Larry Hagman, who died on Nov. 23 at age 81 in Dallas, will be long remembered for his portrayal of the deliciously Machiavellian John Ross “J.R.” Ewing in the long-running (1978-91) CBS prime-time soap opera Dallas. During the famous March 21, 1980, “Who Shot J.R.?” episode, an astounding 300 million people in 57 countries tuned in to watch Hagman’s character take a bullet from a mysterious assailant — who turned out to be his sister-in-law/mistress, Kristin Shepard (portrayed by Mary Crosby). When TNT revived the series in 2012, Hagman — ever the trouper — returned as an integral part of the series, despite being ill with cancer at the time. “I like to work, and I like to work with my buddies,” he explained.
But Hagman wasn’t just larger-than-life on the small screen. In June 2011, Hagman staged one of the most spectacular celebrity memorabilia auctions in history at Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills. “There comes a time, even in J.R. Ewing’s life, when you have to downsize,” he said, tongue-in-cheek. Hagman garnered an impressive $500,000 for his horde of 413 items.
Here are five of the items that went on the auction block (along with the winning bids):
- A ceramic figurine of J.R. Ewing, which a bidder purchased for $384.
- A reproduction of the the signature purple genie bottle from Hagman’s first TV hit, the 1965-70 comedy I Dream of Jeannie. It brought $10,000.
- A fancy silver-and-diamond-studded parade saddle that Hagman used that same week to ride along Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills with Linda Gray, his Dallas co-star. The saddle fetched $76,800, the highest price of any item in the auction.
- A plaster-cast replica of Hagman’s hand and footprints, which drew $1,375.
- A pair of “J.R.” brown alligator cowboy boots, which sold for $1,216.
Here’s a glimpse of the auction reception: