David Ogden Stiers is best known for having played Major Charles Emerson Winchester III on the hit series M*A*S*H* and for voicing Cogsworth in Beauty and the Beast.
Those are just two highlights of a prolific career. Sadly, the legendary actor has now passed away.
He was 75 years old.
David Ogden Stiers passed away peacefully in his home in Newport.
His agent, Mitchell Stubbs, tells The Oregonian/Oregon Live that the esteemed actor had been waging a losing war against bladder cancer.
Cancer is a vicious killer, and doesn’t care how talented someone is or the level of their cultural impact.
Even those who have never seen an episode of M*A*S*H* in their lives have doubtless been touched by Stiers’ work on television, in films, in animation, and in video games.
David Ogden Stiers was born in Peoria, Illinois to parents Margaret Elizabeth (whose maiden name was Ogden) and Kenneth Truman Stiers.
As a young man, David briefly attended the University of Oregon after graduating from North Eugene High School.
However, he would end up moving to San Francisco in order to pursue his passion for acting.
He worked with such groups as California Shakespeare Theater, San Francisco Actors Workshop, and an improv group called The Committee.
Stiers studied drama at Juilliard from 1968 until 1972, where he was mentored by John Houseman.
His very early acting credits included The Mary Tyler Moore Show and appearing in the pilot of Charlie’s Angels.
David Ogden Stiers’ very distinctive voice can be heard off-screen in THX-1138, which was George Lucas’ very first film.
Obviously, most people’s first memorable introduction to Stiers was when he joined the cast of M*A*S*H* in 1977, filling the void created by the departure of Larry Linville (who portrayed Frank Burns).
Stiers portrayed an aristocratic and haughty man who was nonetheless an extremely talented surgeon.
He was nominated for two Emmy Awards for that role, the first in 1981 and the second in 1982.
In terms of voicework, easily his most famous role was in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, voicing Cogsworth, the clock who quips “If it isn’t Baroque, don’t fix it.”
He would go on to do more work for Disney, voicing the primary antagonist of Pocahontas (we mean Governor Radcliffe, not the concepts of colonialism or of Disney’s historical whitewashing).
He also had roles in Atlantis: The Lost Empire (arguably Disney’s most underrated film) and in The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
And, of course, he voiced Jumba Jookiba in Lilo & Stitch.
David Ogden Stiers continued to make appearances in live action media as well, appearing as the villainous Oberoth in a recurring role on Stargate Atlantis in 2007 and appearing in an episode of Leverage in 2011.
In 2009, Stiers came out as gay, stating in an interview that he was “very proud to be so” and he no longer wished to hide it. Good for him.
Though he lived a full life and fans will always treasure his work, he will be missed.