WEATHERFORD (CBS 11 NEWS) – Larry Hagman’s J.R. Ewing put “Dallas,” the TV show and the city of Dallas on the world stage.
But Hagman’s roots are here in Weatherford.
He grew up in this house on West Oak Street, and graduated from Weatherford High School.
His mother, Tony-Award winning actress Mary Martin, was also born here.
At the Weatherford Public Library stands a statue of the fictional character Peter Pan, who Martin played on Broadway.
Someone placed flowers to pay tribute to Hagman.
Photos of Hagman’s earlier days appear in this book about Weatherford.
Sherry O. Watters became friends with Hagman nearly 20 years ago. “We’ve lost a great friend, and a great icon.”
She says Hagman made an unannounced visit to her Weatherford shop back in 1993.
Ever since then, she says she’s painted shirts and jackets for him when he’s had civic and charitable causes to attend.
Watters says, “He’s from here, he always recognized us. Wherever he was, he would always say his hometown was Weatherford, and we really thought the world of the man.”
In the next couple of weeks, Watters will address the Weatherford City Council. She wants the city to pay tribute to Hagman.
Watters says, “We’re going to ask that one of our streets in our town be named after him, Larry Hagman Drive. We want a statue, and we want a sign on the edge of town Welcome to Weatherford, home of Larry Hagman, JR Ewing.”
Weatherford Mayor Pro-Tem Craig Swancy supports the idea, and says one of the city’s new streets that will be built will be named after Hagman.
Swancy says, “It’s a great idea, and very fitting. Larry, we thought he was going to live forever. Larry was a fixture in Weatherford. He was an unofficial ambassador.”
Watters says, “Just knowing the icon of the universe was gone. He was our Dallas.”
And Weatherford too.
Larry Hagman’s family is requesting that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Larry Hagman Foundation which supports arts education in North Texas.
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