By Michael Martinez, CNN
HOLLYWOOD, California (CNN) – Celebrities extended sympathies Saturday throughout social media about the death of actor Larry Hagman, who gained fame as the villain J.R. Ewing on the TV series “Dallas” during the 1970s and 1980s.
Hagman, 81, died Friday in a Dallas hospital of complications from cancer.
Linda Gray, who played wife Sue Ellen Ewing on the TV drama, described Hagman as “a true icon loved by so many.
“So sad to lose such a wonderful dear bigger than life friend,” Gray tweeted. “Larry Hagman was one of a kind and will be with us all forever.”
Patrick Duffy played brother Bobby Ewing and asked fans Saturday to “pardon my silence.”
“My friend is taking a break,” Duffy tweeted, an apparent spiritual reference to the afterlife.. “Love Patrick.”
Joan Collins also appeared on the show: “Oh no just heard about Larry, he was magnificent as JR & inspired me to play Alexis. RIP,” she wrote on Twitter.
Other personalities remembered Hagman for his remarkable acting career, which also included playing opposite Barbara Eden in the 1960s sitcom “I Dream of Jeannie.”
On her Facebook page, Eden said Hagman was “a whirlwind of big laughs, big smiles and unrestrained personality” with “his Big Texas bravado.”
She remembered their five-year TV series and “that first day on Zuma Beach with him, in the frigid cold,” she wrote. Zuma Beach is in Malibu, California.
“He was such a key element in my life for so long and even, years after ‘I Dream of Jeannie,’ ” Eden wrote.
“I, like many others believed he had beat Cancer and yet we are reminded that life is never guaranteed,” Eden said, extending condolences to his family.
“I can honestly say that we’ve lost not just a great actor, not just a television icon, but an element of pure Americana,” Eden said.