So long, Trapper John: Wayne Rogers, who played one of the beloved army surgeons on TV’s long-running comedy M*A*S*H*, has died. He was 82.
Rogers’ publicist told the Associated Press on Thursday that the actor died in Los Angeles from complications of pneumonia.
Born in Alabama and a graduate of Princeton, Rogers’ TV career spanned more than 40 years. He began his trade in 1959 on the daytime sudser Search for Tomorrow before going on to appear in such classics as Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Cannon, Barnaby Jones, and The Big Valley. The game-changer role came in 1972 when he was cast as Trapper John in M.A.S.H., a small-screen adaptation of the 1970 theatrical that starred Donald Sutherland and Elliott Gould (as the original Trapper).
Rogers appeared opposite Alan Alda’s Hawkeye Pierce during the first three seasons of the comedy before leaving in 1975, after he grew weary of fighting for screen time. “If I had known it would run that long,” Rogers reportedly admitted, “I probably would have kept my mouth shut and stayed put.”
The AP reports that Rogers was most recently a regular panelist on the Fox News show Cashin’ In.
Rogers is survived by his wife Amy, two children, Bill and Laura, and four grandchildren.