LARRY HAGMAN: A Biography by Leon Adams


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A so-so celebio of Hagman, very much devoted to his image as J.R. Ewing, currently the world's greatest cad on the Dallas TV super-soaper. Hagman, the son of Mary Martin, has a few of the wheeling-and-dealing traits of J.R., as Adams (a pseudonym) makes clear, but is also a flute-playing Malibu cutup who loves to surprise folks in bis gorilla suit and other costumes and to lead an annual town parade of his own devising. Unlike womanizer J.R., he has been married to the same woman for 26 years and has raised two bright, well-adjusted children. Nor is he a gambler or heavy drinker. He's a strict vegetarian, diets, exercises, enjoys completely silent Sundays (communicating when he must by whistling), and could retire today on his wealth. About his only vice is nude bathing with his guests in a very large Jacuzzi designed by his wife. Mother Mary, best known for ""My Heart Belongs to Daddy,"" Peter Pan, and South Pacific, divorced Hagman's father when the boy was five and didn't have much time to spare away from the stage and films to raise him. He spent his childhood in Weatherford, a small town near Dallas/Fort Worth, was shipped off to numberless schools, discovered in a school play that he had a taste for acting and got some small roles in his mother's hits. In the Navy, he finessed his way into European duty, far from Korea, and staged entertainments for the troops, a bit of life-saving that does call forth a J.R. gleam of self-satisfaction. After many minor TV roles, he had a hit with I Dream Of Jeannie, finally struck oil with Dallas, whose ""Who Shot J.R."" episode drew the highest single rating of any show in history. When Dallas folds, as it must, Hagman plans to continue as a TV director, having directed many episodes of his various series. Adams, who characterizes J.R. with endless relish, is more solemn about Flagman. The 30 B&W photos (not seen) may help.

Pub Date: March 23rd, 1987
Publisher: St. Martin