Larry Hagman's 'Dallas' Co-Stars Pay Tribute to the Iconic Actor
UPDATED: Patrick Duffy, Linda Ann Gray and "I Dream of Jeannie" actress Barbara Eden were among those who remembered the late actor and his work as oil magnate J.R. Ewing.
Stars are paying their respects to Larry Hagman, who died Friday at the age of 81 after battling cancer for 13 months.
Hagman’s Dallas costar Patrick Duffy, who was reportedly at the actor's side when he died in a Medical City Dallas Hospital, tweeted a picture of the pair together.
My friend is taking a break. Pardon my silence. Love Patrick twitter.com/therealpduffy/…— Patrick Duffy (@therealpduffy) November 24, 2012
Ken Kercheval, who played Cliff Barnes, a longtime rival to Hagman’s oil magnate J.R. Ewing, also tweeted his tribute.
A friend and long time partner... the other half...RIP Larry Hagman.... your spirit will live long.— Ken Kercheval (@KenKercheval) November 24, 2012
Linda Ann Gray, who played Hagman’s onscreen wife in Dallas, tweeted:
So sad to lose such a wonderful dear bigger than life friend. Larry Hagman was one of a kind and will be with us all forever.— Linda Gray (@Linda_Gray) November 24, 2012
Jesse Metcalfe, who plays Christopher Ewing on TNT’s 2012 Dallas revival, wrote it was "an honor" to work with Hagman.
"With piercing wit and undeniable charm he brought to life one of the most legendary television characters of all time," Metcalfe wrote in an Internet post. "But to know the man, however briefly, was to know a passion and dedication for life and acting that was profoundly inspirational.”
Josh Henderson -- who plays John Ross, the son of J.R. Ewing, on TNT's Dallas -- called Hagman a "true inspiration."
"He is an icon and a rare talent," he said in a statement. "I will miss his sense of humor, his larger-than-life presence, and his beautiful spirit that meant so much to us all. Working with him was a gift that I will cherish for the rest of my life."
In addition to playing the villainous oil tycoon on the primetime soap, Hagman is remembered for his turn as astronaut Major Anthony Nelson in I Dream of Jeannie. His costar on the series, Barbara Eden, penned her remembranceand posted it on her Facebook page.
“As I received the news this evening and as you read this I still cannot completely express the shock and impact from the news that Larry Hagman has passed,” wrote Eden, who played Jeannie. “I can still remember, that first day on Zuma Beach with him, in the frigid cold. From that day for five more years, Larry was the center of so many fun, wild, shocking… and in retrospect, memorable moments that will remain in my heart forever.”
She called Hagman a “key element” in her life, even following the end of Jeannie’s 1965-1970 run.
“Throughout various productions I had the pleasure of watching the Texas Tornado that was Larry Hagman. Amidst a whirlwind of big laughs, big smiles and unrestrained personality Larry was always, simply Larry,” she wrote. “You couldn’t fault him for it, it was just who he was. I am so thankful that this past year I was able to spend time with him and experience yet again ‘Larry’ in all his Big Texas bravado.”
Hagman reprised his role as J.R. Ewing in TNT’s Dallas update, which is preparing to launch its second season on Jan. 28. He filmed six of the season’s fifteen episodes, and will be featured in its season opener. Sources have indicated producers are laboring over a way to give his character a proper sendoff on the show.
J.R. Ewing was the focus of the iconic “Who Shot J.R.?” storyline, which saw Hagman’s character fall victim to gunfire in the 1979-80 season finale in March, which helped propel the series to a then-record 53.3 rating and 76 share when the series returned in November.