Legendary television actor Larry Hagman has passed away at the age of 81 his family has announced.

Hagman will forever be remembered for his role of scheming oil baron JR Ewing in the prime-time soap opera Dallas. Hagman played the character between 1978 and 1991 when the series was cancelled and also appeared as JR in several episodes of spin-off Knots Landing. Hagman’s association with Dallas didn’t end with the final episode in 1991; he reprised the role in several television movies in the 1990s and more recently in TNT‘s revival of the soap acting once more alongside long-term co-stars Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray.

According to his family Larry Hagman passed away on Friday evening, a statement has been released: “Larry was back in his beloved Dallas, re-enacting the iconic role he loved most. Larry’s family and close friends had joined him in Dallas for the Thanksgiving holiday. When he passed, he was surrounded by loved ones. It was a peaceful passing, just as he had wished for.”

Although Dallas will be the series that Hagman will be most remembered for the actor appeared in a wide variety of other shows including the 1950s comedy series I Dream Of Jeannie. The actor’s other credits include appearances in Nip/Tuck, Desperate Housewives, The Edge of Night, Superman, The Rockford Files and The Simpsons.

The character of JR Ewing propelled Dallas to huge ratings highs in the 1980s as millions of viewers across the world regularly tuned in to watch his scheming and plotting as he battled enemies, friends and family to keep Ewing Oil firmly under his control. Perhaps the most famous Dallas storyline of all was ‘Who Shot JR’ in where nearly all the other characters were suspects. The storyline caused a media frenzy around the world as viewers were desperate to find out who had done the deed. The storyline inspired storylines in other soaps such as EastEnders and Coronation Street. As well as starring in the show Hagman also directed 32 episodes of Dallas and also served as a producer during the original series’ final years.

Earlier this year TNT aired the first season of its revived Dallas in which Larry Hagman reprised the role of JR Ewing with Patrick Duffy, Linda Gray, Charlene Tilton and Ken Kercheval also reprising their roles from the original series. A second series of the new Dallas is due to air on TNT in January.

Larry Hagman: 1931 – 2012

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