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BREAKING: Iconic actor Larry Hagman dead at age 81.

BREAKING: Iconic actor Larry Hagman, has died at the age of 81.  Word of the death of Hagman  came Friday night.

Deutsch: Larry Martin Hagman wurde am 21. Sept...

Larry Martin Hagman was born on September 21, 1931  and was a film and television actorproducer and director most widely known for playing J. R. Ewing in the 1980s primetime television soap opera Dallas, which continued in a 2012 version of Dallas.

He also played Major Anthony “Tony” Nelson in the 1960s sitcom I Dream of Jeannie. Hagman is the son of the late actress Mary Martin.  Hagman died November 23, 2012 in a Dallas hospital.

Hagman was born in Fort Worth, Texas. His mother, Mary Martin, later became a Broadway actress and his father, Benjamin Jack Hagman,was a district attorney. His parents divorced in 1936 when he was five years old. He lived with his grandmother in Texas and California. His famous mother became a contract player with Paramount in 1938 and occasionally took him to her movies.

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 continue her Broadway career, Hagman again lived with his grandmother in California.[4] A couple of years later, his grandmother died and Hagman joined his mother in New York. At age 14 (in 1945) while attending boarding school, he began drinking heavily which led to serious health problems later in life.[citation needed]

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 got 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.

Hagman began his career in Dallas, Texas working as a production assistant and acting in small roles in Margo Jones‘ Theater in 1950 during a break from his one year at Bard College. He appeared in The Taming of the Shrew in New York City, followed by numerous tent show musicals with St. John Terrell’s Music Circus inSt. Petersburg, Florida, and Lambertville, New Jersey. In 1951, Hagman appeared in the London production of South Pacific with his mother, and stayed in the show for nearly a year.

In 1952, during the Korean War, Hagman was drafted into the United States Air Force. Stationed in London, he spent the majority of his military service entertaining U.S. troops in the UK and at bases in Europe.

After leaving the Air Force in 1956, Hagman returned to New York City where he appeared in the Off-Broadway play Once Around the Block, by William Saroyan. That was followed by nearly a year in anotherOff Broadway play, James Lee’s Career. His Broadway debut occurred in 1958 in Comes a Day. Hagman appeared in four other Broadway plays, God and Kate MurphyThe Nervous SetThe Warm Peninsula and The Beauty Part.

During this period, Hagman also appeared in numerous, mostly live, television programs. Aged 25, Hagman made his television debut on an episode of Decoy. In 1958 he joined Barbara Bain as a guest star in the short-lived adventure and drama series Harbormaster. Hagman joined the cast of The Edge of Night in 1961 as Ed Gibson, and stayed in that role for two years. In 1964 he made his film debut in Ensign Pulver, which featured a young Jack Nicholson. That same year, Hagman also appeared in Fail-Safe, opposite Henry Fonda.

In 1973, stepfather Richard Halliday died, and Hagman reconciled with his mother, Mary Martin, soon after. The two became close until her death from colon cancer in 1990, at the age of 76.

In 1954, Hagman married Swedish-born Maj Axelsson  and they had two children, Heidi Kristina (b. 1958) and Preston (b. 1962). Longtime residents of Malibu, California, they now live in Ojai, California. Hagman has been a member of the Peace and Freedom Party since the 1960s.  Hagman derided President George W. Bush, a fellow Texan, before the Iraq War. At a signing for his book he described Bush as “A sad figure, not too well educated, who doesn’t get out of America much. He’s leading the country towards fascism”.

In 1967, friend musician David Crosby, supplied Hagman with LSD after a Crosby, Stills, and Nash concert:  “LSD was such a profound experience in my life that it changed my pattern of life and my way of thinking and I could not exclude it.” Hagman was introduced to marijuana by Jack Nicholson, as a safer alternative to Hagman’s heavy drinking. “I liked it because it was fun, it made me feel good, and I never had a hangover.”.

Although Hagman says he no longer smoked marijuana and is on a “Twelve-Step Program“, he explains, “Marijuana is like being compared to alcohol and when you come right down to it, alcohol destroys your body and makes you do violent things, but with grass, you just sit back and enjoy life.”

In 1982, Hagman crowned the winner of the Miss Sweden competition in Stockholm. During the coronation, he wore a traditional Lapphatt and sang a Swedish folksong.

In August 1995, Hagman underwent a life-saving liver transplant after admitting he had been a heavy drinker. Numerous reports state he was drinking four bottles of champagne a day while on the set of Dallas. He was also a heavy smoker as a young man, but the cancer scare was the catalyst for him to quit. Hagman was so shaken by this incident that he immediately became strongly anti-smoking. He has recorded several public service announcements pleading with smokers to quit and urging non-smokers never to start. Hagman was the chairman of the American Cancer Society‘s annual Great American Smokeout for many years, and also worked on behalf of the National Kidney Foundation.

In 2001, Larry Hagman wrote his autobiography, entitled Hello Darlin’ Tall (and Absolutely True) Tales About My Life.[15] As of 2012, this is the only book Hagman has written.

In a 2007 interview, he talked about how he is now a major proponent of alternative energy. On an episode of Living With Ed, Hagman and his wife showed actor Ed Begley, Jr. their solar powered, super energy efficient home and talked about their green lifestyle. In early 2010, the couple put their 43-acre Ojai estate (called “Heaven”, which they purchased in 1991) up for sale; it was valued at $9.5 million.

Hagman appeared at the Dublin races in 2008 with his wife. That same year, Maj Hagman was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease.

In June 2011, Hagman said he has stage 2 throat cancer.

He commented, “As J.R. I could get away with anything — bribery, blackmail and adultery”, Hagman said in a statement. “But I got caught by cancer. I do want everyone to know that it is a very common and treatable form of cancer. I will be receiving treatment while working on the new Dallas series. I could not think of a better place to be than working on a show I love, with people I love.”.  In January 2012, Hagman announced that his cancer treatments have gone well and is back on the set of Dallas, but has “a lot of catching up to do”. Since his cancer treatments, Hagman is in better health and has made several appearances promoting the return of the series. He begins shooting season two in September 2012.
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