Actor Wayne Rogers, best known as 'Trapper John' on 'M*A*S*H' TV series dies at 82
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While he continued to act well into his Seventies and was a shrewd businessman in both real estate and the Broadway stage, Wayne Rogers was best known as "Trapper John" McIntyre in the long-running TV series M*A*S*H." Rogers died of complications from pneumonia in Los Angeles, according to his publicist. He was 82.
Wayne Rogers left the hit series "M*A*S*H" after the third season over a contract dispute. Rogers later regretted his decision, saying he would have "kept my mouth shut and stayed put" had he known how long it would have run.
LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Rogers left the hit series after the third season over a contract dispute. Rogers later regretted his decision, saying he would have "kept my mouth shut and stayed put" had he known how long it would have run.
Born in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1933, Rogers graduated from Princeton University with a degree in history. Toying with drama while in college, he did not pursue acting full-time until the Fifties.
Rogers played Army surgeon "Trapper John" McIntyre in the first three seasons Of "M*A*S*H." Based upon the 1970 Robert Altman film of the same name, the TV series premiered in 1972. Focusing on doctors of the 4077th MASH (an acronym for mobile Army surgical hospital) unit, the series was a rarity for TV. Abandoning a laugh track altogether in its second season, "M*A*S*H" did not shy away from blood and the attendant horrors of war. The series drew also drew much-needed attention to the Korean conflict, referred to by many as "America's forgotten war."
Paired with Alan Alda's Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye," Rogers grew "frustrated" with the role as both Trapper John and Hawkeye, supposed to be equals, and was quickly overshadowed by Hawkeye.
The Trapper John character was written out as being "discharged" in 1975. Rogers was replaced by Mike Farrell's B.J. Hunnicutt.
Rogers and Alda stayed friends long after he left the show. In a tweet, Alda said, "He was smart, funny, curious, and dedicated. We made a pact to give MASH all we had and it bonded us. I loved Wayne. I'll miss him very much."
Rogers had several other TV and movie roles, including a turn as San Francisco surgeon Charley Michaels in the TV comedy "House Calls" from 1979 to 1982.
Rogers would later become a notable real estate developer and investor, working on Wall Street and producing numerous Neil Simon stage plays.
His creative side, Rogers said, helped him achieve success in business.
"It was an advantage that I had no rules to follow, no premade decisions, no 'books' to tell me how to find success. This allowed me to take a creative approach rather than an administrative approach," he said.
"It is my belief that the best results in business come from a creative process, from the ability to see things differently from everyone else, and from finding answers to problems that are not bound by the phrase 'we have always done it this way.'"
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