Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Tribute: Larry Hagman of “Dallas” and “I Dream of Jeannie”

posted by Nell Minow

We mourn the loss of actor Larry Hagman, who died this week at age 81.  He starred in two remarkably different television series.  In “I Dream of Jeannie,” he was astronaut Tony Nelson, who landed on a deserted island and discovered an ancient bottle with a beautiful genie inside it.  The series ran for five years (and had an animated spin-off starring the “Three Stooges” Joe Besser and “Star Wars” Mark Hamill).  While Hagman’s job was primarily to look handsome while being exasperated at the genie’s antics, and most of the focus was on the beautiful Barbara Eden, it is clear if you watch it today how much of the show’s success depended on Hagman’s excellent timing and superb light comic skill.

YouTube Preview Image

Part of what made Hagman’s iconic appearance as J.R. Ewing in “Dallas” was how different it was from anything audiences had seen him do before.  J.R. was one of the great villains in television history, partly because he seemed to enjoy it so much.  “Dallas” was a huge hit that paved the way for night time soap operas and end-of-season cliffhangers.  “Who Shot J.R?” was the catch-phrase of the summer of 1980, and the secrecy was so intense that the producers actually shot several versions — even the actors did not know which one was going to be used.

Do you remember the answer?  It was J.R.’s mistress, Kristin, played by Mary Crosby, who like Hagman was the child of a musical show business superstar.  She was the daughter of Bing Crosby and Hagman was the son of “Peter Pan,” “Sound of Music,” and “South Pacific” Broadway star Mary Martin.  Here, they appear together on stage (and he charmingly forgets his lyrics).

YouTube Preview Image

“Dallas” returned to television last year on TNT and Hagman was once again its star, portraying J.R. with all the relish (and even more eyebrows) than he had 20 years earlier.

YouTube Preview Image

He will be missed.



Previous Posts

Unfinished Business
"Unfinished Business" is a story about three renegade renegades from bureaucracy going up against The Man and the importance of the individual in an era of soul-grinding corporatism. But the mo

posted 5:59:57pm Mar. 05, 2015 | read full post »

Chappie
So, basically, no one here saw "Terminator." Or "Frankenstein." But maybe they did see "Robocop?" Or "Short Circuit?" Writer/director Neill Blomkamp likes sci-fi allegories of social and political conf

posted 5:59:11pm Mar. 05, 2015 | read full post »

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
A documentary called "Young at Heart" had a choir of singers in their 80's performing contemporary rock songs.  The very fact of their age and experience gave an unexpectedly profound meaning to the words.  And in "The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," a plot that ranges from silly to very silly

posted 5:55:14pm Mar. 05, 2015 | read full post »

Merchants of Doubt
Do you remember the tobacco executives standing up before a Congressional Committee, their right hands raised, each of them swearing that they did not believe that tobacco caused cancer?  That was in 1994, three decades after the US Surgeon General's report showing the adverse health effects of cig

posted 5:30:43pm Mar. 05, 2015 | read full post »

MVP of the Week: Dev Patel
British-born actor Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire, The Newsroom) is competing with himself this week as the star of two big releases. In the sequel "The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" h

posted 3:38:30pm Mar. 05, 2015 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.