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Larry Hagman Dies on "Black Friday" at 81 Years Old

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It was definitely "Black Friday" with the passing of Larry Hagman, who died from complications of cancer at the age of 81.

Hagman first became a television icon as Major Nelson on the sitcom I Dream of Jeannie with Barbara Eden (1965-70), but the actor proved that nice guys finish last when he struck gold - or, in this case, oil - as nasty businessman J.R. Ewing on Dallas, the leader of primetime soap operas in the 1980s.

From 1978 to 1991, J.R. was the character everyone loved to hate but hate to love: conniving, cheating, scheming, lying and manipulating both in and out of the boardroom, as well as in the bedroom. That led to the question forever remaining in everyone's mind since 1980: "Who Shot J.R."?

larry hagman
Photo Credit: Wikipedia

However, according to interviews from Hagman, and co-stars Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray, J.R. thought of himself as the knight in shining armor, the good guy who thought that he was doing good business.

Still, J.R. remains good at being bad, which is why the character became the prototype for Dynasty's Alexis Carrington, Melrose Place's Michael Manicini, and 1996's short-lived Profit with Heroes' Adrian Pasdar as the villain protagonist. J.R. has also been the inspiration of All My Children's Adam Chandler and One Life to Live's Asa Buchanan.

Despite health problems in recent years, Hagman showed that you can't keep a good cowboy down when he saddled back up as sly, slick J.R. for the new Dallas on TNT, whose second season is set to air in January 2013, which is just in time to celebrate the show's 35th anniversary.

Reports have stated that Hagman completed six out of the 15 episodes before his death, as writers and producers are currently in the process of how to say goodbye to the world's most unchangeable, irredeemable scoundrel.

Now comes the next question on everyone's mind: Will there ever be a Dallas without J.R. Ewing?

Garrett Godwin writes for NewsBlaze from Michigan. Contact him by writing to NewsBlaze. Read more stories by Garrett Godwin.

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