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Larry Hagman Talks Cancer Battle with ET Prior to Death

6 years ago by Reg Seeton

Actor Larry Hagman as J.R. Ewing in the TNT relaunch of Dallas.

Actor Larry Hagman talked about his 13-month battle with throat cancer prior to his death on Friday ahead of the second season of Dallas in January.

In an exclusive interview with Entertainment Tonight prior to his death on Friday at the age of 81, Larry Hagman opened about his battle with throat cancer and his treatment routine to beat the disease that included radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

Just over a year ago, Larry Hagman was diagnosed with throat cancer only weeks before the season one start of Dallas on TNT.

As the ET interview continued, Hagman also revealed that he initially lost 35-pounds and had to be fed through a feeding tube.

Interestingly, it was Dallas co-star Linda Gray who convinced Hagman to transform his died and go Vegan. In the interview, Gray admitted that she demanded that Hagman eat healthier so he could live longer.

“We can’t have a show without J.R. Ewing,” Gray jokingly said to Hagman about eating Vegan, “So you’re going to eat this food!”

Although the clip reveals that Larry Hagman was cancer free, Hagman succumbed to the disease on Friday at the age of 81 with co-stars Linda Gray and Patrick Duffy by his side.

In the ET interview, Patrick Duffy shared his personal feelings about Larry Hagman and his love for a friend.

“I celebrate the life of Larry Hagman since I met him on the first day of Dallas,” said Duffy. “81 years when he shouldn’t have made it past 71, pretty damn good!”

So, how did Larry Hagman feel about retirement before his death? It wasn’t in the cards with Dallas about to return for a second season.

“Retirement from something I make a lot of money at, I love to do, and have fun doing it, “said Hagman about his role on Dallas before saying no to hanging up his Stetson. “I think it’ll go for a good long time, I hope. I’d settle for 13-years like we did before.”

Larry Hagman died on Friday at the age of 81 at a Medical City hospital in Dallas with friends and family by his side.

“Larry was back in his beloved Dallas re-enacting the iconic role he loved most,” said the Hagman family in a public statement following his death.

What do you think?

Reg Seeton created The Deadbolt in 2005 after working for the pioneering movie news website, Coming Attractions. Reg has over 15 years experience as a top online entertainment journalist and interviewer, has worked with several award winning actors, musicians and writers, and has managed entertainment networks in New York and Los Angeles. And he's done it all with one eye!
  • Paul E Peterson

    Sorry to see Mr Hagman go. One gifted starts of TV.From the Dallas Morning News ” He Played the most Popular Villain in Television History. People Magazine called him ‘ The Paul Bunyan of Black Hats'”

  • Larry Hagman is and will continue to be the reigning champion of the 1970’s T.V. era putting Dallas on the map, and J.R. Euing into popularity. The T.V. series is still rated as a number 1 and people continue to buy the episodes from 1978-1991. It’s too bad cancer continues to plague our citizens, but until we find a better treatment, talented actors like Larry Hagman will die in legend. Rest in peace, they’ll never be another actor like him. The new Dallas series is unfortunately doomed without J.R. Euing!

  • Marcy Bronfman

    I was SO SORRY to hear that he passed away. I watched I Dream of Jeannie for a long time and they both seemed “magical”.