Beloved Dallas Star Larry Hagman DiesPublished November 26, 2012 by OCR Editor
Iconic Dallas role spurred bookmakers' odds on Who Shot JR episode.
Larry Hagman - whose iconic role as the faithless, evil, and corrupt "JR Ewing" in the nighttime soap Dallas led to stardom and sky-high ratings for the show - has died after complications from his battle with cancer. The 81-year-old actor passed away peacefully, surrounded by family and friends, including Dallas co-star Linda Gray.
Hagman first came to prominence as the star of the 60s' NBC comedy I Dream of Jeannie - playing astronaut Dr. Tony Nelson opposite Barbara Eden's attractive genie. But it was as the villainous Texas oil baron JR Ewing in CBS' Dallas series that he achieved full stardom. The show's most famous episode, "Who Shot JR", was a cliffhanger that broke viewing records, inspired endless speculation, and was so talked-about that bookmakers placed odds on the outcome of the show.
Bookies worldwide take bets on who shot JR
It was the start of the "greedy 80s." Jimmy Carter was in the White House. And "who shot JR" was on everyone's minds - including bookmakers who were placing odds on who pulled the trigger. (The previous season's final episode showed JR Ewing (Hagman) shot by an unseen gunman.) The bookmakers, who had given wife Sue Ellen (Gray) 25/1 odds and risked six-figure losses, were relieved when it turned out that it was JR's mistress Kristin Shepard (Mary Crosby) who had done the deed.
While the above certainly makes for interesting trivia in the betting world, it is nevertheless just a sidebar in Larry Hagman's celebrated life and career.