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Matt Damon: Hagman is part of culture

Matt Damon says "a huge part of American culture" has been lost with the passing of Larry Hagman.

The Dallas actor passed away last week from complications of cancer, aged 81.

He had previously voiced his adoration for Damon, saying he would "like to play his daddy" at some point.

The feeling was mutual, with the younger star looking up to Hagman from an early age.

Hagman famously portrayed dastardly J.R. Ewing in American series Dallas. A storyline involving J.R.'s shooting remains one of the most talked about in TV history.

"I grew up watching him, Who Shot J.R.? was more than a TV event. It made its way into my consciousness at a very young age. I was probably ten or 11 when all that was going on," Damon told ET Online.

"He's a huge part of American culture."

Dallas, which also starred Linda Gray and Patrick Duffy, has recently been revamped for television. The new series features Jesse Metcalfe and Josh Henderson, with Hagman, Gray and Duffy reprising their roles.

Damon feels it is Hagman and the original series which really captured the world's heart.

"He [Hagman] was certainly impactful in a way that is probably much harder to be now. There's a lot more channels and a lot more noise," he explained.

Hagman's family was with him during his passing in Texas and have expressed a wish for privacy.

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