larry hagman *We have sad news for fans of “Dallas” and actor Larry Hagman.

Hagman, who played one of the greatest villains ever of the small screen, J. R. Ewing on the legendary “Dallas” series, has died.

The Dallas Morning News is reporting that Hagman passed away at 4:20 pm Friday – at Medical City Dallas Hospital – from complications of his recent battle with cancer, according to family members. He was 81.

“Larry was back in his beloved Dallas, re-enacting the iconic role he loved most,” the family said in a statement. “Larry’s family and close friends had joined him in Dallas for the Thanksgiving holiday. When he passed, he was surrounded by loved ones. It was a peaceful passing, just as he had wished for. The family requests privacy at this time.”

The iconic role of J.R. Ewing metamorphosed Mr. Hagman’s life. He rocketed from being a merely well-known TV actor on I Dream of Jeannie and the son of Broadway legend Mary Martin, to the kind of transnational fame known only by the likes of the Beatles and Muhammad Ali.

Hagman made his home in California with his wife of nearly 60 years, the former Maj Axelsson. Despite obvious physical frailty, he gamely returned to Dallas to film season one of TNT’s “Dallas” reboot and part of season two.

“Hagman in his role as J.R. was mythic, and as a human he was a hard-working ambassador for Dallas and the underdog.,” Mayor Mike Rawlings said Friday night. “I had spent a couple of evenings with his recently, and he was working on his foundation, which he was focused on. And he always pitched in to help the city.”

Read/learn more at Dallas Morning News.

For more an Larry Hagman’s career, see his Wikipedia page.