Advertisement

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.

Advertisement

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.

Advertisement

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

Interview: Joshua Oppenheimer of "The Look of Silence"
Joshua Oppenheimer has made "a companion piece" to his stunning documentary about government-sanctioned gangster killings of more than a ...

posted 11:40:16am Jul. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Tom Cruise Tells Kevin McCarthy about the Airplane Stunt in "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation"
My friend Kevin McCarthy asked Tom Cruise how he shot that incredible stunt that has him holding onto the side of a plane while it takes off for "Mission: Impossible -- Rogue Nation." The 53-year-old actor did the stunt himself, no green ...

posted 8:59:43am Jul. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: "Risen," with Cliff Curtis as Jesus
"Risen" is the story of the Resurrection, as told through the eyes of a non-believer played by "Shakespeare In Love's" Joseph Fiennes. It will be in theaters in January 2016. [iframe width="560" height="315" ...

posted 11:42:40pm Jul. 29, 2015 | read full post »

New From Oprah Winfrey: "Belief"
Oprah Winfrey's seven-chapter series "Belief" starts on October 18, 2015. It follows some of the world’s most fascinating spiritual journeys through the eyes of the believers. Episodes include: the largest peaceful gathering in the history of ...

posted 3:07:27pm Jul. 29, 2015 | read full post »

Movie Addict Headquarters: Comic-Con and "Minions"
Many thanks to Betty Jo Tucker and her co-host A.J. Hakari for inviting me back to Movie Addict Headquarters to talk about Comic-Con and "Minions." [iframe width="400" height="370" ...

posted 8:50:02am Jul. 29, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

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

All reported content is logged for investigation.