TODAY | November 24, 2012
>>> we begin this half-hour with the death of actor larry hagman . he created the character j.r. ewing , the texas oil man viewers loved to hate. kristen dahlgren has more on his life and his career.
>> reporter: it was one of those iconic tv moments and the role that made larry hagman a household name. [ gunshot ] perhaps the biggest cliffhanger of all time. who shot j.r.? as the millionaire j.r. ewing -- couldn't wait for the latest installment from southfork ranch . hagman recently reprised the role of j.r., joining patrick duffy and linda gray as the ewings gathered.
>> you are still the prettiest girl at the ball.
>> we still have so much fun. don't tell anybody, but it should have been a sitcom.
>> reporter: "the dallas morning news" reports duffy and gray were at his side when he passed at a dallas hospital from complications from throat cancer . linda 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 world was a brighter place because of him. hagman was the son of broadway legend mary martin . he first made it big playing major nelson opposite barbara eden on "i dream of jeannie." hagman also had roles in movies like "primary colors."
>> i have a price to pay.
>> reporter: but it was his turn as the back stabbing jr. for which hagman will be best remembered. a small screen legend that endured for decades and will live on in tv history . for "today," kristen dahlgren, nbc news, los angeles .
>> isn't it something that he played a character who was so likable in "i dream of jeannie" and a character that people, as you said, loved to hate on " dallas ."
>> total opposite, and yet was so well loved for both of those characters.
>> our thoughts are with his