David Ogden Stiers, stage and screen veteran, passed away on March 3.
David Ogden Stiers, stage and screen veteran, died on March 3.
(© Joseph Marzullo)

David Ogden Stiers, a Broadway veteran who is best known for playing Major Charles Winchester in the hit TV sitcom M*A*S*H, died from bladder cancer on March 3, according to a tweet from his agent, Mitchell K. Stubbs. He was 75.

Born in Peoria, Illinois, on October 31, 1942, Stiers moved to California after a brief stint at the University of Oregon to pursue acting, working for seven years with the Santa Clara Shakespeare Festival. He then moved to New York to study drama at the Juilliard School. In New York, he became a member of John Houseman's Acting Company, making his Broadway debut with the company in a production of The Three Sisters in 1973.

He would continue to act on the New York stage throughout that decade, appearing as part of the original cast of Stephen Schwartz's musical The Magic Show in 1974, among other credits. After a long absence from the Broadway stage, he would briefly return to play General Henry Waverly in Irving Berlin's White Christmas in 2009.

Stiers also contributed extensive voice work for many Disney animated films, including the voice of Cogsworth in Beauty and the Beast. But he will perhaps be best known as Major Charles Winchester in M*A*S*H from 1977-83, a role that earned him two Emmy nominations, with a third coming from his lead performance in the miniseries The First Olympics: Athens 1896.