'Dallas' star Larry Hagman dead at 81

'Dallas' star Larry Hagman dead at 81

Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Actor Larry Hagman's personal antiques, fine and decorative art, furniture, and memorabilia from the classic 1980�s primetime soap opera Dallas are on display on May 23, 2011 before being offered for auction in a sale to be held at Julien�s Auctions Gallery in Beverly Hills, California on June 4, 2011. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS (Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)

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Staff and Wire Reports

Posted on November 24, 2012 at 9:22 AM

Updated Thursday, Dec 5 at 4:48 AM

DALLAS — Larry Hagman, known for more than three decades as oil tycoon J.R. Ewing on the TV show "Dallas," died Friday afternoon, News 8 has confirmed.

He was 81 years old.

His family said in a statement that Hagman died Friday in Dallas. The statement was provided to The Associated Press by Warner Bros., which produces the new edition of the show "Dallas." A representative of the actor also confirmed the death to WFAA-TV.

The Dallas Morning News reported that several of Hagman's co-stars were by his side at the time of death.

The North Texas native was part of the original "Dallas" cast on the CBS evening soap opera that debuted in 1980. The show returned last year on cable, was a hit, and season two was currently being shot in Dallas.

Larry Hagman had battled cancer, but the cause of death was not released.

The actor 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.

News 8's Ron Corning interviewed Hagman and his "Dallas" co-star Linda Gray on October 12. A representative of the actor confirmed that it was Hagman's final sit-down interview, and talked about his enduring friendship with Gray and how close the new "Dallas" series cast had become.

Hagman was scheduled to appear on News 8 Daybreak next week to issue the first checks to the creative arts education programs that are going to benefit from The Larry Hagman Foundation, which Hagman said he founded to give back to the city that has given so much to him.

WFAA and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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