In the winter of 1978, Larry Hagman drove the cast of the new television show Dallas around the city of Dallas in a converted bread truck showing them dive bars and much fancier restaurants. He was the only native Texan among them and felt it his duty, his television wife Linda Gray said Thursday as Hagman was inducted into the Texas Film Hall of Fame.
“He’s the consummate actor,” she said of television’s J.R. Ewing. “He’s funny. He’s absolutely adorable. He’s the man you love to hate, and he’s my best friend.”
The 77-year-old also apparently makes a great pitchman for efforts to expand Texas’ incentive program aimed at attracting more movies to film in Texas. As Hagman told it, he paraded around the Texas Capitol this week handing out $10,000 bills (with his own photo on them).
“You have all these fans here and you’re going to get your money back a hundred times over,” Hagman said as he echoed the night’s clarion call. “You can’t miss.”
Hagman, looking gaunt from a 1995 liver transplant, said younger fans today are more likely to remember him from I Dream of Jeannie than Dallas, but the latter surely left the larger cultural mark.
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