Belfast Telegraph

Monday 30 March 2015

Hagman gets teary Dallas farewell

The late Larry Hagman and his character JR Ewing were honoured in the special episode of Dallas
The late Larry Hagman and his character JR Ewing were honoured in the special episode of Dallas

Larry Hagman and his Dallas alter-ego JR Ewing have had a heartfelt send-off with a drama-filled screen funeral.

Larry, who died from leukaemia last November, was remembered in an episode titled JR's Masterpiece, as his character was laid to rest with the cast mourning his passing and viewers left wondering 'Who shot JR?' once again.

The touching tribute, shown on US network TNT, saw the episode's opening credits amended to honour the actor appropriately at the request of executive producers, Cynthia Cidre and Michael R Robin, while the upbeat theme tune was changed to a more sombre song.

The episode - featuring tears, laughs, drama and cameos from former Dallas cast members Ted Shackelford, Cathy Podewell and Charlene Tilton - saw a fight between Christopher Ewing (played by Jesse Metcalfe) and his brother John Ross (Josh Henderson), and a heart-wrenching performance from Linda Gray as JR's ex-wife Sue Ellen.

Linda told Access Hollywood that the cast and crew wanted to honour Larry with a memorable episode.

"Larry put Dallas, really, on the map after the assassination of John F Kennedy... and then went on to enchant the whole world, so we thought wouldn't it be lovely to dedicate this day - where the show is all about his memorial - so everyone could say goodbye, thanks, and 'We love you'," she said.

The show's executive producer Cynthia Cidre said: "A lot of what was said [in the episode], I think fits both people. It fits the fictional character and Larry, and so the actors who also knew Larry are kind of doing like a parallel funeral for both actor and character."

The episode will air on UK screens on March 19.

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