M.A.S.H. actor Rogers no more

LOS ANGELES: American actor Wayne Rogers, whose Trapper John McIntyre alongside Alan Alda’s Hawkeye Pierce brought mischief, martinis and meatball surgery to the masses in the 1970s every week on M.A.S.H. has died.

The actor was surrounded by family when he died on December 31, 2015 in Los Angeles of complications from pneumonia at age 82, his publicist and longtime friend Rona Menashe told The Associated Press.

Rogers’ army surgeon Trapper John was one of the most beloved characters — and half of one of the most beloved duos — in TV history, despite the actor’s appearing in only the first three of the show’s 11 seasons on CBS.

McIntyre was on M.A.S.H. from 1972 to 1975, becoming one of many original cast members to leave the wildly popular show that went on until 1983. He was initially considered for Alda’s character, but he preferred Trapper’s sunnier disposition to Hawkeye’s darkly acerbic personality.

An Alabama native and Princeton University graduate, Rogers had parts on many short-lived shows early in his career, specialising in westerns like Law of the Plainsman and Stagecoach West. He had a bit part in the 1967 film Cool Hand Luke with Paul Newman. In the years after M.A.S.H. he returned to TV regularly, including a recurring role in the early 1990s on Murder, She Wrote.

He moved beyond acting to see serious success later in life as a money manager and investor. In recent years he was a regular panelist on the Fox News stock investment show Cashin’ In.

Rogers is survived by his wife Amy, two children, Bill and Laura, and four grandchildren.