LOS ANGELES: Larry Hagman, who shot to worldwide fame for his portrayal of the oilman villain J R Ewing in the US television series Dallas, has died at the age of 81 after losing a battle with cancer, his family said yesterday.
Hagman died at Medical City Dallas Hospital from complications from throat cancer.
He first became a TV star in 1965 in the comedy series I Dream of Jeannie, in which he played an amiable astronaut whose life is plagued by a beautiful blonde genie portrayed by Barbara Eden.
But it was not until 1977, when the primetime soap opera Dallas came along, that his Hollywood career really took off.
Dallas told the story of a mega-rich Texas family, in which Hagman played the role of corrupt and unscrupulous millionaire J R Ewing.
With his ever-present Stetson and a smile that hid constant scheming, J R powered the series that ran for an unprecedented 13 seasons from 1978 to 1991, becoming one of the highest-rated TV shows of all time, one whose popularity reached well beyond the US.