Larry Hagman (File)
DALLAS (November 24, 2012)--Larry Hagman, who played scheming oil baron J. R. Ewing on TV's long-running nighttime soap opera "Dallas," died Friday night in a Dallas hospital.
He was 81 and had been battling cancer.
Hagman gained TV fame with the fluffy 1960s sitcom "I Dream of Jeannie," in which he played Capt. Tony Nelson. but it was his portrayal of the ruthless J. R. Ewing that brought Hagman his greatest stardom.
"Who Shot J. R.," the 1980 cliffhanger episode in which Ewing was shot, was among the most-watched broadcasts of its day.
Hagman returned as J. R. in this year's new edition of "Dallas" on TNT.
Linda Gray, his on-screen wife and later ex-wife in the original series and the sequel, says Hagman "brought joy to everyone he knew."
Victoria Principal, who co-starred in the original series, recalled Hagman as "bigger than life." She calls Hagman "unforgettable, and irreplaceable."
Jeannie star Barbara Eden says Hagman was "an element of pure Americana."