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David Ogden Stiers, who played Major Winchester on 'M*A*S*H,' dead at 75

David Ogden Stiers, who played Major Winchester on 'M*A*S*H,' dead at 75
David Ogden Stiers as Maj. Charles Emerson Winchester III in the CBS sitcom "M*A*S*H," which ran from 1972 to 1983. (CBS)

Actor David Ogden Stiers, best known for his role as the snooty Maj. Charles Emerson Winchester III on the popular TV show “M*A*S*H,” died Saturday. He was 75.

Stiers died at his home in Newport, Ore., after a battle with cancer, his agent, Mitchell K. Stubbs tweeted.

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“His talent was only surpassed by his heart,” Stubbs said.

Stiers received two Emmy nominations for his portrayal of Winchester in 1981 and 1982 on the CBS sitcom, which was set during the Korean War and became one of the most watched TV shows of all time. As the snobbish Winchester, Stiers was a perfect foil for Alan Alda’s lovable, wise-cracking character Hawkeye Pierce.

Years after the show ended its run in 1983, Stiers remained a magnet for fans.

"Even today, people call out the name of my character from that show, and I cringe," he said in 2002. "That's why I walk so fast and kind of disguise myself. I just can't have the same conversation 85 times a day."

Over the years, Stiers made guest appearances in the TV shows "Touched by an Angel," "Frasier," and "Murder, She Wrote." He also starred in several Woody Allen films, including “Shadows and Fog” and “Mighty Aphrodite,” and was known for his voice-acting roles in such Disney films as "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," "Pocahontas," "Atlantis: The Lost Empire" and "Beauty and the Beast."

Stiers was born in Peoria, Ill., and moved to Eugene, Ore., while he was in high school, where he graduated from North Eugene High, according to the Oregonian. He attended the University of Oregon for a time but soon left for San Francisco to pursue acting.

8:15 p.m.: This article was updated with new information about Stiers’ acting career.

This article was first posted at 7:20 p.m.

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