McLean Stevenson, who played the fumbling commanding officer and chief surgeon of TV’s “M-A-S-H,” has died, his agent said Friday. He was 66.
Stevenson died of a heart attack late Thursday at a hospital, agent Robert Malcolm said.
Stevenson played Lt. Col. Henry Blake, the womanizing goof-off commanding officer of the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, for the first three seasons of “M-A-S-H.” The role won him a 1973 Golden Globe Award and a 1974 Emmy nomination.
In the series, Blake died when his plane was lost at sea as he returned to the United States.
Born in Bloomington, Ill., Stevenson was the son of a cardiologist. He worked on the losing presidential campaign of his cousin and next-door neighbor, Adlai Stevenson.
He was 31 before he broke into acting after careers as a medical supplies salesman, insurance clerk, seaman and assistant director of athletics at Northwestern University, where he earned a theater arts degree.
During the 1960s he worked in nightclubs, did summer stock theater and some television before moving to Hollywood, where he worked as a comedy writer for Tommy Smothers. He eventually began acting in sketches on “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.”
He played Doris Day’s boss from 1969-71 on “The Doris Day Show” and was a regular on the “The Tim Conway Comedy Hour” in 1970.
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