FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Ellie Schlam
--Exactly One Year Since His Life-Saving Liver Transplant--
NEW YORK, NY, July 12, 1996 -- Larry Hagman, perhaps best known as J.R. Ewing on "Dallas," has been named National Spokesperson for the 1996 U.S. Transplant Games, presented by the National Kidney Foundation and sponsored by Sandoz, partners in transplant health. This is his first transplant-related public endeavor since receiving a life-saving liver transplant on August 23, 1995.
Larry and his wife of 41 years, Maj, are planning to attend this four-day, Olympic-style athletic competition for transplant athletes -- those individuals who have received life-saving organ transplants of every type, including kidney, heart, lung, liver, pancreas and bone marrow. Hagman will participate in the event's Opening Ceremonies and medals presentations.
The biennial event, scheduled to take place August 22-25 in Salt Lake City on the campus of University of Utah, features 13 different sports, including golf, tennis, track and field, bicycling and 3 on 3 basketball. The event is expected to attract more than 1,500 participants and thousands more in family, friends, spectators and supporters.
According to Hagman, "There are two dates I can never forget -- March 21, 1980, and August 23, 1995. On the first one, over 350 million fans in 57 countries were glued to their TV sets to find out who shot J.R., my character on 'Dallas.' On the second, l received my 'second chance' at life -- my liver transplant. The U.S. Transplant Games are a true celebration of this second chance for transplant recipients from across the country. l hope my participation encourages more people to sign organ donor cards so that others can be given the same gift I've been lucky enough to receive."
Hagman starred in the TV comedy series "I Dream of Jeannie," which ran from 1965-1970 and which is still in re-runs on Nick at Nite. His career really took off, however, in 1978 when he landed the role of J.R. on "Dallas," the saga of an excessively rich Texas family that ran for an unprecedented 13 seasons. Since his transplant, Hagman completed his starring role in the new "Dallas" movie scheduled to air on CBS in November. He also had a cameo role in Oliver Stone's "Nixon" and, most recently, completed filming the pilot for "Orleans," the projected one-hour series for CBS, in which he will star.
The 1996 U.S. Transplant Games are made possible through a grant from Sandoz Pharmaceuticals Corporation. Associate sponsors are The Coca-Cola Company and the National Council of Corvette Clubs.
Over 45,000 Americans are currently awaiting life-saving organ transplants. Eight to nine people die each day while waiting. The National Kidney Foundation is committed to ensuring that every American who needs a transplant receives one. For more information on the U.S. Transplant Games or a free donor card call the Foundation at (800)622-9010.
National Kidney Foundation
30 EAST 33RD STREET, NEW YORK, NY 10016 (212) 889-2210 (800) 622-9010 FAX: (212) 689-9261
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Last modified: 11 May 2000