Kristina Hagman wants to set the record straight about her famous father. The daughter of Larry Hagman wrote a tell-all book about the late Dallas star, titled The Eternal Party, revealing that she has very few memories of her late father ever being sober. In an interview with Fox 411, Kristina Hagman said her dad was constantly drinking when she was growing up, and that while Larry Hagman was successful in his career, he wasn’t successful when it came to battling his demons.
In the interview, Kristina revealed that her dad started drinking heavily at age 14, and that he had a penchant for pot smoking. Hagman also acknowledged that while she was born in upper middle class America, “there were times where we were basically homeless.”
Larry Hagman started out as an actor in the 1950s and by 1965 he secured a starring role on the sitcom I Dream of Jeannie, but didn’t become financially secure until the late 1970s when he starred as J.R. Ewing on the primetime drama Dallas.
Kristina revealed that while her parents were married for nearly 60 years, her father had dozens of affairs and mistresses. After Larry’s death in 2012 at age 81, Kristina Hagman said “people kept coming out of the woodwork and sharing information that I didn’t necessarily want to hear.” Hagman said that whatever her parents did (or didn’t do) “on a sexual level was one thing, but they were a partnership.”
Radar Online posted passages from Kristina Hagman’s book, which revealed the secret side to Larry Hagman’s Hollywood marriage. In fact, Kristina claims her dad had girlfriends right up until his death, and that they showed up in full force at his memorial services in both New York and Los Angeles. One was a much younger woman who crawled into bed with him while he was in the hospital ICU during the final days of his battle with cancer.
“He was excited to tell me all about it,” Kristina wrote. “They had met while the new Dallas was being shot and he was having (cancer) treatment.”
But Kristina Hagman credits actor Jack Nicholson for turning her dad on to the biggest love of his life: Marijuana.
“I hardly ever saw my father when he wasn’t stoned or cruising on wine,” Kristina wrote. “I don’t think I ever saw him sober except for a brief period just before and just after his liver transplant (in 1995)…Dad might have been even more of a drinker if he hadn’t met Jack Nicholson, who turned him onto pot, the substance he fell permanently in love with.”
In her book, Hagman also said her father lived hard and loved hard.
“He so completely embraced the sex, drugs and rock-and-roll ethos of (the ’60s) that he lived it to the end of his days.”
Kristina Hagman detailed the constant drinking that took place in her childhood home — in addition to Larry, her mother, Maj Axelsson, was also a functioning alcoholic — revealing that the boozing started first thing in the morning with vodka and orange juice and Bloody Marys.
One of the most shocking things Kristina Hagman revealed was that her parents once left her in the care of a stoner friend when they went out of town and she was molested by some teen boys.
“For dad to think that the person who took him on a safe acid trip was still the same person who could keep kids safe is a pretty big stretch,” Kristina told Fox. She also admitted that she dropped acid with her dad years later after he casually suggested they try it. Kristina hoped it would help her understand him better.
“That was when I was 19. That era it was a way of bonding with your kids,” Hagman said.
While it sounds like a sad childhood, Kristina Hagman said 80 percent of her memories of her dad Larry Hagman are “fantastic — wonderful, sweet, loving.” But she now knows that her father was hurting from his own traumatic childhood. Larry had a troubled relationship with his mother, actress Mary Martin, and the strict grandmother who raised him died when he was 12, and that is why he tried to numb the pain.
“In doing the book I kind of became a lot more sensitive to why he drank so much and did so much pot,” Kristina said. “I really began to understand the little boy that’s inside every man, and how that little boy was really hurt. I became much more aware and forgiving who he was when I really began to look at what brought him to that point.”
Take a look at the video below to hear Kristina Hagman talking about her father Larry Hagman.
[Photo by Christian Augustin/Getty Images]