Larry Hagman, who created one of American television's most famous villains as oilman J.R. Ewing in Dallas, has lost his battle cancer.
Stars of US soap opera Dallas have reunited in London ahead of the return of a new series to UK television.
JR and Bobby Ewing appeared on American television screens for the first time in 21 years last night, as the soap opera Dallas returned.
Priscilla Presley, who starred alongside Larry Hagman in Dallas, paid tribute to the actor and said he would always be remembered as J R Ewing. She said: "He just lived it, loved it and became it."
Larry Hagman, who has died aged 81, tasted stardom for the first time in the mid 1960s but it was his role as JR Ewing that brought him worldwide fame.
- He met his wife Maj Axelsson, a Swedish designer, while in England with the US Air Force
- Hagman became a star in 1965 in the TV comedy series ‘I Dream of Jeannie’, in which he played an astronaut
- He landed the role of merciless oil magnate JR Ewing, the character at the centre of the show Dallas, in 1977
- Hagman also acted in films such as ‘Nixon’ and ‘Primary Colors’
- Earlier this year he appeared in a new 10-episode series of Dallas, with a second series in production and due to run next year
RIP Larry Hagman. Thank you for being such an entertaining actor and giving us such happy memories.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Larry Hagman. My best, Bill
Very sad to hear that Larry Hagman has died. His JR Ewing character was the greatest TV villain of them all. Wonderful actor. #RIP
Linda Gray, a long-time friend who starred alongside him in the TV show, called him her "best friend for 35 years", her agent told the BBC.
"Larry was back in his beloved Dallas re-enacting the iconic role he loved most," his family said in a statement carried by the Dallas Morning News.
"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."
Larry Hagman, who created one of American television's most amoral villains as oilman J.R. Ewing in Dallas has died, according to reports in Dallas Morning News.
Mr Hagman, 81 died at a Dallas hospital of complications from his battle with cancer, the newspaper said, quoting a family statement.
He had suffered from cancer and cirrhosis of the liver in the 1990s after decades of drinking.
Hagman's mother was stage and movie star Mary Martin and he became a star himself in 1965 on "I Dream of Jeannie," a popular television sitcom in which he played Major Anthony Nelson, an astronaut who discovers a beautiful genie in a bottle.
Dallas, which made its premiere on the CBS network in 1978, made Hagman a superstar. The show quickly became one of the network's top-rated programs, built an international following and inspired a spin-off, imitators and a revival in 2012.