RIP — David Ogden Stiers — 75

Actor David Ogden Stiers (October 31, 1942 – March 3, 2018)

David Ogden Stiers

The actor, David Ogden Stiers, best known to TV audiences for his role on “M*A*S*H,” has died from bladder cancer at the age of 75.

Trekkers knew Stiers from his 1991 appearance on “Star Trek: the Next Generation” in the fourth season episode “Half a Life,” in which he portrayed Timicin, an alien scientist who falls in love with Lwaxana Troi (Majel Barrett). Unfortunately, his planet’s cultural tradition strictly requires him to undergo ritual suicide at the age of sixty. Stiers had been a fan of “ST:TNG,” and was enthusiastic about appearing. During production, Stiers met series creator Gene Roddenberry, describing him as “a grand old man – not in his behavior but in people’s deference to him.”

Stiers also spoke highly of “Half a Life” itself, saying that the episode’s mood accentuated the debate over Timicin’s decision to end his life. “It was an emotionally involved piece. The script quite responsibly argued both sides [of the suicide] issue and left the viewer to determine whether such a practice is acceptable or not. … That episode was more powerful than simply a discussion.”

Stiers had enjoyed a long and varied career in both film and television, but he’ll most likely be best remembered for his role as Major Charles Emerson Winchester III, the aristocratic and pompous Boston surgeon who found himself trapped in the later seasons of TV’s “M*A*S*H,” replacing the departed Frank Burns (Larry Linville). Stiers stayed for six seasons – and earned two Emmy Award nominations.

Stiers was also a well known voice actor, especially for Disney, portraying (among others) —

“Beauty and the Beast” (Cogsworth/Opening Narration)

“Pocahontas” (Governor Ratcliffe)

“Hunchback of Notre Dame” (Archdeacon)

“Lilo and Stitch” (Jumba)

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