Arts & Culture News

Larry Hagman's Eyebrows Finally Get Their Due with Profile in Entertainment Weekly

Thought we were just being bitchy with that headline, didn't you. Thought it was run-of-the-mill Mixmaster snark. Not so fast.

Larry Hagman's eyebrows have been charming audiences with their devilish flourishes since the late 1980s, but they -- and their stylist -- are finally receiving their due thanks to an upcoming cover story in Entertainment Weekly (no, not The Onion).

In the twilight of their career, the venerable Hollywood institutions upon which J.R. Ewing's Stetson rests have been celebrated as stars in their own rights. Unsung heroes of the silver screen, it was in fact J.R. Ewing's eyebrows that dreamed that Pam dreamed that Bobby died during the original franchise's seventh season. During the long, lonely lull between the original series finale in 1991 and this year's reboot, the actors known as Larry Hagman's eyebrows often filled in for Alex Trebek's unreliable, disorderly and often uncooperative mustache.

"Lord knows we had our differences," said Linda Gray's bouffant. "Fights over dressing rooms. The eyebrows encroaching on others' space. Stealing scenes. Test audiences rarely retain single plot points -- each episode boasts at least fifty -- whenever they appear onscreen. But, there's no denying their place in American television history. Forget jeggings and box-braids. Eyebrow extensions are 2012."

Larry Hagman's eyebrows through the years, a retrospective:

A method actor, Hagman began cultivating his 'brows -- the source from which he draws J.R. Ewing's pure Texas evil -- with intensive push ups, doing more than 4,000 raises per day. Often, he would work them out during filming breaks and even briskly between scenes, as pictured here on the set of I Dream of Jeanie.

Even in their younger years, Larry Hagman's eyebrows were on the road to stardom. They beat out out Brooke Shields' for an cement imprint on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1978.

"All natural," says world-class eyebrowologist Grover Schlenk. "You can't fake a contour like that. No amount of moose and eyelash curlers will recreate the glory of God given eyebrows."