Linda Gray, the on-screen wife of Larry Hagman’s JR Ewing, has released a statement in response to the veteran TV actor’s death last night after a battle with cancer.
Linda Gray and Larry Hagman both had signed on for the recent Dallas reboot on TNT, but when the original Dallas was in full swing in the 80s, the show was a pop-culture force to be reckoned with and a precursor to several other nighttime soaps like Knots Landing and Dynasty.
Linda Gray spoke of Hagman initially after his death was announced last night, but released a longer statement to People commemorating the man with whom she shared a screen in one of TV’s most beloved bits of history. Gray said:
“Larry Hagman was my best friend for 35 years. He was the Pied Piper of life and brought joy to everyone he knew.”
The Dallas star, now 72, continued:
“He was creative, generous, funny, loving and talented and I will miss him enormously. He was an original and lived life to the fullest. The world was a brighter place because of Larry.”
Jesse Metcalf worked alongside Linda Gray and Larry Hagman for the new Dallas, portraying Christopher Ewing on the soap. Metcalf says working alongside Hagman in his final years was a huge influence on him and he expresses gratitude for the opportunity:
“It was truly an honor to share the screen with Mr. Larry Hagman. With piercing wit and undeniable charm he brought to life one of the most legendary television characters of all time … But to know the man, however briefly, was to know a passion and dedication for life and acting that was profoundly inspirational.”
Hagman passed away last night in a hospital in Dallas.