When I was in elementary school , my mom and I used to watch Dallas every Monday night with a glass of ice  milk and a “gloppy ” dessert.  My mom loved her sweets!   Dallas was my gateway drug to all other soap operas.  Dynasty, Knotts Landing, General Hospital and Days of Our Lives. I was totally addicted to my soaps.  In 6th grade, all the popular girls got off the bus in the Rudgear neighborhood.  That meant they got to their TVs in time for the start of “Days.”   I was the last kid to be dropped off… Just me and Bus Driver Jean.  I got home at 3:20.  20 minutes into my soap. Oh how I longed to live in  Rudgear! So it was a shock to learn of the passing of JR Ewing… But it brought back a lot of good memories watching my soaps with my mom and, like the rest of the world, trying to figure out who shot him all those years ago.

Larry Hagman dies at 81; TV’s J.R. Ewing

The actor became a TV star in the 1960s sitcom “I Dream of Jeannie.” In 1980, an estimated 300 million viewers in 57 countries saw J.R. get shot.

Dallas castCast members from the CBS series “Dallas,” from left: Jim Davis, Barbara Bel Geddes, Patrick Duffy and Larry Hagman. (CBS / November 23, 2012)


By Valerie J. Nelson Los Angeles TimesNovember 23, 2012, 9:51 p.m.

Fervor for the television show “Dallas” was intense in 1980, when the Queen Mother met actor Larry Hagman and joined the worldwide chorus asking: “Who shot J.R.?”

“Not even for you, ma’am,” replied Hagman, who portrayed villainous oil baron J.R. Ewing at the center of the popular prime-time soap from 1978 until 1991.

An estimated 300 million viewers in 57 countries had seen J.R. get shot by an unseen assailant, a season-ending plot twist that is credited with popularizing the cliffhanger in television series.

PHOTOS: Larry Hagman | 1931-2012

Hagman, who became a television star in the 1960s starring in the sitcom “I Dream of Jeannie,” died Friday at a Dallas hospital, said a spokesman for actress Linda Gray, his longtime co-star on “Dallas.” He was 81.

A year ago, Hagman announced his second bout with cancer. He had spoken candidly about decades of drinking that led to cirrhosis of the liver and, in 1995, a life-saving liver transplant.

“He was the pied piper of life and brought joy to everyone he knew,” Gray said in a statement. “He was creative, generous, funny, loving and talented…. an original and lived life to the full.”

INTERACTIVE: Hagman’s Hollywood star

For years, he was considered the unofficial mayor of Malibu, where he lived for decades in an oceanfront home. He often led impromptu ragtag parades on the sand while wearing outlandish costumes and flew a flag from his deck that declared “Vita Celebratio Est” — “Life is a celebration.”

As an actor, Hagman came with a serious pedigree. He was the son of Mary Martin, a legendary star of Broadway musicals best known for originating the role of Peter Pan in the 1950s.

On “Dallas,” Hagman’s J.R. Ewing was “the man viewers loved to hate,” according to critics, a scheming Texan in a land of plenty. Much of the show’s run paralleled the nation’s fascination with big money and big business in the 1980s, and the role made him an international star.

PHOTOS: Texas-based TV shows

“Here is a man born to play villainy,” former Times TV critic Howard Rosenberg wrote soon after the show’s debut. “His performance on ‘Dallas’ is a salute to slime.”

About Wendy D

I was born in San Francisco and ended up marrying a rancher in Reno, Nevada. I have a big city job anchoring the 5 o’clock news but come home to the country where my husband’s family has ranched for 5 generations.


  1. Carmen says:

    Were you by any chance watching the new Dallas? It was soo good and he was evil as always. It will be so sad to watch the new season without him. I’m not quite sure there has been a tv villian as good to be bad as him.

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