Tributes pour in from across globe for iconic 'Dallas' star Hagman
Tributes flooded in from around the world yesterday following the death of Dallas star Larry Hagman.
The actor, who became internationally known as villainous patriarch JR Ewing in the TV soap, died on Friday in hospital in Dallas, Texas, his family said. He was 81.
Hagman's long-time friend Linda Gray, who played his on-screen wife Sue Ellen Ewing, was reportedly by his bedside when he died.
Hagman, who had suffered from cancer and liver disease, had been filming the next series of Dallas following the show's relaunch this year.
His death will now be written in to the soap's storyline.
"Larry was back in his beloved Dallas re-enacting the iconic role he loved most," his family said in a statement carried by the Dallas Morning News.
"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."
Gray paid tribute to her co-star, who she described as her "best friend for 35 years".
In a statement from her agent, she said: "He was the Pied Piper of life and brought joy to everyone he knew. He was creative, generous, funny, loving and talented and I will miss him enormously.
"He was an original and lived life to the full."
Tributes to Hagman poured on to social networking site Twitter. His Dallas co-star Ken Kercheval, who played Cliff Barnes, tweeted: "A friend and long-time partner. . . RIP Larry Hagman. . . your spirit will live long."
Actor William Shatner also paid tribute with the words: "My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Larry Hagman. My best, Bill."
Veteran American broadcaster Larry King wrote: "I'm shocked. Larry Hagman was a dear man who had an incredible career. He helped me to stop smoking. He really was a very special person."
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Journalist and broadcaster Piers Morgan tweeted: "Very sad to hear that Larry Hagman has died. His JR Ewing character was the greatest TV villain of them all. Wonderful actor."
Actress Elizabeth Hurley also wrote: "RIP Larry. Thank you for being such an entertaining actor and giving us such happy memories."
Meanwhile, Barbara Eden, who starred with Hagman in the Sixties sitcom I Dream of Jeannie, wrote on her Facebook page: "We've lost not just a great actor, not just a television icon, but an element of pure Americana. Goodbye Larry, there was no one like you before and there will never be anyone like you again."
A joint statement from the producers, cast and crew of Dallas said: "Larry Hagman was a giant, a larger-than-life personality whose iconic performance as JR Ewing will endure as one of the most indelible in entertainment history.
"He truly loved portraying this globally recognised 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."