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‘MASH’ Star Wayne Rogers Dead at 82

Rogers Played 'Trapper John' McIntyre in the First Three Seasons of the CBS War-Themed Comedy

Wayne Rogers, who is remembered as “Trapper John” McIntyre on the first three seasons of CBS’ “M.A.S.H,” died Thursday in Los Angeles due to complications from pneumonia.  He was 82.

Born William Wayne McMillan Rogers III on April 7, 1933 in Birmingham, Alabama, Rogers got an early start on television on daytime soap opera “The Edge of Night” in 1956 before appearing in small roles on theatricals “Odds Against Tomorrow” (1959), “The Glory Guys” (1965) and “Cool Hand Luke” (1967).  His first regularly scheduled television series was 1960-61 western “Stagecoach West,” which was followed by numerous guest appearances on shows including “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” “Gunsmoke,” “The Fugitive” and “The F.B.I.”  Rogers exited “MASH” in 1975 after a contract dispute and went on to star in two other series, NBC detective drama “City of Angels” in 1976 and CBS sitcom “House Calls” from 1979-82, for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe award in 1979.

Outside of his acting career, Rogers was chairman of Wayne M. Rogers & Co., an investment strategy firm; chief executive of the convenience store chain Stop-N-Save; and chairman of Kleinfeld Bridal, one of the world’s largest wedding dress vendors. He frequently appeared on Fox Business Network’s “Cashin’ In” and served as national chairman of the Easter Seals campaign.

Rogers was also a successful theatrical producer, with producer credits for the original Broadway runs of “Brighton Beach Memoirs” and “Biloxi Blues” and of the 1985 revival of “The Odd Couple.” 

He is survived by his wife, Amy; a son; a daughter; and four grandchildren.

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Written by Marc Berman

Marc Berman

Marc Berman has been writing professionally since 1999 and is the author of the “Mr. Television” for Campaign US (www.campaignlive.com). Most recently, Berman was the creator and Editor-in-Chief of website and newsletter TV Media Insights for Cross MediaWorks. From 1999-2011, he was the Senior Editor for Mediaweek and has also written for The New York Daily News, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and Emmy Magazine, among others. Berman has also appeared on “Entertainment Tonight,” “Extra,” “Access Hollywood,” “Inside Edition,” “The CBS Evening News,” E!, CNN, CNBC, Fox News and MSNBC.

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  1. McLean Stevenson also left MASH after the third season, which was considered a huge career mistake. Now one ever really criticized Wayne Rogers for leaving.

    • That’s interesting. I remember Wayne Rogers being criticized and not McLean.

      Regardless, it’s quite a shock as he seemed to be doing great when I last saw him on TV while zapping on a week-end a few months ago.

      I remember enjoying City of Angels way back when and wished it had lasted longer.

      He was a rare actor who quit the business and became arguably even more successful afterwards.

      • Shelley Long and McLean Stevenson are the classic examples of TV actors who never should have left their series. Wayne Rogers seemed to get off easy.

        • Good examples.

          I don’t remember seeing McLean Stevenson in much after that. I guess he thought his own show was a better proposition and Shelley Long thought she’d be a big movie star…

          Having just watched Cheers recently, I thought Shelley’s character had run its course and was becoming just annoying and the stories repetitive. I thought the show gained by having a new foil for Sam.

          Back to Wayne, I really wold love to lay my hands on City of Angels one of these days. 🙂