Larry Hagman reported dead
Even without Dallas, Larry Hagman would be a significant pop culture figure, especially for geeks.
Of course, there is I Dream of Jeannie. Some wanted to dismiss it as a Bewitched clone, but it wasn’t that. For one thing, Tony was a lot more interesting character than Darrin. It wasn’t just because he was an astronaut/test pilot rather than working in an advertising agency (who would want to watch a TV series about people who work in an ad agency? 😉 Oh yeah, Mad Men).
Tony was funnier, and thanks to Hagman’s performance, often the one you wanted to watch (despite Jeannie’s harem outfit). Bewitched was clearly about Samantha and her family, and Darrin was largely the straight man. I Dream of Jeannie was arguably more about Tony, and Roger, and Dr. Bellows, although that’s not to minimize the great work of Barbara Eden.
That’s only one accomplishment, though.
I certainly think of Larry Hagman’s subtle, emotional anchor work in the Cold War movie, Fail-Safe. Hagman’s interpreter (of Russian) gives us the real human feel for what is happening, opposite Henry Fonda’s sweeping political decisions as the President in a crisis.
He also appeared on Night Gallery, and reunited with Barbara Eden for the creepy TV movie, A Howling in the Woods.
Another TV movie brought us the “Return of the World’s Greatest Detective” when he played a modernized “Sherman Holmes” (actually, a character who delusionally thinks he is Sherlock).
He had a small part in the Christopher Reeve Superman in 1978.
Like many others, he voiced a character on The Simpsons.
He also directed and appeared in Beware! The Blob.
Hagman was a character, on screen and off.
Good-bye, Larry Hagman: the world is a little less sly without you.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle.