Larry Hagman has died aged 81 following his battle with throat cancer. The actor, known best for his roll as the villainous oil tycoon JR Ewing in the longrunning soap opera Dallas, was confirmed dead earlier today (Nov 24) by his family after it was reported in the Dallas Morning News.

Hagman first found fame in 1965 when he starred in the popular sitcom I Dream of Jeannie, in which he played Major Anthony Nelson for five years alongside Barbara Eden as the astronaut who discovers a beautiful genie in a bottle. However, he really became a household name when he was given the starring role in Dallas as the sly and scheming JR Ewing.

Dallas became a worldwide phenomena throughout its run from 1979 - 1990, and in 1980 the show broke viewing records when over 350 million viewers tuned in to find out 'Who Shot JR?' However despite all this fame and success, Hagman developed a serious drinking problem over his run in Dallas, eventually being diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver in 1992, going under the knife for a liver transplant 3 years later.

Regardless of being one of the most notorious on-screen villains, that by no means rubbed off in real life as Hagman was a well loved family man and friend too, with his Dallas co-stars and a host of other celebrities joining in paying their tributes to the late actor. Linda Gray, who played his on-screen wife on Dallas Sue Ellen, called Hagman her "best friend for 35 years," whilst his I Dream Of Jeannie co-star Eden posted a statement on her Facebook page saying, "Goodbye Larry, there was no one like you before and there will never be anyone like you again."

Hagman is survived by his wife of 60 years, Maj Axelsson, and their two grown-up children.