Parker, TX — Locals and tourists armed with flowers gathered at Southfork Ranch Saturday in memory of Larry Hagman, who played J.R. Ewing on Dallas.
Hagman died Friday at 81 due to complications from cancer.
Southfork, north of Dallas, was known to millions of viewers as the Ewing family home. While the show wasn’t actually filmed there, exterior shots of the house and pool were used during the show’s run from 1978 to 1991.
The ranch has been open for tours since the mid-1980s, and gets about 100,000 visitors each year. Each room has a theme for each character of the show.
J.R. Ewing’s room had flowers and a card for visitors to sign.
Southfork Ranch & Hotel spokeswoman Janna Timm said, “Today is about Larry Hagman and his family. He was such a wonderful person and we will really miss him.”
Vice president of resorts at Southfork, Jim Gomes, said, “He was definitely a gentleman, a class act. He loved the fans as much as they loved him.”
Hagman’s real life persona was vastly different than the character he played. Barbara Quinones, who was already in town with her husband for their daughter’s soccer tournament, said, “We loved him because he was so ruthless. This is a sad day, but I’m glad we’re here.”
Dallas was revived this past summer on TNT, and all of the scenes were filmed at Southfork or in the Dallas area. The show’s producers are expected to start working quickly on a proper sendoff for Hagman’s character, as he had already shot six of 15 episodes for the show’s second season, which premieres on January 28.
The cast and crew released a joint statement following Hagman’s death. It read:
“Larry Hagman was a giant, a larger-than-life personality whose iconic performance as J.R. Ewing will endure as one of the most indelible in entertainment history.
He truly loved portraying this globally recognized character, and he leaves a legacy of entertainment, generosity and grace. Everyone at Warner Bros. and in the ‘Dallas’ family is deeply saddened by Larry’s passing, and our thoughts are with his family and dear friends during this difficult time.”
TNT also issued a statement, saying that the network “will be forever thankful that a whole new generation of people got to know and appreciate Larry through his performance as J.R. Ewing.”
What are your favorite memories of Larry Hagman?