Hello Darlin': Tall and Absolutely True Tales about My Life

Hello Darlin': Tall and Absolutely True Tales about My Life

by Larry Hagman, Todd Gold
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Hello Darlin': Tall and Absolutely True Tales about My Life by Larry Hagman, Todd Gold

On November 21, 1980, over 350 million people worldwide tuned in to find out: Who shot J.R.?

In portraying the scheming, ruthless J.R. in Dallas during its entire run, from 1978 to 1991, Larry Hagman reached a level of fame and recognition that is rare, if not unique. Now the man behind J.R. tells his own story in an autobiography that is at once rowdy and moving, self-searching and scandalous, juicy and a “recovery story”—and often outrageously funny.

Though Larry Hagman is best known for his starring roles in two hugely successful—and very different—television series, I Dream of Jeannie and Dallas, his life has been a star act from birth.

Born to the theatrical purple as the son of the legendary Mary Martin, Larry Hagman received his first exposure to the heady world of show business through her—as well as experiencing a childhood that was lavish and glamorous and full of problems. His father was a tough, smart, wealthy Texas lawyer (sound familiar?), his mother Broadway's most beloved leading lady, and the young Larry Hagman was torn between their two very different worlds. After his parents' marriage ended, he was shunted from one boarding school to another, trying to satisfy his father's expectations by working as a cowboy, hunting, and raising hell and still to live up to his mother's expectations in the world of the theater.

In the end, theater won out, and, following his mother's example, he began to pursue a career as an actor. Following a stint in a soap opera, he got his big break with I Dream of Jeannie, and from that came instant fame and celebrity, from which he never looked back. Weaving hilarious (and often scandalous) stories about his early years in show business into a personal story that is breathlessly engaging, Larry Hagman shares his behind-the-scenes life with the reader, his star-studded cast of characters including Linda Gray, Victoria Principal, Barbara Eden, Jean Arthur, and Joan Collins, not to mention George C. Scott, Burgess Meredith, Joshua Logan, Jack Nicholson, Sidney Lumet, and Valerie Perrine, to name only a few.

But with the success came many temptations, a few of which Larry Hagman succumbed to, and about which he writes candidly and unsparingly in this memoir, including his battle with drugs and alcohol and his subsequent recovery.

It was as J.R., however, in the phenomenally successful series Dallas (the second longest-running TV drama in history), that Hagman earned his greatest fame. Taking the reader behind the scenes, he shares many stories of ego clashes, offscreen relationships, and flamboyant behavior durning his work on that series—and the pain he experienced as drugs and alcohol began to take their toll. In fact the greatest drama in Larry Hagman's life—after his long, loving, and successful marriage to his wife, Maj—came when he was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver and entered into a race against time to find a liver donor.

The “recovery” side of his story is not something he takes for granted, having overcome two addictions as well as undergoing a liver transplant in 1995 and a subsequent near-fatal motorcycle accident. His account of these difficulties is at once unflinchingly courageous and matter-of-fact and will be a source of inspiration to many readers. Despite problems that would have stopped most people, Larry Hagman continues to work on television and in film (he made a brilliant appearance in Mike Nichols's film about presidential ambition, Primary Colors) and enjoys life hugely.

Dishy, witty, frank, and unsparing of Larry Hagman himself and of others, Hello Darlin' is, like its author, destined for international fame—a rare memoir by a show-business celebrity that not only makes us laugh, applaud, and cry, but also leaves us with respect and admiration for a man who can not only tell a good story about others, but reveal something of himself.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781451646641
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 06/11/2011
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 1,316,336
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Todd Gold, the West Coast bureau chief for US Weekly magazine, is the bestselling author of more than twenty books.

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Hello Darlin': Tall and Absolutely True Tales about My Life 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Beth_Rodgers_Author More than 1 year ago
'Hello Darlin': Tall (and Absolutely True) Tales About My Life' by Larry Hagman was a riveting read. It is truly amazing how there are some people whose lives have so much intrigue and excitement, while others have trouble recalling some of the best memories they have. This indelibly moving and telling account of Larry Hagman's life, including his youth, his friendships, his marriage and family life, his struggles, his risks, and his successes is worth every moment spent reading it. Fans of 'Dallas' and 'I Dream of Jeannie' will learn more about what occurred behind-the-scenes, and they will be transported into how life goes for a star. It may not always be as peachy as it might seem. Hagman's life, though, from playing Major Nelson to J.R. Ewing, among a slew of other Broadway, television, and movie roles, captures the essence of how no matter what your connections may be (his mother is Broadway star Mary Martin), you still have to give it your all and work for your stardom. He did just that, and proved that he could make it on his own. His life with wife Maj (pronounced 'My') is chronicled, as well as their relationships with other actors and friends, including Carroll O'Connor (Archie Bunker of 'All in the Family' and Chief Bill Gillespie' of 'In the Heat of the Night'), Burgess Meredith (the Penguin in the 'Batman' series and Mick in the 'Rocky' series), among a host of others, including many of the stars of 'Dallas.' Lovers of biographies (autobiographical or not) will enjoy being able to delve deeper into Hagman's lifestyle and work ethic. A fun, engaging read that will make you think just as much as it makes you laugh. Beth Rodgers, Author of 'Freshman Fourteen,' A Young Adult Novel
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book! Larry Hagman was a delightful person who really valued his relationships and lived life to its fullest. This book has a great message.
ireneTZ More than 1 year ago
I just got done reading this book about a week ago, and I have to tell you that I loved this book. I love Larry Hagman as an actor on jeannieand on Dallas. It was a well written book and I would reccomend this book to anyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love JR!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have just finished reading Larry Hagman's book and I absolutely LOVED it. I watched 'Dallas' for nearly the entire 13 year run and J.R./Larry Hagman was the most fun to watch. This book is very moving and touching and yet it is hilarious at the same time, especially when he talks about the pranks he and 'Dallas' castmate Patrick Duffy(Bobby Ewing)pulled on castmates. He also talks in depth about his addiction to alcohol(drinking up to 4 bottles of champagne a DAY!!!)and his courageous and successful fight for his life against a deadly illness. His love and devotion to his wife and children is very moving(same for their devotion to him) Fans of both 'Dallas' and 'I Dream of Jeannie' will get a big kick out of Larry's sometimes sad, sometimes funny stories(he also very obviously adored his mother, the legendary Peter Pan herself, Mary Martin) and I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good yarn!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book by one of my favorite show Dallas actor. It was very fun to read and very interesting too.