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MASH Star David Ogden Stiers Dies at 75


FILE - David Odgen Stiers cuts the cake during a ceremony marking the close of the last Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) in Pyongtaek, South Korea .

American actor David Ogden Stiers, known as the arrogant but brilliant surgeon Charles Emerson Winchester on the television series MASH, has died of bladder cancer at 75.

MASH was the story of an army hospital near the front lines during the Korean War.

The series was a well-established hit when Stiers, a classically-trained stage and film veteran, joined the cast in 1977 to play Winchester, a character created to replace the clownish Major Frank Burns.

While Burns was a mediocre doctor and the butt of jokes, Stiers' Winchester was a superb surgeon and made sure everyone from his patients to the nurses and his fellow doctors know it.

Winchester was smug, vain, and ultra-conservative but often showed a generous and deeply caring side. He sometimes proved to be as much a practical joker as his fun-loving colleagues.

Stiers was twice nominated for outstanding supporting actor Emmys for MASH and continued to act in films and on television when the series closed in 1983 – most notably with director Woody Allen and in a series of Perry Mason TV films.

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