Larry Hagman

Larry Hagman

Larry Hagman has passed away aged 81.

The 'Dallas' legend - famed for playing TV villain JR Ewing - died last night (23.11.12) after ongoing complications in his battle with throat cancer, with his family and close friends at his bedside.

Larry's family said in a statement: "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. The family requests privacy at this time."

The popular actor had reprised his role as JR in the modern reboot of the iconic show and often said he wouldn't have got through filming without the support of his co-stars Linda Gray and Patrick Duffy after being diagnosed with cancer last year.

The pair were also present during his last moments at Medical City Dallas Hospital, and Linda - who played JR's long-suffering wife Sue Ellen - commented: "Larry Hagman was my best friend for 35 years. He was the Pied Piper of life and brought joy to everyone who knew him. He was creative, generous, funny, loving and talented. I'll miss him enormously."

Larry struggled with alcohol addiction over the course of his career and needed a liver transplant in 1995. His wife of 58 years, Maj, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2008, and recently moved into a nursing home because her condition had deteriorated so severely.

Dozen of stars and friends have now taken to twitter to pay their respects to the actor's family.

Showbiz matriarch Sharon Osbourne wrote: "So sad to hear about the passing of Larry Hagman. Sending love and respect to his family."

Piers Morgan posted: "Very sad to hear that Larry Hagman has died. His JR Ewing character was the greatest TV villain of them all. Wonderful actor. #RIP"