U.S. actor Larry Hagman, who won fame for his role of J.R. Ewing in the television series "Dallas," died in hospital at this Texas city, the daily DallasNews said. He was 81.

The actor died early Friday after a battle against cancer, members of his family cited by the newspaper said.

At the time of his death on Thanksgiving Day, his family and closest friends had gathered around him, the family communique said.

"When he passed, he was surrounded by loved ones. It was a peaceful passing, just as he had wished for," the note said, adding that "The family requests privacy at this time."

Larry Hagman, born on Sept 21, 1931, in Fort Worth, Texas, gained international renown for his starring role as John Ross Ewing, better known as J.R., in the television series "Dallas," in which he played a villainous, unscrupulous and manipulative businessman.

The actor had been married to Swedish decorator Maj Axelsson since 1954, with whom he had a son and a daughter.

In its communique, the actor's family said Friday that "Larry was back in his beloved hometown of Dallas, re-enacting the iconic role he loved the most."

Since June 13, despite his age, he had returned to play J.R. for the new series "Dallas 2.0," produced by the cable television network TNT. EFE