The son of a legendary actress (Mary Martin) and a district attorney, Larry Martin Hagman was born on September 21, 1931 in Fort Worth, Texas. After his parents' divorce, he moved to Los Angeles, California to live with his grandmother. When he was 12, his grandmother died and he moved back to his mother's place, who had remarried and was launching a Broadway career. After attending Bard College in New York State, he decided to follow his mother's acting road. His first stage tryout was with the Margo Jones Theatre-in-the-Round in Dallas, Texas. He then appeared in the New York City Center production of "Taming the Shrew", followed by a year in regional theater. In his early-to-mid twenties, Larry moved to England as a member of the cast of his mother's stage show, "South Pacific", and was a member of the cast for five years. After that, he enrolled in the United States Air Force, where he produced and directed several series for members of the service.
After completing his service in the Air Force, Larry returned to New York City for a series of Broadway and off-Broadway plays, esp. "Once Around the Block", "Career", "Comes a Day", "A Priest in the House", "The Beauty Part", "The Warm Peninsula", "The Nervous Set" among many others. He began his television career in 1961 with a number of guest appearances on shows as "The ALCOA Hour". He was later chosen to be in the popular daytime soap opera "The Edge of Night" (1956), in which he starred for two years. But that was his start, he later went on to become the friendliest television star in the NBC sitcom "I Dream of Jeannie" (1965), in which he played the amiable astronaut Anthony Nelson. In the series, his life was endangered by this gorgeous blonde bombshell genie played by Barbara Eden. The series ran for five years and after that, he continued his success in "The Good Life" (1971) and "Here We Go Again" (1973), as well as a number of guest-starring roles on many series. He was also with Lauren Bacall in the television version of the hit Broadway musical Applause (1973) (TV).
In 1977, the soap opera "Dallas" (1978) came aboard and Larry's career was secured. He credits "Superchick" for convincing him to do the show. This program of an excessively rich Texas family, was one of the best, beloved, most-watched shows of all time as he portrayed the role of the evil yet perverted millionaire J.R. Ewing, the man who loved to be hated. The series ran for an amazing 14 1/2 seasons and the "Who shot J.R.?" episode remains the second highly-rated television show in the history of the satellite. Since his name was familiar with Texas, it was suiting that he hosted "Lone Star" (1985), an eight-part documentary series related to the history of Texas, for the Public Television Stations. That aired while celebrating the 150th anniversary of Texas as an independent republic. In the spring of 1987, Kari-Lorimar released "Larry Hagman--Stop Smoking for Life". Proceeds from this home video were donated to the American Cancer Society.
In July 1995, he needed a liver transplant in order for him to regain his life back after years of strong drinking that led to cirrhosis. He went over to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for this where he spent seven weeks in the hospital, and an operation took 16 hours but saved his life. In July 1996, one year after he had a new liver, he served as the National Spokesperson for the 1996 U.S. Transplant Games presented by the National Kidney Foundation and, on November 2, he later received the Award for his efforts in escalating public awareness of the concept of organ donation. He continued to serve as an advocate of organ donation and transplantation until his death. In November 1996, he starred in Dallas: J.R. Returns (1996) (TV), a 2-hour movie in which the ratings were a huge success for CBS, as well as in the network's drama series "Orleans" (1997) when his role of Judge Luther Charbonnet gave him some of the best reviews of his 36-year-career.
When he was feeling better than he had for so many years, he completed his two movie projects: The Third Twin (1997) (TV), a four-hour miniseries based on the author's best-selling novel, that aired on CBS, and Mike Nichols's Primary Colors (1998), a film based on the best-selling book by a journalist, Joe Klein. Starring in that film were John Travolta, Emma Thompson, Billy Bob Thornton, Kathy Bates and Adrian Lester. Larry played Governor Picker, an antipolitics politician who stands a grave danger crisis to the governor's bid for office. Primary Colors was his second presidential film having also appeared in Oliver Stone's Nixon (1995). Following these movies, his second Dallas reunion movie, Dallas: War of the Ewings (1998) (TV), aired on CBS. He also served as executive producer.
Away from films, Larry was actively involved in a series of civic and philanthropic events. An adamant non-smoker, he served as the chairperson of the American Cancer Society's "Great American Smokeout", from 1981 to 1992. Larry Hagman died at age 81 on November 23, 2012 at Medical City Dallas Hospital in Dallas, Texas from complications of throat cancer.
|Maj Axelsson||(18 December 1954 - 23 November 2012) (his death) 2 children|
His gleaming smile.
Smoky, gravelly voice.
Thick, bushy eyebrows
Broke his collar bone when he was a child.
Loved motorcycles and owned a Harley.
Offered to pay for drug rehab for Robert Downey Jr. in 1996, after Downey asked to borrow $100,000 from him.
Had a ring made from the gallstones that were removed during his liver transplant.
Served in the United States Air Force.
He met his wife while he was stationed in England, UK.
He refused to speak one day a week, simply as a test of his self discipline.
 Had a liver transplant.
Earned a reported $75,000 to $100,000 an episode for "Dallas" (1978) in 1980.
Required autograph seekers to sing a song for him or tell him a joke before giving his autograph. He said that he did it so he got something back from his fans.
Attended Bard College in Anandale-on-the-Hudson, New York for one year
He produced and directed shows for servicemen while he was stationed in the United States Air Force.
Was once Chairman of the American Cancer Society's Great American Smokeout.
Enjoyed skiing, backpacking, fishing, sailing and touring in his personally designed custom motorhome.
Collected canes, hats and flags, and loves to collect art.
Was a huge supporter of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation
Used to live next door to Burgess Meredith in the early 1980s.
Was a vegetarian.
Was a longtime friend of the late Carroll O'Connor, and spoke at O'Connor's funeral on 26 June 2001. O'Connor gave Hagman's daughter, Heidi Hagman, a part in "Archie Bunker's Place" (1979) in the early 1980s.
His Ojai, California ranch is called Heaven.
Daughter, Kristina Mary Heidi Hagman, born 17 February 1958.
Son, Preston Hagman, born 2 May 1962.
Bridget Fonda's godfather.
His wife is from Sweden, and they owned a house in her old hometown Sundsvall, that they visited every year.
Granddaughters: Rebecca, Nora, Tara, Kaya, and Noel.
The Malibu house in which he used to live is now owned by the singer Sting.
Son of Mary Martin.
Made his stage debut as a Seabee in the London production of "South Pacific", which starred his mother. In 1989, Mary Martin would recall, "Larry could really sing, too. Still can, but he doesn't like to". Another Seabee, also making his stage debut in the production, was Sean Connery.
Was one of the few players on "Dallas" (1978) to stay on for the entire series.
Holds the record for the greatest number of consecutive appearances by a leading actor in an hour-long prime time dramatic series, for his 357 appearances on "Dallas" (1978).
The only actor to appear in all 357 episodes of "Dallas" (1978).
Was an avid fan of "The Sopranos" (1999).
Bore a striking resemblance to professional wrestling announcer Jim Ross. Ross is often simply referred to as "J.R.".
Attended the Dublin Races in 2008.
Lived in Ojai, California.
His mother called him Lukey when he was a child.
Spent much of his childhood in Weatherford, Texas.
Just before his future "Dallas" (1978) co-star, Patrick Duffy was born, Hagman would frequently visit Duffy's parents' home, as a teenager. Years later, he suggested to Patrick, he audition for a role on "Dallas" (1978), and didn't know who Hagman was at the time.
He was inducted into the Texas Film Hall of Fame in March 2009 in Austin, Texas.
Friends with: Barbara Bel Geddes, Barbara Eden, Linda Gray, Michael Landon, Victor French, Carroll O'Connor, Michele Lee, Donna Mills, David Jacobs, Joan Van Ark, Susan Sullivan, Linda Evans, Lorenzo Lamas, Patrick Duffy, Mary Crosby, Quinn Martin, Robert Conrad, Robert Young, Dick Van Patten, Harold Gould, Shelley Berman, Richard Donner, Richard Mulligan, Peter Fonda, Joan Collins and Bill Daily.
At his wife's suggestion, he auditioned for the lead role of J.R. Ewing in "Dallas" (1978). Fortunately, he won the role.
Was diagnosed with Stage 2 throat cancer in June 2011, was cancer free for nearly the entire year in 2012, until he died.
Dated Joan Collins while in England.
Was a Democrat.
His idol when he was very young was Jim Davis, who in turn played his TV father on "Dallas" (1978), until Davis's death in 1981. Had the portrait of his idol, hanging in his house until the day he died. He and the rest of his "Dallas" (1978) co-stars, attended the funeral of his idol, Jim Davis, on 1 May 1981.
Before he was a successful actor, he was digging ditches and bailing hay in his hometown of Weatherford, Texas.
Always refused to talk about his role on "I Dream of Jeannie" (1965) until 2001.
Did not get along with his stepfather at all, before Richard Halliday's death in 1973.
His mother, Mary Martin, died on November 3, 1990, just 1 month before her 77th birthday.
Was a spokesperson of American Cancer Society of the 1980s, who encouraged people to quit smoking.
Of Swedish descent by his grandparents, as is his wife.
Received a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1560 North Vine Street in Hollywood, California.
In high school, he fell in love with the stage in particular with the warm reception he got for his comedic roles.
Graduated from Weatherford High School in Weatherford, Texas in 1949.
Due to health reasons, he quit drinking, smoking, and eating meat and dairy products.
As of 2012, his wife Maj Axelsson has advanced Alzheimer's disease and lives in a rented flat near his house. She is attended to by five live-in nurses.
Former neighbor of Tom Brokaw.
His final guest-starring role was on "Desperate Housewives" (2004).
Larry Hagman passed away on November 23, 2012. This was just 1 month before he would've celebrated his 58th Wedding Anniversary to Maj Axelsson.
According to ex-"Dallas" (1978) co-star, Charlene Tilton, after his death, she said in an interview, while she was a teenager, she lived with her single mother, before Hagman came in to become her surrogate father, while starring in "Dallas" (1978), who taught her how to behave professionally.
Just before his death, he reprised his role as JR Ewing in "Dallas" (2012).
Before he was a successful actor, he worked for oil field-equipment maker Antelope Tool Company and witnessed the eldest son of the company founder win a battle to succeed him, one summer.
When "I Dream of Jeannie" (1965) began, a crisis cropped up right away: Series star Barbara Eden was pregnant. This forced the quick filming of 10 episodes. Problems developed immediately between him, who was determined to make the show, the best it could be, and director Gene Nelson, who insisted that they follow the script to the letter. Each man wanted the other fired. Due to NBC's preference, Larry prevailed.
Had originally wanted to be a cowboy.
During the last 3 seasons of "Dallas" (1978), when he became the co-executive producer of the show, he went to England and had Holland and Holland gave him a shotgun.
Owned 5 Toyota Prius Hybrids.
His father, Ben Hagman, had a massive stroke and was in a coma, who died on July 15, 1965.
His son Preston Hagman was named after his grandfather and great-grandfather, Preston, who died when his father was only 7.
His grandfather, Preston Martin, had died in 1938, when young Larry was only 7.
His mother Mary Martin had died on the day she got married, 60 years ago in 1990.
When his mother Mary Martin was diagnosed with cancer in 1989, Martin was a Kennedy Center Honoree that year. At the awards show, Hagman gave a funny and poignant tribute to his mother, who was in the audience.
He said his favorite show to date was "Dallas" (1978).
Upon his death he was cremated; his ashes were scattered at the Southfork Ranch in Parker, Texas.
His show "Dallas" (1978) was filmed at Southfork Ranch, the same place that is located in real-life.
At the beginning of the second season of the revised "Dallas" (2012) series, he reduced his appearances because he needed to undergo chemotherapy.
He appeared on "Live with Kelly and Michael" (1988) five times.
His parents were Mary Martin, who was a popular Broadway actress and Benjamin Hagman, a lawyer.
A cowboy buff.
His parents were divorced when he was only 5 years old.
While temporarily moving back to Connecticut with his mother and stepfather, Hagman continued drinking heavily again, therefore, Mary Martin had no choice other than to kick him out of the house much due to the fact that Hagman was suffering from alcohol poisoning.
His family moved to Los Angeles, California, in 1938, when young Larry was only 7.
Began his career appearing in Broadway plays and musicals in 1950.
In order for Hagman to get the role of Maj. Anthony Nelson in "I Dream of Jeannie" (1965), he did the voice-over in Russian for the show "The Rogues" (1964). He was also convinced to get the role when Gig Young was unavailable, hence, Hagman won the role.
Was also a solar power enthusiast.
Before he was a successful actor, he met and used to work with a young unfamiliar actor Carroll O'Connor, who was working as an assistant stage manager for the Broadway play 'God and Kate Murphy,' in which Hagman starred.
Before he was a successful actor, he used to dance with Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara, on the opening night of South Pacific at the Savoy in London, England.
His show "Dallas" (1978) was canceled at the end of the fourteenth season because of low ratings.
He was not David Jacobs's first choice to audition for the male lead role of J.R. Ewing on "Dallas" (1978), when Robert Foxworth had been offered the role. Knowing he would not play a character that was absolutely unsympathetic, Hagman immediately came in and won the role.
Was raised largely by his maternal grandmother while his mother became a famous stage actress.
On "I Dream of Jeannie" (1965), he played an astronaut who was a member of the United States Air Force, in real-life, Hagman served in the United States Air Force.
Used to live in the same area as Michael Landon.
"I've been on some loony shows in my time, but this one takes the cake." - when appearing on the BBC's Shooting Stars, February 2002.
I made money. Enough so I don't have to work again. But I'd like to, I really would. But I'd want to do something interesting like Santa Claus - or God.
Barbara Eden is the most beautiful girl in the world.
I spent five years in England, I went over there with my mother in the show South Pacific and I just love it. I go back there three or four times a year. I joined the American airforce because the Korean war was going on at one time and I got my call up papers and I was supposed to report back to the United States and get my ass shot off in Korea which I didn't think was a smart idea and not only that I couldn't understand what the war was all about, I guess a lot of people could at that time but I still can't even more than I can the Vietnam war, so anyhow I enlisted in the American airforce and I was stationed in London for four years which was pretty good because I never gave up my civilian apartment in St Johns Wood. I got married, met a Swedish girl there, we've been married 46 years now.
(On the infamous "Who Shot J.R?" episode): "Before that fateful shot rang out, I was merely bemused by the success of the character. Villainy could be fun, and that's how I played it. And if it worked. I mean I couldn't go down to the corner to pick up my copy of the Sunday New York Times without running into some nubile creature with "J.R. for President" emblazoned across her chest. Now a higher, shriller note had been added. People who once merely wanted J.R.'s autograph demanded to know who shot him as if it were their birthright, and were angry and upset when I told them, truthfully, that I didn't know."
I was born with success. Lucky for me I am able to handle it. Also, I damn well deserve it!
People I meet really want me to be J.R., so it's hard to disappoint them.
About co-star Linda Gray after her divorce: Maj and I kind of adopted her. She was here at the house nearly every day. We'd call her first thing in the morning to make sure she was alright, we'd make sure she had dinner every night.
[referring to his choice of final resting place for his ashes] I want to be spread over a field and have marijuana and wheat planted and harvest it in a couple of years and then have a big marijuana cake, enough for 200 or 300 people. People eat a little of Larry.
|"Dallas" (1978)||$100,000 per episode|
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