TODAY   |  November 24, 2012

Friends, co-stars remember Larry Hagman

The man best known as J.R. Ewing on the TV show "Dallas" has passed away, but he will live on in the memories of friends and fans. “Larry Hagman was my best friend for 35 years,” said his former co-star Linda Gray. NBC’s Kristen Dahlgren reports.

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>>> 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