J.R. Ewing Celebrity Lookalike impersonator

It all started when I was a medical student in 1983 with an elderly lady, who had just had a cardiac procedure, as she regained consciousness. I was standing at her bedside. The color drained from her face as she opened her eyes, which widened while she looked at me. Her heartbeat raced on the monitor. Her nurse and I leaned over her, hoping to find out what was wrong, when she whispered, “Don’t hurt me, JR!”. Ever since then I cannot remember how many conversations have started, “Do you know that you look just like …” It has been fun, whether on vacation at ski resorts or shopping in New York City. I have been stopped by folks, who were convinced that I was Larry Hagman, wanting their picture with me or an autograph. People from other countries, who were enjoying Dallas for the first time on TV, have told me how much they enjoyed the show and how excited they were to meet me. I finally e-mailed Mr. Hagman after an airlines gate agent, who knows him, encouraged me to write and tell him of my resemblance. He wrote me back and told me, “You’re a lucky man!” Indeed I am a lucky man, to resemble such a respected and loved celebrity. Clarion Ledger August 14, 2005 ‘I was J.R. and that’s all there was to it’ By Billy Watkins He was a junior medical student in 1983 when he walked into a patient’s room and noticed a look of horror slowly spread across the elderly woman’s face. “Please don’t hurt me, J.R.,” she pleaded, mistaking him for the villainous character J.R. Ewing on the hit TV series Dallas. As a radiation oncologist in Jackson, can’t help but laugh as he tells the story. “It’s the first time I can remember someone really thinking I was(actor) Larry Hagman,” he says. It certainly wasn’t the last. When he served as a flight surgeon in the Air Force, his comrades said his identification picture looked like a cast photo of Hagman onthe 1960s TV series I Dream of Jeannie, on which Hagman played an astronaut in the Air Force. But it was on a ski trip in the mid-1990s when he began to realize he could pass for Hagman’s twin. “Everybody at the ski resort just knew I was Larry Hagman, no doubt about it,” he says. “Women were tossing cameras to their husbands and pushing my wife out of the way so they could get a picture with good ol’ J.R. “I tried to explain, but they didn’t want to hear it. I was J.R. and that’s all there was to it.” In 2002, he and his wife, Deena, visited New York “and I could barely walk down the street … people were stopping me, again pushing Deena out of the way to get pictures. It was to the point where I felt like walking into a restaurant and yelling ‘Where’s my table!?’ ” As he and Deena were about to board a flight out of New York’s Laguardia Airport, a flight attendant approached him. “I was like ‘I know, I look like Larry Hagman,’ ” he says. “She said, ‘You don’t understand. I know Larry. And you don’t just look like him, you look like his clone. You should write him and send him a picture. He’d get a kick out of it.’ ” He wasn’t a Dallas fan when it aired on CBS from 1978 through 1992, e-mailed Hagman and attached a photo. Hagman wrote back: “You’re a lucky man. Enjoy life!” He also added a tag line: “Be sure and sign your organ donor card.” Hagman, now 73, underwent a liver transplant in 1995. “I have to admit it was sort of neat getting an e-mail from one of the most recognizable people in the world,” he says. A few months ago, he traveled to Southfork Ranch, near Dallas, the “home” of the Ewings on the TV program. Just for fun, he bought a cowboy hat for the occasion. “I walked into the gift shop there and the woman behind the counter litera lly gasped when I walked in,” he says. “A guy leading a tour group said ‘Look, folks, J.R. is at the ranch today.’ Twenty flash bulbs went off. It was crazy. “When we were in the museum there at Southfork, our daughter (Chelsea, 16) kept looking at the pictures of Larry Hagman, then looking back at me. She finally said, ‘Dad, we’ve got to get out of here. This is freaking me out.’ ” A father of three, emphasizes he takes his job seriously. He sees patients going through some of the toughest times of their lives. Just because he can laugh and enjoy his mysterious stardom, he says, doesn’t diminish his life’s mission of helping people whip cancer. “I try to spread hope and optimism to my patients,” says him, a native of Indiana. “I try, somehow, to put a smile on their faces —even if I have to use the old J.R. line ‘Hello, darlin’. “So, in a strange way, this thing can help me in my work. It’s a blessing.”