J.R.'s final 'Dallas' season debuts at Highland Park theater

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by CARLA WADE

Bio | Email | Follow: @CarlaNWade

WFAA

Posted on January 27, 2013 at 11:00 PM

Updated Monday, Jan 28 at 8:35 AM

HIGHLAND PARK — The first episode of Larry Hagman's final season of "Dallas" will be broadcast on Monday.

But on Sunday night, some loyal fans got a sneak peak at the new season at the Village Theater in Highland Park. The event also served as a fundraiser for the Larry Hagman Foundation.

No spoilers here: We're sworn to secrecy about any details concerning J.R. Ewing's demise on the show as a result of Larry Hagman's death back in November.

Dallas native Josh Henderson plays J.R.'s son John Ross Ewing on the show. He said Hagman lives on through the series.

"It's been tough," Henderson said. "Larry's the heart of the show."

It was way back in 1980 when the question hanging in the air was: "Who shot J.R.?" Larry Hagman's Texas swagger, sly smirk, and womanizing ways were known to millions.

But the second season of the series' TNT reboot is even more of a cliffhanger for fans after Hagman 's death last year. They are left to wonder what will become of J.R. and his legacy.

Henderson said he and Hagman forged a special bond. "I really got to know him well, and I loved him as a man... but also loved him as an actor and as an artist," he said.

Henderson said as long as "Dallas"  — the original or its second incarnation — is on a TV screen somewhere, people will always remember J.R. Ewing and the man who brought his character to life.

"He knows that as long as 'Dallas' is on the air, his spirit is living through us, and J.R. will always be talked about," Henderson said.

Highland Park Village presented a check to the Larry Hagman Foundation for $500 at Sunday night's event, and additional donations were collected at the door. The foundation promotes creative arts education for economically disadvantaged children in North Texas.

E-mail cwade@wfaa.com

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