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UPI NewsTrack Entertainment News

  |   Nov. 24, 2012 at 2:00 PM
Larry Hagman, TV's J.R. Ewing, dies

DALLAS, Nov. 24 (UPI) -- Larry Hagman, the actor who became one of TV's favorite villains as J.R. Ewing in "Dallas," died Friday at a Dallas hospital, family members said.

Hagman, 81, was in the city to film a new version of "Dallas" for TNT, The Dallas Morning News reported. His family said he had been suffering from cancer.

"Larry was back in his beloved Dallas re-enacting the iconic role he loved most," his family said in a statement. "Larry's family and close friends had joined him in Dallas for the Thanksgiving holiday. When he passed, he was surrounded by loved ones."

Hagman, son of Mary Martin, then a 17-year-old future Broadway star, and her then husband, Benjamin Hagman, a Texas district attorney, began his stage career in Dallas. For many years, he was a busy actor appearing on stage, in guest appearances in TV shows and roles in movies like "The Group." He was best-known for his star turn in the situation comedy "I Dream of Jeannie."

In 1977, he was offered the role of J.R. The show, originally a mini-series, ran for 13 seasons on CBS, and Hagman appeared in all 357 episodes. At the height of the show's popularity, an estimated 300 million people in scores of countries watched each episode.

In a memoir, "Hello Darlin,'" Hagman talked of the summer of 1980: "Ronald Reagan was campaigning against Jimmy Carter, American hostages were being held in Iran, Polish shipyard workers were on strike, and all anyone wanted to know was, who shot J.R.?"

Hagman negotiated a new contract getting him $100,000 an episode.

He is survived by his wife, Maj Axelsson, who married him 59 years ago, a son and daughter and five granddaughters.


Overall-clad Justin Bieber gets medal

OTTAWA, Nov. 24 (UPI) -- Pop singing sensation Justin Bieber wore overalls and a backwards baseball cap Friday for a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Harper presented Bieber, 18, with a Diamond Jubilee medal, the QMI news agency reported. The medal is not particularly exclusive since the government is handing out 60,000 this year to honor Queen Elizabeth II's 60 years on the throne and Canadians who have made contributions to the country.

The encounter in Ottawa occurred just before a Bieber stage performance, which might account for his getup. Twitter was deluged with comments, including many from people outraged by what they saw as a lack of respect for the prime minister.

Bieber grew up in Stratford, Ontario. Although he bought a house in a Los Angeles suburb this year, he has said he plans to remain a Canadian citizen.


Bjork recovering from polyp removal

REYKJAVIK, Iceland, Nov. 24 (UPI) -- Pop singer Bjork says she is nailing her notes again after a surgical procedure to remove a polyp from a vocal cord.

The Icelandic songstress said on her website Saturday she tried to shake the problem using non-surgical means but recently decided it was time to try the "high-tech lazer (sic) stuff."

"In my case, surgery rocks!" she cheered.

The recovery process included three weeks of silence followed by some preliminary tunes, which she said turned out very well.

"It's been very satisfying to sing all them clear notes again," she wrote.

Bjork, 47, is the latest major singer to have polyps removed from vocal cords. Adele and Keith Urban both underwent the procedure last year, the BBC said.

Bjork's issues forced the cancellation of some dates on her world tour, but Rolling Stone said she pledged to resume singing for audiences in 2013.


Editor who ran topless royals photo quits

DUBLIN, Ireland, Nov. 24 (UPI) -- An Irish newspaper said its editor resigned over the publication of topless photos of Britain's royal daughter-in-law, Kate Middleton.

Michael O'Kane had been suspended in September after the Irish Daily Star ran images of the Duchess of Cambridge sunbathing sans top while she and Prince William were on vacation in France.

The newspaper issued a written statement saying the uproar among stockholders had led O'Kane to turn in his resignation effective immediately.

The Daily Star is co-owned by Northern and Shell and Independent News and Media. The BBC said the owner of Northern and Shell, media mogul Richard Desmond, had threatened to shut the tabloid down because of the photos.

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