'Dallas' star Larry Hagman dies in Texas
The Fort Worth, Texas, native was the son of singer-actress Mary Martin, who starred in such classics as ‘‘South Pacific’’ and ‘‘Peter Pan.’’ Martin was still in her teens when he was born in 1931 during her marriage to attorney Ben Hagman.
As a youngster, Hagman gained a reputation for mischief-making as he was bumped from one private school to another. He made a stab at New York theater in the early 1950s, then served in the Air Force from 1952-56 in England.
While there, he met and married young Swedish designer Maj Axelsson. The couple had two children, Preston and Heidi, and were longtime residents of the Malibu beach colony that is home to many celebrities.
Hagman returned to acting and found work in the theater and in such TV series as ‘‘The U.S. Steel Hour,’’ ‘'The Defenders’’ and ‘‘Sea Hunt.’’ His first continuing role was as lawyer Ed Gibson on the daytime serial ‘‘The Edge of Night’’ (1961-63).
He called his 2001 memoir ‘‘Hello Darlin’: Tall (and Absolutely True) Tales about My Life.’’
‘‘I didn’t put anything in that I thought was going to hurt someone or compromise them in any way,’’ he told The Associated Press at the time.
Hagman was diagnosed in 1992 with cirrhosis of the liver and acknowledged that he had drank heavily for years. In 1995, a malignant tumor was discovered on his liver and he underwent a transplant.
After his transplant, he became an advocate for organ donation and volunteered at a hospital to help frightened patients.
‘‘I counsel, encourage, meet them when they come in for their operations, and after,’’ he said in 1996. ‘‘I try to offer some solace, like ‘Don’t be afraid, it will be a little uncomfortable for a brief time, but you'll be OK.’ ‘‘
He also was an anti-smoking activist who took part in ‘‘Great American Smoke-Out’’ campaigns.
Funeral plans had not been announced as of Saturday morning.
‘‘I can honestly say that we've lost not just a great actor, not just a television icon, but an element of pure Americana,’’ Eden said in her statement Friday night. ‘‘Goodbye, Larry. There was no one like you before and there will never be anyone like you again.’’
Associated Press writers Erin Gartner in Chicago and Shaya Mohajer in Los Angeles, and AP Television Writer Frazier Moore in New York contributed to this report.