M*A*S*H's David Ogden Stiers, who played Major Charles Emerson Winchester, has signed off at 75 after succumbing to bladder cancer on March 3.
Agent Mitchell Stubbs announced the sad news over Twitter, saying his friend of 30 years had passed away. Stiers died in his Newport, Oregon, home.
"David had wisdom and talent in so many different areas. I wish people could know the beautiful heart that he had. His friends and family knew, as he told us so," Stubbs said.
Stiers became popular for being the stiff and superior surgeon in the hit army CBS series M*A*S*H, but prior to this, he had some few stints as well.
The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Kojak, and Charlie's Angels are some of Stiers's works. Additionally, his deep voice had become useful in his career, citing to George Lucas's THX-1138 and the iconic Disney animation 1991 film Beauty and the Beast, where he voiced Cogsworth the clock.
Other Disney films he had lent his voice were Pocahontas, where he was Governor Ratcliffe; The Hunchback of Notre Dame as the Archdeacon; and, more recently, in Lilo & Stitch as Dr. Jumba Jookiba.
Stiers came into M*A*S*H in 1977 after Larry Linville, who played Frank Burns, exited the show. The show revolved around the surgeons serving the military during the Korean War. There, they share humor and antic to raise levity amid the chaotic environment.
Stiers In Real Life
Stiers's Winchester's character was far from the actor in real life though, as he was noted for his exemplary sense of humor. His M*A*S*H costar, Jamie Farr, recalled in an interview they painted the old man's dressing room orange and purple to return his pranks on them.
After the holidays, Stiers came back and had no reaction. Contrary to the cast's expectation, the actor was speechless and nonchalant, seemingly hinting that he saw nothing. One of the cast finally broke silence and asked the actor, "What's new?"
His portrayal of Winchester had garnered him two Emmy nominations in two consecutive years. This was followed by a third but for another project in 1984, The First Olympics: Athens 1896.
Stiers was born in Illinois, but his family eventually moved to Oregon, where he graduated high school. After which, he journeyed to the Big Apple in 1969 to enter one of the most prestigious schools for the performing arts, Julliard.
Meanwhile, Stiers admitted nine years ago that he was gay. He narrated he had to hide his sexuality to avoid his career from getting affected, including some family-friendly projects.