America’s fantasy villain
J.R. Ewing was a powerful force, which is why so many people were so saddened when Larry Hagman died last week. He was 81, and hadn’t yet finished filming the second season of TNT’s “Dallas” reboot, his return to the perfect marriage of actor and character. Hagman wouldn’t have been such an icon if his career had peaked with “I Dream of Jeannie.” And if anyone else had played J.R., “Dallas” might have shriveled. According to the Dallas Morning News, J.R. was first conceived as a side character. Hagman’s performance, informed by his Texas upbringing, consumed the show.