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Larry Martin Hagman (born September 21, 1931) is an American film and television actor, producer and director known for playing J.R. Ewing in the 1980s primetime television soap opera Dallas and Major Anthony 'Tony' Nelson in the 1960s sitcom I Dream of Jeannie.
Hagman was born in Fort Worth, Texas. His mother, Mary Martin, later became a Broadway actress and his lawyer father, Benjamin Jack Hagman, was a district attorney. His parents divorced in 1936 when he was five years old. He lived with his grandmother in Texas and California. His famous mother became a contract player with Paramount in 1938 and occasionally brought him to her movies. In 1940 his mother met and married Richard Halliday and gave birth to a daughter, Heller, the following year. Hagman attended the strict Black-Foxe Military Institute (now closed). When his mother moved to New York City to continue her Broadway career, Hagman again lived with his grandmother in California. A couple of years later, his grandmother died and Hagman joined his mother in New York. At age 14 (in 1945) while attending boarding school, he began drinking heavily which led to serious health problems later in life. In 1946 Hagman moved back to his hometown of Weatherford, Texas, where he worked as a ranch hand for his father's friend's company. Upon attending Weatherford High School, he was drawn to drama classes and reputedly fell in love with the stage and, in particular, with the warm reception he got for his comedic roles.
Hagman developed a reputation as a talented performer and in between school terms, would take minor roles in local stage productions. Hagman graduated from high school in 1949, when his mother suggested that he try acting as a profession.