David Ogden Stiers, the actor who famously played Major Charles Emerson Winchester III in M*A*S*H has died, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed on Saturday (March 3). He was 75 years old.
“My dear friend and client of 30 years is gone,” representative Mitchell Stubbs of Mitchell K. Stubbs & Associates said in a statement to THR on Saturday. “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.”
Stiers died at his home in Newport, Oregon, and had been battling bladder cancer, The Oregonian reported on Saturday.
In his most famous role as Major Charles Emerson Winchester III on CBS’s smash-hit sitcom M*A*S*H, filling in for actor Larry Linville after he left the show, Stiers played a blue-blooded surgeon and straightman to the cast’s practical jokers. In real life, however, Stiers gave back as good as he got to his cast members. “To repay Stiers for all his pranks on us, we had his dressing room painted orange and purple over Thanksgiving break. When we came back, we were waiting for him to rant. He said nothing. Finally, one of us asked, ‘What’s new?'” co-star Jamie Farr remembered in THR’s oral history of M*A*S*H in February.
Stiers was nominated for two primetime Emmys for his role as Winchester, in 1981 and 1982; he later won a primetime Emmy for his role as U.S. Olympic Committee founder William Milligan Sloane in the NBC miniseries The First Olympics: Athens 1896 in 1984.
Stiers also acted in the ABC series North and South and the 1987 Showtime TV movie J. Edgar Hoover.
Aside from his live-action work, Stiers was a prolific voice actor, working in eight Disney animated features including 1991’s Beauty and the Beast (in which he played Cogsworth), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (the Archdeacon), Pocahantas (Governor Ratcliffe) and Lilo & Stitch (Dr. Jumba Jookiba). He also voiced Kamaji in the English-dubbed version of Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away.
Born in Peoria, Ill., Stiers moved with his family to Eugene, Ore. and graduated from North Eugene High School in 1960. In 1969 he moved to New York City and studied drama at Julliard and joined the Houseman City Center Acting Company.
This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.