Watson’s World News no. 11/2012

Full issue in pdf   Watson’s World News no. 11/2012

Larry Hagman (aka J. R. Ewing) Dies at 81

Larry Hagman, who is best known to TV viewers* as the evil* J. R. Ewing from the TV show Dallas, has died.larry_hagman

He was 81 years old. To older viewers, he was also known as Major Tony Nelson in I Dream of Jeannie, a popular sitcom from the 60s, in which his character* was a nice guy.

Hagman was born in Texas in 1931. His father was a lawyer and his mother was actress Mary Martin, who is most famous for playing Peter Pan on Broadway. His parents divorced when he was 5.

Hagman began acting in High School, but had only small parts in films and TV series until he was cast as* astronaut Tony Nelson in I Dream of Jeannie.

Then came Dallas. J. R. Ewing was not originally intended* to be the main character, but Hagman ad-libbed* a lot on the set,* to make his character more evil, and it worked.

He was known as a hard drinker his whole life, but gave up both alcohol and cigarettes after a life-saving liver* transplant in 1995. He then became a strong anti-smoking advocate.*

However, he recommended marijuana as a safer alternative to alcohol. He continued to be active in acting after Dallas, and was working on a new version of the series at the time of his death.

He is survived by his wife, Swedish born Maj Axelsson, who he married in 1954. They have a daughter, Heidi, who is 54, and a son, Preston, who is 50.

“Larry Hagman was one of a kind and will be with us all forever,” Linda Gray, who played Sue Ellen Ewing on Dallas, wrote.

Vocabulary:

viewer – divá

evil – zlý

character – postava

be cast as – bý obsazen jako

be intended – bý zamýšen

ad-lib – improvizovat

set – scéa

liver – jára

advocate – zastáce

Question for discussion:

Were you a fan of Dallas?

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