Following the death of actor Larry Hagman, who first brought J.R to life in 1978, the second season of the modern Dallas is to write his character out with a who-dunnit murder. Gray, speaking to official fan club Ultimate Dallas, says however there won’t be violence at the on-screen funeral. Not even when Sue Ellen comes face to face with J.R’s ex-lover Mandy Winger – played by Deborah Shelton.
“I don’t think there are fireworks… What they have done is beautiful. I have always been fascinated by the fact the writers can do such magic, that they weave this web of really beautiful words that will impact every person who sees this in such a powerful way. I was thrilled by what they wrote.
“…it was done with such style, such dignity, just like JR/Larry Hagman deserved. It was the most beautiful ceremony, it was stunning. Every single actor that came up to speak was brilliant, was amazing, it was stunning.”
She also said the episode itself could have filled double the slot TNT and Channel 5 give the show:
“That episode should be much longer than one [regular] episode, it should be an hour and a half and it should be a special. When I looked around I thought “How can they cut this?” “How can they edit this down to 41 minutes?” In my mind make it an hour and a half special but I’m not the network.”
Dallas returned to television screens for its first new series since 1991 last year, with a host of young cast playing the next generation of Ewings as well as several popular faces from the past. Larry as J.R was seen as the pivotal character by many, but Gray believes the show can go on without Hagman because J.R’s legacy will linger for a long time.
“I feel that the writers will have something that JR would have done that will reverberate throughout the rest of the shows, for as long as Dallas runs. You know it could be he started something and that turns into something else, it could be this huge snowball effect. It could go on and on but he will always be remembered so people won’t forget him ever, ever.” Gray told Ultimate Dallas.
The full interview can be read here