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Hagman fans flock to Dallas ranch

Tourists and local people have flocked to Southfork Ranch with armfuls of flowers in a tribute to Larry Hagman, who played villainous oil tycoon JR Ewing in the TV soap Dallas.

Hagman, 81, died in Dallas on Friday from to complications from his battle with throat cancer.

Southfork, a ranch north of Dallas, was known to millions of viewers as the Ewing family home. Exterior shots of the house and pool were shown when the series was shown from 1978 to 1991, although the actual show was not filmed there.

The ranch has been open for tours since the mid-1980s and now sees more than 100,000 visitors each year. Each room of the house has a theme for each character.

On Saturday JR Ewing's room had flowers and a card for tourists to sign.

"Today is about Larry Hagman and his family," said Janna Timm, a Southfork Ranch & Hotel spokeswoman. "He was such a wonderful person, and we will really miss him."

Dallas was recently revived on cable TV channel TNT this summer and all the scenes were filmed at Southfork or other places in the Dallas area. Hagman had reprised his role as the scheming oilman who would even double-cross his own son.

Linda Sproule, of Peterborough, Ontario, had been travelling through the US when she heard about Hagman's death while in Dallas. She said she did not know where Southfork was but wanted to come because she was a fan of the show in the 1980s. "I remember on Friday nights we watched it, and JR was bigger than life in some ways," she said after taking the Southfork tour. "This ranch is beautiful. Being here is kind of emotional in a way."

Some of the show's stars, including Hagman, came to Southfork for the series' 25th anniversary.

The Fort Worth-born actor also had visited several times before the show was revived.


From Belfast Telegraph