Larry Hagman, former Ojai resident best known to his adoring fans as the evil schemer J.R. Ewing on long-running series “Dallas” died Friday at a Dallas hospital from complications of cancer, according to his family.
Hagman lived high on top of Sulphur Mountain for many years, and was a familiar figure around Ojai, best known for his impish sense of humor, broad smile and firm handshake. He carried a sheaf of fake $100 bills to hand out to fans, featuring his Stetson-topped face and the motto, “In Hagman we trust.”
The family statement released Saturday morning read, “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.”
Hagman met and married his Swedish-born wife of 40-plus years, Maj, while serving in the U.S. Air Force in England. He first achieved lasting fame in the role of astronaut Tony Nelson opposite Barbara Eden in “I Dream of Jeannie.”
Hagman reprised his role as J.R. for the TNT remake of “Dallas.” He shot several episodes of the second season.