David Odgen Stiers, who played M*A*S*H‘s Major Charles Emerson Winchester III died on Saturday, March 3, at the age of 75.
“I am very sad to report that David died this morning March 3, 2018 peacefully at his home in Newport, Oregon after a courageous battle with bladder cancer,” his agent, Mitchell K. Stubbs, tweeted. “His talent was only surpassed by his heart.”
I am very sad to report that David died this morning March 3, 2018 peacefully at his home in Newport, Oregon after a courageous battle with bladder cancer.
His talent was only surpassed by his heart. pic.twitter.com/fjuGmbVYgd
— MKS Talent Agency (@MKSTalentAgency) March 3, 2018
Stiers scored two Emmy nominations for his role in the Korean War series after joining the show in 1977 when Larry Linville, who played Frank Burns, left the series. He remained with the show until it ended in 1983.
He also starred in series including The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Charlie’s Angels, Star Trek: The Next Generation and Frasier, and voiced characters in Disney movies including 1991’s Beauty and the Beast (as Cogsworth), Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Lilo & Stitch.
The actor earned a third Emmy nomination in 1984 for his portrayal of William Milligan Stone, founder of the U.S. Olympic Committee, in the miniseries The First Olympics: Athens in 1896.
The Oregonian reports that Stiers, who moved to Oregon from Peoria, Illinois, when he was in high school, was also a talented musician and was the resident conductor of the Newport Symphony and served as a guest conductor for more than 70 orchestras around the world.
His death comes as The Hollywood Reporter paid tribute to M*A*S*H last month, marking 35 years since the show’s finale aired.
Loretta Swit, who played Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan, recalled a moment that brought her to tears as she played a scene in the final episode with Stiers.
“A few episodes before, Margaret had borrowed a book of poems from Winchester. He got angry with me at one point and made me return it,” she said. “In real life, we had this running gag. I would tease David all the time that no one had his private phone number. He was very much his own person, very reclusive in a way. So, in the final episode Winchester gives Margaret the book back. I open it and read the inscription. David had written his phone number inside. That’s my real emotion on camera.”
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