Blog: News & Views

Will Larry Hagman follow TV dad with posthumous 'Dallas' Emmy bid?

By Chris Beachum
Mar 20 2013 08:02 am

Back in 1981, Jim Davis received a posthumous Emmy nod as the Ewing family patriarch on the CBS blockbuster soap opera "Dallas." Now his TV son Larry Hagman may repeat the same feat when nominations are announced this July.

Hagman played the conniving oilman J.R. Ewing on the original series as well as the new TNT reboot, now in its second season. He died on November 23 at age 81 but had already filmed seven new episodes. His final segment aired on March 4, followed a week later by a star-studded funeral and wake.

If Hagman receives an Emmy bid as Best Drama Supporting Actor, it would be only his third in a long TV career. In 1980, he was defeated for Best Drama Actor by Edward Asner ("Lou Grant"). The following year, both he and Davis were beaten by Daniel J. Travanti ("Hill Street Blues").

The only major Emmy victory by the original "Dallas" was for lead actress Barbara Bel Geddes as matriarch Ellie Ewing in 1980. The hit show was nominated for Best Drama Series in 1980 and 1981. Linda Gray was nominated in 1981 against Bel Geddes (both lost to Barbara Babcock  for "Hill Street Blues").

If Hagman reaps a posthumous bid, Emmy history reveals he is unlikely to win the award. Since 1980, 14 performers have been nominated after their deaths but only one -- Raul Julia for his lead performance in the 1995 telefilm "The Burning Season" -- prevailed. VIEW GALLERY

Kathryn Joosten is the most recent of these. She died on June 2 last year and received an Emmy nomination in July. Despite having won two Emmys for guesting on "Desperate Housewives," she lost as Best Comedy Supporting Actress in September to Julie Bowen ("Modern Family").

Besides Davis, the posthumous nominees in the dramatic categories were Michael Conrad ("Hill Street Blues"), Ossie Davis ("The L Word") and Nancy Marchand ("The Sopranos").

Comedic nods went to the late Nicholas Colasanto ("Cheers"), Selma Diamond ("Night Court"), Phil Hartman ("NewsRadio"), John Ritter ("8 Simple Rules"), and Danny Thomas ("Empty Nest").

In addition to Julia, the TV movie/miniseries bids were by the recently-departed Jack Albertson ("My Body, My Child"), Richard Burton ("Ellis Island"), and J.T. Walsh ("Hope").

Two actresses have won Emmys in the past three decades after they died, but in each instance they passed away after voting was over. Ingrid Bergman was named Best TV Movie/Miniseries Actress for "A Woman Called Golda" three weeks after she died in 1982. And Colleen Dewhurst won her second Best Comedy Guest Actress award for "Murphy Brown" just three days after she died in 1991.

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