NEW YORK, Nov. 26 (UPI) -- CBS declared Larry Hagman, the late star of its television drama series "Dallas," a "master showman."
Hagman, who recently reprised his iconic role of Texas oil tycoon J.R. Ewing in a TNT reboot of the nighttime soap, died after a battle with throat cancer Friday at the age of 81.
"Television has seen many stars, but there will only be one Larry Hagman," CBS said in a statement. "Larry was a larger-than-life personality, both on-screen and off -- a master showman and brilliant actor who brought to life a character that transcended the medium and truly captivated a nation. Today, we mourn the loss of a friend, but remember a man who brought true greatness to his craft and a television character in J.R. Ewing that will never be forgotten."
"We're saddened at the news of Larry Hagman's passing," TNT said in a statement. "He was a wonderful human and a gifted actor."
"Friday, I lost one of the greatest friends ever to grace my life. The loneliness is only what is difficult as Larry's peace and comfort is always what is important to me, now as when he was here," his longtime friend Patrick Duffy, who plays Ewing's brother Bobby on "Dallas," said in a statement to People.com. "He was a fighter in the gentlest way, against his obstacles and for his friends. I wear his friendship with honor."
Linda Gray, who plays Ewing's wife, Sue Ellen, on the show described Hagman "as my best friend for 35 years."
"He was the Pied Piper of life and brought joy to everyone he knew," she said in a statement to People.com. "He was creative, generous, funny, loving and talented and I will miss him enormously. He was an original and lived life to the fullest. The world was a brighter place because of Larry."
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