LOS ANGELES – Wayne Rogers, whose Trapper John McIntyre on “M.A.S.H.” was among the most beloved characters on one of the most popular shows of all time, died Thursday.
The actor was surrounded by family when he died in Los Angeles of complications from pneumonia at age 82, his publicist and longtime friend Rona Menashe told The Associated Press.
As army surgeon Trapper John on “M.A.S.H.,” Rogers swapped wisecracks with partner in martinis and mischief Hawkeye Pierce, played by Alan Alda.
The two doctors blew off steam between surgeries pulling pranks, romancing nurses and tormenting their tent-mate Frank Burns, always with an endless supply of booze and one-liners.
In one typical crack, Trapper answers a question with “How should I know? I dropped out of school to become a doctor.”
Rogers was on the show for just the first three of its 11 seasons on CBS, but his run, and his character, are especially revered by show devotees.
An Alabama native and Princeton graduate, Rogers had parts on many short-lived shows before “M.A.S.H.,” specializing in westerns like “Law of the Plainsman” and “Stagecoach West.”
In the years after MASH he returned to TV regularly, with a recurring role in the early 1990s on “Murder, She Wrote.”
He moved beyond acting to see serious success later in life as a money manager and investor. In 1988 and 1990 he appeared as an expert witness before the House Judiciary Committee to speak in favor of maintaining the Glass-Steagall banking laws of the 1930s.
In recent years he was a regular panelist on the Fox News stock investment show “Cashin’ In.”
Rogers is survived by his wife Amy, two children, Bill and Laura, and four grandchildren.