David Ogden Stiers, most famous to generations for his role as Major Charles Winchester III on M*A*S*H, has passed away at age 75 after a battle with bladder cancer, according to his agent, Mitchell Stubbs. As the stuffy surgeon who constantly butted heads with fellow doctors Hawkeye (Alan Alda) and Hunnicutt (Mike Farrell), Stiers brought his uptight best to the series for 7 years.
Stiers was born in 1942 in Peoria, Illinois eventually moving to Oregon. When he realized college wasn’t his thing, he left the University of Oregon and moved to San Francisco in search of an acting career. His earliest television roles included bit parts on Kojak, Mary Tyler Moore, and Charlie’s Angels.
His big break came when he was cast as Major Winchester in 1977 on M*A*S*H. Filling the role of protagonist vacated by Larry Linville (Major Burns), Stiers went on to receive two Emmy nominations for his part. After the conclusion of M*A*S*H, Stiers starred in a few minor roles and a couple of network mini-series including North & South and The First Olympics: Athens 1896 where he earned yet another Emmy nod.
Continuing his acting career with walk-ons in other series and TV movies, he voiced eight characters in Disney films with the most famous being Cogsworth in Beauty and the Beast. Aside from acting, his love for music featured on M*A*S*H extended into his personal life as he guest conducted more than 70 symphonies around the globe and held a residency post with the Newport Symphony.
Additional information regarding survivors and/or arrangements were not immediately released.