Remembering Larry Hagmanon November 26, 2012 @ 2:33 pm (Updated: 4:58 pm - 11/26/12 )
The Dori Monson Show in 2008 when Larry was in town to promote organ donation.
"He was the biggest TV star in the world in the 1980s," said Dori. "When he was in Seattle - I didn't know what to expect when he came by the studio, and he was one of the most charming interview guests I've ever had."
The actor was forthright about his health problems, drug use, and even his habit of wearing crazy outfits on the beach. Larry would walk Malibu beaches in chicken costumes and came to be known as the Mayor of Malibu.
"He'd wear eccentric court-jester hats when he would go out," said Dori. "He was just engaging and charming and fascinating."
The star said he chalked his success up to good luck and hard work: the good luck to be in the right place at the right time, getting his start by acting with his mother, actress Mary Martin.
"I got two scripts," said Larry. "One was 'The Waverly Wonders,' which was a half-an-hour situation comedy and the other was 'Dallas.'"
His wife read the 'Dallas' script and she knew immediately that Larry needed to take the part of villain J.R. Ewing, which would make him world-famous. The show ran from 1978 to 1991 and was one of the most-watched television entertainment programs of all time.
The series was so popular that it was reincarnated earlier this year, starring Larry Hagman and detailing the lives of the next generation of Ewings and their fight over the family fortune.
In 1992, after finishing the original series, Larry was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver and acknowledged he drank heavily for years. In 1995, a malignant tumor was discovered on his liver and he underwent a transplant.
But the actor quit cold-turkey and went on to promote organ donation, traveling the country to spread his message and to volunteer at hospitals.
The actor finally succumbed due to complications from his cancer, surrounded by friends and family.
"Larry was back in his beloved hometown of Dallas, re-enacting the iconic role he loved the most. Larry's family and closest friends had joined him in Dallas for the Thanksgiving holiday," the family said in a statement that was provided to The Associated Press by Warner Bros., producer of the show.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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