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I don’t know why I’m fixated on the death of Larry Martin Hagman. So many of   his obituaries focused mainly on his role as J.R. in the very popular TV classic and now revived series Dallas.  Surely, Hagman had some fame before Dallas.

I started searching by simply putting Larry Hagman in my browser, which in my case was Google.

Mom: Mary Martin

I’m sure that some of my fondness for Larry Hagman comes from Mary Martin being his mother.  Mary Martin was an idol of my teen years.  How about you?

I think that mother and son even look somewhat alike.

Started in the Theater

After graduating  New York’s Bard College and appearing in regional theater, Hagman joined his mother  in England in the touring show of “South Pacific” where he played one of the sailors.

Here is the most wonder YouTube recorded in 1980 when Hagman was 49 , already play in J.R. His mom Mary Martin was 67.  She died 10 years later.  They are performing together at the Royal Variety Performance 1980 (London), with Larry famously forgetting the lyrics.  Sammy Davis, Jr. is the M.C.  The video runs for almost 14 minutes.  Mary Martin is towards the later half.  I thought it was well worth the time watching.


If you want to make the screen larger on a video, put your cursor over the image at the extreme right.  It will say—full screen.  Click.  You can always return to regular size by using the ESC key on your computer. (on the very top row, extreme left.)

If you want to skip or go back to see again, put your cursor on the small white and red ball on the left and move it to the position you want.


“I Dream of Jeannie”

His first big role that I remember was as Captain Tony Nelson in the NBC sitcom “I Dream of Jeannie”, which ran from 1965 to 1970.  From what I read, it was only a moderate success, but in syndication was one of the highest rated series of the 1970s.

Look at this treasure: a full episode of  “I Dream of Jeannie”. ‘Where’d You Go-Go?’, aired December 4, 1965.


Then eight years later, in 1978, Hagman became forever J.R. in the worldwide super hit Dallas.  What made Dallas such a success?  The answer may be in the very close friendships of the cast.  Co-Actors Linda Gray (Sue Ellen Ewing on Dallas) and Patrick Duffy (Bobby Ewing) join his family at Hagman’s death-bed.

Revival of Dallas.  Buddies in real life, too.