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Larry Hagman

Novembre 2010
Chi non ricorda il cattivo di Dallas, il petroliere J.R.? E dire che l’attore ha pochissimo in comune con il suo personaggio. Per una sorta di legge del contrappasso, Larry Hagman detesta il petrolio ed è un accanito ambientalista. E le riprese della nuova serie di Dallas stanno per iniziare!

di Mark Worden

File audio:

Larry Hagman
Larry Hagman

Speaker: Chuck Rolando (Standard American accent)

Thirty years ago everybody asked the same question: “Who shot J.R.?” J.R. was J.R. Ewing, the star of the TV series Dallas. J.R. was a corrupt Texas oilman. He was cruel in business and he was cruel in his private life. He had many enemies. The show’s second season ended on March 21st, 1980. In the last episode a mystery figure entered his office and shot him. The next season began in November. Viewers waited eight months for the answer to the question “Who shot J.R.?” 83 million Americans watched the first episode of the new season. It was also an international sensation. The Turkish parliament interrupted a session: this was so that M.P.s could go home and watch Dallas!


Larry Hagman is the actor who played J.R. His performance was brilliant: he was the man “everyone loved to hate.” In reality Larry Hagman is very different from J.R. J.R. was a Texas oilman. He probably liked another Texas oilman, George W. Bush, but Larry Hagman is left-wing and he hates Bush! And Hagman doesn’t like oil: today he campaigns for solar energy.


Larry Hagman was born on September 21st, 1931. His childhood was difficult. His mother, Mary Martin, was a famous actress. She divorced her husband when Larry was five. Larry went to live with his grandmother. As a teenager he developed a drink problem. When he left school he decided to become an actor,  but he joined the United States Air Force during the Korean War. He left the Air Force  in 1956 and worked as a TV actor. He became a star in the 1960s, thanks to the success of the series I Dream of Jeannie. The show was about a female genie: Hagman played her master. And Dallas made Hagman a superstar. The show ran from 1978 to 1991. Hagman appeared in all 357 episodes.


Today Larry Hagman is 79. He is a member of the environmental group Solar World. He and his wife live in an enormous house in the California mountains. It is completely solar-powered. In the past the Hagmans’ annual energy bill was $37,000. Today it is $13.
One last question: Who shot J.R.? It was his sister-in-law, Kristin. And that’s not all: Dallas will return to television next year. There will be a sequel about J.R.’s children. Larry Hagman will probably appear.


Jeannie and Genie.  Ovviamente si tratta di un gioco di parole. I due nomi si pronunciano allo stesso modo

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who shot J.R.?: chi ha sparato a J.R.?

oilman: petroliere

viewers: spettatori

sensation: successo sensazionale

M.P.s: parlamentari (Member of Parliament)

left-wing: di sinistra

childhood: infanzia

genie: genio, spiritello

energy bill: bolletta dell’elettricità

sister-in-law: cognata