|Can Dallas survive without Larry Hagman? That journey begins now|
Monday night, Dallas bids farewell to one of TV’s greatest villains.
The episode (on TNT and Bravo in Canada at 9 p.m. ET) reunites some former cast members, including Ken Kercheval and Charlene Tilton, as friends and family gather to pay respects to Larry Hagman’s ultimate oil man, J.R. Ewing. Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray are there, too, as are real life Dallas movers and shakers Jerry Jones and Mark Cuban.
Hagman’s death at 81 was written into the series by having J.R. take one more bullet, this time fatal. The actor died five days after shooting his final scenes. Monday night’s opening credit sequence will offer a variation on the usual theme song.
Below is an earlier post written shortly after news broke that Hagman had passed away.
It was just about a year ago, in January of 2012, when Larry Hagman faced television critics as a group for the final time. The TV icon passed away Friday at 81 of complications from cancer.
|Eden and Hagman in Gene Trindl’s TV Guide shot|
Asked if he remembered why, Hagman shot this reporter his best J.R. look. “You know the French for gosh sakes—who knows?”
Hagman made several appearances at press tours over the years. Not too long ago he was there to promote an appearance on Nip/Tuck. He played a patient there to have his testicles surgically enlarged. Hagman grinned from ear-to-ear during that session. Eight years ago, he and his wife Maj made the trip back to the Century Plaza Hotel in Beverly Hills just to attend the 20th anniversary of the TCA Awards. Classy.
I asked him at that time about the legendary press tour party at Hagman’s house in the late ’70s. That was before my time on the TV beat, but I never tired of hearing about from press cats who were there. (Read Jim Bawden’s lively account here,)
Hagman threw his doors open to critics a second time, in 1984. That one is covered here by Dallas-based critic Ed Bark.)
“I have a very good memory of that,” Hagman told me. “Somebody left the gate open and three thousand people came in. I think there’s still a lawsuit going on.”
It was another time, back when network TV was at its uncontested peak, and Larry Hagman was King. Condolences to his family and friends. The second season of Dallas premieres in January on TNT, with Hagman reportedly in about six episodes. Don’t watch with sadness; think instead of that grin and that glint. Hagman had the last laugh, well paid right up until the very end.