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Mclean Stevenson

Mclean Stevenson

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Also Known As: Died: February 15, 1996
Born: November 14, 1929 Cause of Death: heart attack
Birth Place: Bloomington, Illinois, USA Profession: actor, TV writer, athletic coach, salesman

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Affable comedic actor McLean Stevenson was most widely known for his portrayal of Col. Henry Blake on the wartime ensemble dramedy "M*A*S*H" (CBS, 1972-1983), a ground-breaking show he left in order to pursue a series of his own. After receiving his start on the stages of New York and as a writer for such shows as "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" (CBS, 1967-69), he landed his first regular cast role with a spot on the series "The Doris Day Show" (CBS, 1968-1973). After two seasons on that show, and with his professional stock on the rise, Stevenson chose to abandon his role on "Doris Day" for the groundbreaking series "M*A*S*H" in 1972. Although his endearingly goofy portrayal of Blake earned him accolades and scores of TV fans, the actor soon began to chafe under the increasingly large shadow of the series' primary star, Alan Alda. Stevenson left "M*A*S*H" in 1973 in order to receive top billing on "The McLean Stevenson Show" (NBC, 1976-77). It would be only the first of several failed attempts by the actor to headline a series. Stevenson's late-career work consisted largely of guest turns on sitcoms and appearances on a number of game shows, prior to his passing in 1996. Although he later...

Affable comedic actor McLean Stevenson was most widely known for his portrayal of Col. Henry Blake on the wartime ensemble dramedy "M*A*S*H" (CBS, 1972-1983), a ground-breaking show he left in order to pursue a series of his own. After receiving his start on the stages of New York and as a writer for such shows as "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" (CBS, 1967-69), he landed his first regular cast role with a spot on the series "The Doris Day Show" (CBS, 1968-1973). After two seasons on that show, and with his professional stock on the rise, Stevenson chose to abandon his role on "Doris Day" for the groundbreaking series "M*A*S*H" in 1972. Although his endearingly goofy portrayal of Blake earned him accolades and scores of TV fans, the actor soon began to chafe under the increasingly large shadow of the series' primary star, Alan Alda. Stevenson left "M*A*S*H" in 1973 in order to receive top billing on "The McLean Stevenson Show" (NBC, 1976-77). It would be only the first of several failed attempts by the actor to headline a series. Stevenson's late-career work consisted largely of guest turns on sitcoms and appearances on a number of game shows, prior to his passing in 1996. Although he later admitted that leaving "M*A*S*H" had been a mistake, Stevenson never lost sight of the fact that he had secured himself a place in the pantheon of all-time great TV characters with his pitch-perfect embodiment of Col. Henry Blake.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Class Cruise (1989) Miles Gimrich
2.
 Cat From Outer Space, The (1978) Dr Carl Link
3.
 Win, Place or Steal (1975) Mr Hammond
4.
 Shirts/Skins (1973) Dr Benny Summer
5.
6.
7.
8.
10.
 Astronauts, The (1982) Colonel Michael C Booker
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Milestones close milestones

:
Served in US Navy
:
After graduating from Northwestern University, worked in various jobs, including playing a clown on TV in Dallas, TX, selling insurance and medical equipment; hired as assistant athletic director at Northwestern
1961:
Decided to become an actor after Adlai Stevenson, a relative, had invited him to a party in NYC
:
Attended American Musical and Dramatic Academy; also studied acting with Sanford Meisner and Lee Strasberg
:
Wrote and performed comedy material as member of the ensemble in the revue "Upstairs at the Downstairs" in NYC
1962:
Stage debut in summer stock production of "The Music Man"
:
Earliest TV appearances as commercial actor and guest performer on such shows as "Naked City" and "The Defenders"
1964:
Writer and occasional performer on "That Was the Week That Was" (NBC); castmates included David Frost, Buck Henry and Alan Alda
1968:
Wrote for "The Summer Smothers Brothers Show" (aired from June to early September)
:
Cast as Doris Day's boss, a magazine editor, on "The Doris Day Show" (CBS)
1970:
Appeared regularly on the short-lived "The Tim Conway Comedy Hour" (CBS)
1971:
TV-movie debut as a minister in "Mr. and Mrs. Bo Jo Jones" (ABC)
1971:
Feature film debut, "The Christian Licorice Store"
:
Played Col. Henry Blake on "M*A*S*H" (CBS)
1973:
Began making regualr appearances on "The Tonight Show" (NBC); eventually became a frequent guest host substituting for Johnny Carson 58 times
1975:
Left "M*A*S*H" to pursue other opportunities; character of Henry Blake killed in plane crash
:
Starred in short-lived NBC sitcom, "The McLean Stevenson Show"
1978:
Final film appearance, "The Cat From Outer Space"
1978:
Starred as a priest in the short-lived CBS sitcom "In the Beginning"
:
Starred in NBC sitcom "Hello, Larry"
:
Played Max Kellerman on the CBS series "Dirty Dancing"
:
Hosted the annual "Crosby Clambake" on The Nashville Network
1994:
Final TV appearance, "Armistead Maupin's 'Tales of the City'"
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Education

Northwestern University: Evanston , Illinois -
American Musical and Dramatic Academy: New York , New York -

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Ginny Stevenson. Survived him.

Family close complete family listing

grandfather:
Adlai Stevenson. Governor of Illinois.
sister:
Ann Whitney. Survived him.
daughter:
Lindsey Stevenson. Survived him.
son:
Jeffrey MacGregor. Humor writer. Survived him.
cousin:
Adlai Stevenson. Presidential candidate, ambassador to U.N.
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