Friday, November 30, 2012

We all learned recently of the death of the actor Larry Hagman. Well, all actors and we all will die but the death of this guy touched us because we kind of grew up with this actor. He was like that weird uncle that you saw occasionally. As a child we saw him daily on the hit show I Dream of Jeannie and then as we got older he was the mean rich guy on another hit show Dallas. We probably saw him more than our real relatives.
The beautiful actress, still beautiful Barbara Eden played the sexy but vulnerable Jeannie literally in a bottle that when you rub she appears. It was every man’s sexual fantasy although it was a very G rated sitcom in a very comic way. Why does she still look great and through out his life, he looked progressively worse? Could part of it be because she took care of herself and he decided that a life of booze was a better idea for him?
He had a great life as do most children who choose to be an actor especially because they have famous parents in acting. His mother was the famous Mary Martin mostly known for her role as Peter Pan. Other famous children are Goldie Hawn’s daughter Kate Hudson or Kurt Douglas’s son Michael Douglas or even Gweneth Paltrow the daughter of Blythe Danner. Could all that acting talent really be in the genes? I doubt it. Nepotism and connections in the business must have a lot to do with this generational same occupations.
The point is that guys like Larry Hagman had a good life . Almost too good. He abused his body from his drinking habit and I believe through his fame and fortune was able to get a risky liver transplant just like another famous guy who had a life of too much partying. David Crosby the guitarist, singer and songwriter from the band Crosby, Stills & Nash was also the recipient of a highly publicized liver transplant in 1995. News of his transplant created some controversy because of his celebrity status and his past issues with drugs and alcohol addiction.
Both guys partied too much and were in their middle years and in poor health at the time of their transplants. I believe their celebrity status had a lot to do with them being at the top of the waiting list for transplants meanwhile some poor kid is still dying waiting for their very much needed new liver. Both Larry and David continued drinking and abusing their new precious body parts.
Yet both men also went on and continued having more success in their careers. David Crosby in addition to his solo career was a founding member of three bands: The Byrds, Crosby, Stills & Nash ( who are sometimes joined by Neil Young), and CPR. Crosby has been inducted into the Rock and Roll hall of Fame twice: once for his work in The Byrds and once for his work with CSN.
In a long TV and movie career, Larry Hagman is best remembered for his roles on the sitcom I Dream of Jeannie and the primetime soap Dallas—his signature role and one that he recently reprised in the reboot of the series. After undergoing a life-saving transplant following his diagnosis of liver disease his transplant also created some controversy because of his celebrity status and his past issues with drug and alcohol addiction.

Later Hagman became an advocate of organ donation and hosted the National Kidney Foundation's U.S. Transplant Games. The adamant former smoker also chaired the American Cancer Society's Great American Smokeout. In 2008, during his appearance on shows, he had fun with his trademark Stetson, described how he made the J.R. Ewing character so memorable and talked about his focus on health and well-being. Recently, Hagman lost his battle with cancer. He was 81 years old.

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