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Breaking Report: DALLAS Icon Larry Hagman Has Died At 81!

Photo Credit: Agence France-Presse

Photo Credit: Agence France-Presse

A report tonight out of The Dallas Morning News has said that Dallas superstar Larry Hagman (J.R. Ewing),  died Friday at a Dallas hospital.  He was 81.  Hagman died at 4:20 p.m. Friday at Medical City Dallas Hospital from complications of his recent battle with cancer, members of his family said.

“Larry was back in his beloved Dallas, re-enacting the iconic role he loved most,” the family said in a statement. “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 made his home in California with his wife of nearly 60 years, the former Maj Axelsson. Despite obvious physical frailty, he gamely returned to Dallas to film season one of TNT’s Dallas reboot and part of season two.

Linda Gray’s agent, Jeffrey Lane, said the actress was at Mr. Hagman’s bedside when he died, according to The Sun in London. He said another co-star, Patrick Duffy, was also present. “They had been friends for 35 years and they had worked together for many years, so obviously it is devastating,” Mr. Lane told The Sun.

More on the passing of Larry Hagman in the hours and days to come! What do you think about the loss of one of the greatest television performers in history?  Share your thoughts here.

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Christinek/kayDmitriJaredlisa Recent comment authors
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aria
aria

this is so sad, my condolence to his family and friends.

Jeffrey Anderson
Jeffrey Anderson

rip to Larry Hagman or Good ol’ JR Ewing

toscanti
toscanti

So very sorry for this loss. I can’t even imagine what his family and friends are going through. My thoughts and prayers to all of you. We love you Larry and will never forget you. A true television icon, I’m very saddened by this news.

ethel
ethel

my thoughts and prayers are with his family & friends…………..rest in peace larry….

PGP
PGP

Sad! Hagman will be missed by the world…I just hope that the series handles his death with dignity and respect.

Carol B
Carol B

I’m so sorry to hear this. Larry Hagman was incomparable as JR Ewing.

Ceridwyn2
Ceridwyn2

Such sad news. Saw the notice on twitter on my phone last night while I was at work.

Condolences to his family and friends.

kathy
kathy

Rip larry you will be missed dearly good old jr but at least we can watch reruns of dallas when he was young that is how I will remember jr he was a class act there will never be another jr we love you jr bless you

Lew S
Lew S

Rest in peace

Mary SF
Mary SF

I was sadden to hear the news, his family and friends are in my prayers. He was a great actor who could do drama and comedy equally well. I Dream of Jeannie was one of my favorite shows growing up. I read he was also on the soap opera Edge of Night in the early sixties, which I didn’t know. But in the end he will be remember as J. R. Ewing, one of the best villains on television. Rest in peace Larry.

Ces
Ces

So sad to hear about Larry Hagman’s passing. Loved him since I Dream of Jeannie. RIP Mr. Hagman.

Alley
Alley

RIP, Larry Hagman. You will be missed. We were fortunate to be able to see you inhabit your most iconic character, J.R. Ewing, one last time before you left us. Thanks for the memories.

lisa
lisa

Not the news I was expecting to see when I opened my laptop this morning.
RIP Larry Hagman ,RIP JR.
I know the writers will do him justice….just a sad,sad day.
Prayers to his family and friends.

Jared
Jared

Such a loss. This man was larger than life, and his legacy will live on for generations.

Dmitri
Dmitri

OMG I can’t believe it! I thought he was a great actor and offer my condolences to those who were close to him.

k/kay
k/kay

RIP JR if only we had that great story telling now!!! We will miss you!

Christine
Christine

It was just a few months ago I briefly saw him on ET for whatever show that was. He was talking about beating his cancer and how Linda got him onto a vegetarian diet. He had hoped to live another 10 years.

So sad. He must have taken a turn all of a sudden. It’s too bad they didn’t do the DALLAS reboot years ago!

It’s wonderful how close he, Linda, and Patrick have been all these years. I watched the original DALLAS back in the 80s on Friday nights with my parents and I also saw reruns of I DREAM OF JEANNIE as a kid. I still watch it with my little ones whenever it is on.

All My Children

ABC and PEOPLE’s ‘The Story of Soaps’: What Was Your Review Of It?

Tuesday’s night airing of ABC and PEOPLE’s two-hour special The Story of Soaps featured many notable daytime and primetime soap stars, past and present, clips from backstage to classic memorable moments, and some participants who were providing commentary on the erosion of the daytime soaps in our culture.  Still others, maintained and realized that everything today is serialized from the news we watch, to some of Netflix’s most binge-watchable series, and of course, the birth of reality-programming.

Throughout the airing of the special, The Story of Soaps was trending on Twitter and social media either at the #2, #3 or #4 spots for the entire duration of the broadcast presentation, and the cancelled and beloved All My Children was also at one point trending.

However, known soap writers, journalists, ardent fans, and actors of the genre, were all on Twitter last night live-tweeting their thoughts as the special went down, and there was definitely mixed reactions and reviews, when all was said and done.

What the special did not shy away from, but tackled, was Luke’s rape of Laura at the campus disco on General Hospital. and how that moment now, as Genie Francis (Laura), so eloquently put, would be considered as ‘date rape’ in our culture.  The series even included a pivotal moment where Laura addresses Luke (Tony Geary) about the rape years later, after helping Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst) through her rape ordeal.

John Stamos (Ex-Blackie Parrish, GH) got a bevy of “Right On’s!” for his comment that the soaps do not get the credit that they deserve and clearly came through as one of the soaps greatest supporters, as did former The Doctors and Knots Landing star, Alec Baldwin.

However, throughout the two-hours, Andy Cohen’s commentary was thread throughout; mostly citing soap’s demise and the creation of reality-programming and his “Real Housewives” franchise, that the special touted as the new soap operas.  It continued on the narrative that people preferred to see real-life drama then made-up drama on a fictional soap.  And while, that has been a trend in American culture for decades, the commentary came off as often out of place in a celebration of the soaps; and bringing in a lot of negativity to the special that soap fans were tired of hearing.

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In a lighting rod moment, Cohen stated: “I know Susan Lucci doesn’t agree with me, but I think that the Housewives have replaced soap operas because truth is stranger than fiction. Soaps became kind of unnecessary because you could do it with real people, and they’re writing the drama themselves.”

The special did also address the cancellations of All My Children and One Life to Live, (which many were not sure they were going to do – given this special was airing on ABC), where One Life’s leading lady and six-time Daytime Emmy winner, Erika Slezak (Ex-Viki) said what we all wanted to sa ywhen the ax fell on the towns of Llanview and Pine Valley, “People were horrified”.

Clearly, OJ Simpson and his murder trial and reality-programming were also given a chunk of time to show where the once mighty landscape of daytime soaps which once had 13 shows on the air, dwindled town to 4.  But, it would have been nice to see more time spent on how in this day and age, the people in this current landscape of the genre work so hard to get episodes done at an unbelievable pace, and how in that climate the performers still deliver gut-wrenching performances.

Photo: ABC

Former Loving, OLTL and Breaking Bad star, Bryan Cranston, did point out how the once powerful soaps, just don’t have the dollars they used to, and need to, to help with production costs and their taping schedule.

Viewers were reminded of soaps’ socially relevant storylines including hankie-inducing moments from: Robin (Kimberly McCullough) and Stone’s (Michael Sutton) HIV/AIDS storyline on General Hospital, to Billy Douglas being a gay teen coming out on One Life to Live, played by a young Ryan Phillippe.

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There also did not seem time spent on the contributions of William J. Bell; one of the most prominent writers of the soap genre of all-time.

For many commenting on social media last night, there seemed to be a feeling of some glaring omissions of participants who could speak on this genre, who have been in the trenches as soap producers, soap writers, pundits, actors, and more, who were not included in the special.

So, what was your review of The Story of Soaps? How would you grade it? Do you feel it accurately reflected the history of the genre?  Were you happily surprised,  or when it came to the end where you over it, or somewhere in between? Sound off in the comment section below.  Below are some tweets from notables who have worked as an actor, a writer, and a journalist in the soaps.  

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Dallas

DALLAS Online Reunion Coming With Patrick Duffy, Linda Gray and More

Time to revisit Southfork during the coronavirus pandemic, with news on Friday that some of the cast from the original CBS primetime soap, Dallas will be participating in an online virtual chat next week!

According to Deadline, confirmed thus far are: Patrick Duffy (Ex-Bobby), Linda Gray (Ex-Sue Ellen), Charlene Tilton (Ex-Lucy) and Steve Kanaly (Ex-Ray).

They will all be part of the conversation on Friday, April 24th beginning at 8 p. m. EST.  The stars are taking part in the Stars in the House livestream series to raise money for The Actors Fund’s COVID-19 relief efforts.

Hosted by Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley, who have been bantering with cast members of several former and beloved shows, you can watch the virtual chat up on the Stars in the House website and on YouTube.

Since the first Stars in the House episode on March 16, the series has raised approximately $209,600 to benefit The Actors Fund.

So, will you be checking out the Dallas reunion next Friday? Comment below.

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Breaking News

‘Dallas’ star Ken Kercheval Dead At Age 83

Sad news to report for fans of the iconic primetime soap, Dallas.  Ken Kercheval, who played the thorn in J.R. Ewing’s (Larry Hagman) side, Cliff Barnes, has passed away.   The actor was 83 and died at his home in Indiana on Sunday.   The cause of death is under wraps.  He had been previously open about being a lung cancer survivor after years of smoking.

Kercheval was on Dallas for its entire run on CBS from 1978 to 1991, and returned to the TNT reboot from 2012 to 2014 to reprise his signature role.

On Dallas, Cliff Barnes was always the perennial loser when he went toe to toe with ruthless J.R, but in the final season, Cliff beats J.R at his own game and takes over Ewing Oil.  Cliff was also hopelessly in love with Sue Ellen Ewing (Linda Gray) and was the brother to Pam Barnes, played by Victoria Principal.

As for Ken’s first big acting breaks, that came on daytime soap operas when early in his career he appeared on Search for Tomorrow and How to Survive a Marriage.

Later, he appeared on episodic dramas such as Starsky & Hutch, and Crossing Jordan.  His final role was in a movie, 2019’s Surviving in L.A. said to be a comedy/drama in which he plays the business manager of a former teen sitcom star who trashed her life through drug abuse and is fresh out of rehab.

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Share your thoughts on the passing of Ken Kercheval in the comment section below.   But first, watch him as Cliff Barnes in this scene from TNT’s Dallas when he sees J.R. for the first time in years!

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