Larry Martin Hagman was born on September 21st, 1931 and passed away on November 23rd, 2012. He was an American film and television actor best known for playing ruthless businessman J. R. Ewing in the 1980s primetime television soap opera “Dallas”, and befuddled astronaut Major Anthony “Tony” Nelson in the 1960s sitcom “I Dream of Jeannie. His supporting film roles include appearances in “Fail-Safe”, “JFK”, “Nixon” and “Primary Colors”. His television appearances also included a handful of short-lived other series, guest roles on dozens of shows spanning from the late 1950s up until his death, and a reprisal of his signature role on the 2012 revival of “Dallas”. He also occasionally worked as a producer and director on television.
Hagman was the son of the actress Mary Martin. A long-time drinker, he underwent a life-saving liver transplant in 1995, and although a member of a 12-step program, he publicly advocated marijuana as a better alternative to alcohol. He died on November 23, 2012, of complications from throat cancer.
Hagman was born in Weatherford, Texas, near Fort Worth. His mother, Mary Virginia Martin, later became a Broadway actress, and his father, Benjamin Jackson “Jack” Hagman, was an accountant and a district attorney. His father was of Swedish descent. Hagman's parents divorced in 1936, when he was five years old. He lived with his grandmother in Texas and California while his mother became a contract player with Paramount in 1938.
In 1940, his mother met and married Richard Halliday and gave birth to a daughter, Heller, the following year. Hagman attended the strict Black-Foxe Military Institute (now closed). When his mother moved to New York City to resume her Broadway career, Hagman again lived with his grandmother in California. A couple of years later, his grandmother died and Hagman joined his mother in New York.
In 1946, Hagman moved back to his hometown of Weatherford, where he worked on a ranch owned by a friend of his father. After attending Weatherford High School, he was drawn to drama classes and reputedly fell in love with the stage and in particular, with the warm reception he received for his comedic roles. He developed a reputation as a talented performer and in between school terms, would take minor roles in local stage productions. Hagman graduated from high school in 1949, when his mother suggested that he try acting as a profession.
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