As we say goodbye to 2012, we also bid a sad farewell to actor Larry Hagman, best known to television audiences for his roles as Major Anthony “Tony” Nelson in I Dream of Jeannie and ruthless oil baron John Ross “J.R.” Ewing in Dallas, the latter of he recently revisited for the 2012 revival of the series.
I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Hagman during Fan Expo Canada 2011, where he, decked out in a cowboy hat and “Team Hagman” shirt, was doing his best to keep the promotional machine rolling by signing so-called Hagman Dollars, novelty $10000 bills featuring a picture of J.R. Ewing on the front and Southfork Ranch on the back promoting organ donation and part of whose proceeds were being donated to charity.
What made this encounter particularly memorable to me was what happened after I’d received my autograph and reached out to shake his hand. He politely refused to do so, not out of ego but consideration: he was feeling a bit under the weather that day and didn’t want to risk giving me anything. But he said that he would totally be up for a fistbump. Yes, that’s right, people: I fistbumped J.R. Ewing. How awesome is that?
Godspeed, Mr. Hagman. You will be missed.