dream of Jeannie, in which he starred as Anthony Nelson opposite Barbara Eden until 1970. But Hagman became a household name thanks to his iconic role in Dallas, which he kicked off in 1978 and starred in until 1991, reprising the role earlier this year.
Right at home: Hagman fans were delighted to see pesky J.R. back on screens this year
Playing it down: Hagman announced he had throat cancer last year but claimed it was a 'treatable' and 'common' form
Great chemistry: Sue Ellen and J.R were undoubtedly two of the public's favourite characters in the show
Heartthrob: A young Hagman can be seen in 1964, shortly before he found fame on I Dream of Jeannie..
Source: Daily Mail UK