The dark comedy television show M*A*S*H originated from a book entitled Mash: A Novel About Three Army Doctors, which published in 1968 by Richard Hooker. Readers fascinated by the book, and before ong, it turned into a film entitled M*A*S*H . While the film met with glowing reviews, its sequel, M*A*S*H Goes to Maine, was a disaster. Still, the creators of the film saw great potential, and decided instead to convert the film into a television series. The first episode of the television show M*A*S*H aired on September 17th, 1972. And ran until February 28th, 1983, for a total of eleven seasons and 256 episodes.
The television show follows the members of the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, which stationed in Korea during the Korean War. While the show centered around the character of Hawkeye Pierce, the ensemble cast brought life and emotion to the show. The show originally marketed as a comedy, but had a very serious tone at times. Because the show aired during the highly controversial Vietnam War, viewers couldn’t help but draw comparisons to the war in the show and the war going on in real life. The actors and creators of the show were sensitive about the topic. However, and made sure to keep the tone properly grave when needed.
Even though most audience members enjoyed watching M*A*S*H after a long day at work. And were looking for some form of entertainment to wind down at the end of the day, the creators of M*A*S*H weren’t afraid to also be quite serious. While the show featured plenty of hilarious moments, it could also be very sad, serious, and dramatic at times. Overall, this wonderful blend of comedy and drama is a huge part of what made M*A*S*H such an amazing show.
Another key part of what made M*A*S*H so popular and successful was its amazing cast. Without the talented actors behind the characters of the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, the show would have been terribly dull and flat. The talented actors of the show were able to bring it to life. As well as perfectly walk the line between comedy and drama. Sadly, because M*A*S*H aired some time ago, not all of the amazing cast members are still alive today.
In today’s video, we’re going to take a look at some of the former M*A*S*H Actors that you probably didn’t know died. Make sure you stick around, because we’re also going to reveal how Wayne Rogers. The incredible actor behind the character “Trapper” John McIntyre, passed away.
McLean Stevenson played lovable Lieutenant Colonel Henry Blake, a talented doctor who, unfortunately, was horrible at being in charge. Fans stricken by the character’s death in his final episode, “Abyssinia, Henry.” While McLean Stevenson was no doubt sad to leave behind such a wonderful cast and crew. He also excited about the new opportunities it granted. He was secretly hoping to leave his ensemble role and find lead roles of his own. Sadly, after spending years of his career in various pilot episodes and short sitcoms. He never able to find a role quite as successful as his role in M*A*S*H.
Tragically, in 1996, McLean Stevenson died of a heart attack, without ever accomplishing his dream of becoming a lead actor.
Wayne Rogers as “Trapper” John McIntyre
“Trapper” John McIntyre was an integral part of the early season of M*A*S*H. His role as Hawkeye’s funny best friend. However, made it difficult for the actor, Wayne Rogers, to develop the character any further. After a few seasons, he decided to bow down and search for work elsewhere. He’s lucky enough to star in the series House Calls. And also made lots of appearances in other shows and films. In 2015, however, he died of pneumonia 82. Former castmate Alan Alda remembered him fondly on Twitter after his passing, saying “We made a pact to give M*A*S*H all we had and it bonded us. I loved Wayne. I’ll miss him very much.”
Harry Morgan first appeared on M*A*S*H playing the character General Steele, who only made an appearance in a single episode, called “The General Flipped at Dawn.” That particular episode became legendary as probably the most hilarious episode in the entire show. The shows’ creators so impressed by Harry Morgan’s acting ability that they wanted him to come back. In fact, one creator even explained that he’s the funniest actor out of the entire cast. He brought back to play the role of Colonel Sherman Potter, stayed on the show from season 4 to the very end.
After M*A*S*H, Harry Morgan would go on to act for a very long time, appearing in shows like The Simpsons and Murder, She Wrote. However, out of all his acting experience, his time on M*A*S*H would forever remain Morgan’s favorite. He lived a long life until his eventual death at age 96 from pneumonia.
Make sure you stick around until the very end of the video, because we’re going to reveal which M*A*S*H actor lived his life carrying a serious secret. And which he revealed just years before his death. And if you’re enjoying this video so far, please take a moment to like this video, and don’t forget to subscribe to Facts Verse for more!
Larry Linville played the talented actor behind Frank Burns, the most insufferable character on M*A*S*H. The character created as a sort of antagonist, who was both stuck up, incompetant, and bigoted. His colleagues, however, were always quick to point out that while Frank Burns was a truly horrible character. The actor behind him was actually down to earth and kind.
Frank Burns eventually written out of the show. His character was simply too detestable to really have an arc of growth or change. And Larry Linville decided that, after season 5, it was time to step down. He remembered fondly for his work on M*A*S*H. And was asked to guest-star in a wide variety of popular television shows, including Murder, She Wrote and The Love Boat.
Sadly, Larry Linville died in 2000 after contracting pneumonia during a long and difficult battle with cancer.
William Christopher played the mild, kindhearted Father Francis Mulcahy. While he did have the role of the chaplain at the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, his character was filled with depth and even great humor. However, Christopher’s time playing such an iconic priest meant that he was often type-cast throughout the rest of his career. After M*A*S*H, he most frequently played priests. In fact, his final role as an actor was on the show Days of Our Lives, when he played Father Tobias.
His death in 2012 was due to small-cell carcinoma, and his former castmates were struck with grief at the loss. They all discussed how the gentle, compassionate character of Father Francis Mulcahy wasn’t an act in the slightest- in fact, William Christopher was very much like the character in real life. In today’s video, we’re going to take a look at some of the former M*A*S*H Actors that you probably didn’t know died.
David Odgen Stiers
David Odgen Stiers played the character Major Charles Emerson Winchester III, an arrogant but talented surgeon who was constantly butting heads with the lead character, Hawkeye Pierce. The character of Major Charles Emerson Winchester III was a replacement for the departed character Frank Burns, but Stiers brought nuance and depth to his character.
While Stiers is well known for his work in M*A*S*H, his career spans even further than the popular television show. Not only was he an amazingly skilled conductor, but he was also a famous voice actor for Disney. He voiced roles in films such as Lilo and Stitch, Beauty and the Beast, and Pocahontas. However, throughout his career, Stiers was hiding a serious secret.
David Odgen Stiers was a closeted gay man, and he was terrified of coming out. He was afraid that, should the rest of the public become aware of his sexuality, he would lose his job at Disney. It wasn’t until 2009 that he finally decided to come out, explaining that he didn’t want to live the rest of his days hiding his true identity. He was met with great support, and lived the rest of his days in peace. Sadly, in 2018, he died of bladder cancer, but actor Alan Alda, who famously played Hawkeye Pierce on M*A*S*H, remembered him fondly for his gentle and kind nature.
Sadly, many of the original actors from the show M*A*S*H have passed away. Were your more surprised to learn that the actor behind Frank Burns was actually much kinder in real life, or that David Odgen Stiers was secretly gay? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to subscribe to Facts Verse for more!