Birthplace: Weatherford, Texas
The man who will forever be known as J. R. Ewing actually had a prolific stage and television long before the shifty oil man entered the picture. He started acting in the London production of South Pacific in which his mother Mary Martin was starring. His first television work came with a stint on The Edge of Night (1961–63), but he is better known for his role as astronaut Tony Nelson in I Dream of Jeannie (1965–70) co-starring Barbara Eden . He appeared in films such as Ensign Pulver (1964), Fail Safe (1964), Mother, Juggs & Speed (1976), The Eagle Has Landed (1976), Superman (1978), Nixon (1995), and Primary Colors (1998). He appeared mostly on television, though, including several made-for-TV movies, and series such as Dallas (1978–91), Here we Go Again (1973), and Orleans (1997). He underwent liver transplant surgery in 1996 and spoke openly about how his abuse of alcohol had endangered his health.