Wayne Rogers, best known for his role as Captain “Trapper” John McIntyre in hit TV comedy M.A.S.H. died on Dec. 31. His publicist confirmed with Deadline that Rogers died from complications from pneumonia. He was 82.
Rogers’ role in M.A.S.H. lasted 3 seasons from 1972-1975. The long running series on CBS was a TV adaptation of Robert Altman’s 1970’s film based on Richard Hooker’s book. Rogers initially intended to audition for the role of Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce, but after deciding the character was too cynical for his liking, he opted to play a character with a more optimistic outlook. Alan Alda played Hawkeye, and it was this character and Rogers’ Trapper who developed a signature repartee. Although Alda and Rogers became close friends from their work together, Rogers left M.A.S.H. after the third season because he felt the character Hawkeye was becoming the center of the show’s attention.
After leaving M.A.S.H., Rogers was offered the lead role in the spinoff Traper John, M.D. Rogers declined the role, afraid he would be typecast as a physician even though he later went on to play a doctor on the CBS comedy House Calls, a role which earned him a Golden Globe nomination.
Following his run on M.A.S.H., Rogers continued his television career by guest staring in several TV series such as City of Angels, Chiefs, and Murder She Wrote. Rogers also appeared in several TV movies such as Attack on Terror: The FBI vs. the Ku Klux Klan, I Dream of Jeannie… Fifteen Years Later, The Hot Touch, and Ghosts of Mississippi.
Recognizing acting may not be the most stable of career choices, Rogers became a financial entrepreneur later in his life. He penned an investment guide called Make Your Own Rules, and also appeared as a financial consultant on Cashin’ In on the Fox Business Network.
He is survived by his wife, Amy; his son and daughter; and four grandchildren.