David Ogden Stiers, Maj. Charles Emerson Winchester III on “M*A*S*H,” dead at 75

SGranitz/WireImage(NEWPORT, OR) — David Ogden Stiers, best known for playing the snooty surgeon Major Charles Emerson Winchester III on TV’s M*A*S*H, has died.  He was 75.

His agent, Mitchell K. Stubbs, tweeted the news: “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.”

Born in Peoria, Illinois, Stiers attended New York’s famed Julliard School and made his feature film debut in 1971’s Drive, He Said.  He made his Broadway debut in 1973.  TV roles followed, including guest roles on Charlie’s Angels, Phyllis, The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rhoda.

Stiers joined the cast of M*A*S*H in the show’s sixth season, replacing Larry Linville’s Maj. Frank Burns as a foil for Alan Alda’s Hawkeye and Mike Farrell’s B.J. Hunnicutt.  He remained on the show until it went off the air in 1983.  He was nominated twice for Emmys for his role as Maj. Winchester, an upper-class Bostonian and skilled surgeon who was arrogant and egotistical, but who also had a tender, empathetic side.

Stiers was also in demand as a voice actor: He narrated Disney’s Beauty & The Beast and provided the voice of Cogsworth; he also lent his voice to Disney’s Lilo & Stitch, Pocahontas and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Stiers appeared in numerous Woody Allen films, including Shadows and Fog, Mighty Aphrodite and Curse of the Jade Scorpion.  On TV, he starred in a series of Perry Mason movies, had a recurring role on ABC’s Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place, and guested on Murder, She Wrote and Frasier.

In 2009, Stiers revealed that he was gay, and said he’d hidden his sexuality because he appeared in so many family-friendly films and TV shows.

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