Jon Hager; performed with twin on 'Hee Haw'

Jon Hager (right) in a cast photo with his twin, Jim. Jon Hager (right) in a cast photo with his twin, Jim.
By John Gerome
Associated Press / January 17, 2009
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NASHVILLE - Jon Hager, who performed in the musical comedy duo The Hager Twins on "Hee Haw," has died.

He was 67.

Sam Lovullo, who produced "Hee Haw," and was a friend of Mr. Hager's, said he was found dead in his apartment in Nashville on Jan. 9.

He was found in bed and apparently died in his sleep.

Lovullo said Mr. Hager had been in poor health and was depressed since his identical twin brother, Jim, died in May.

The twins were in the original cast of the syndicated TV show, which debuted in 1969 and satirized country life with a mixture of music and comedy.

Both were guitarists and drummers.

The Hagers had worked with country star Buck Owens and joined "Hee Haw" when Owens signed as the show's cohost with Roy Clark.

Lovullo said they were originally hired for their musical talent, but as the show went on, they incorporated more comedy into their act.

"They had a fun personality," Lovullo said.

"They were also the answer to the Hee Haw Honeys. We were always looking for the other side of the gender - for good looking hunks. They fit the bill very nicely."

The Hagers left the program in the mid-'80s and continued to perform together.

The twins were born in the Chicago area and lived in Los Angeles before joining "Hee Haw." They said in 1998 that they had been together all their lives except for 3 1/2 years, after Jon left Los Angeles and moved to Nashville.

Jim remained on the West Coast, but eventually followed.

"They were always contributing their talents to whatever was needed, not for money, but just so they could help out. They did a lot of fund-raisers and were supportive of young people who were ill," Lovullo said.

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