peoples Celebrities Database

McLean Stevenson

 

Birthdate: 14 November 1929, Normal, Illinois, USA.
Date of death: 15 February 1996, Los Angeles, California, USA. (heart attack)
Spouse:

  • 'Ginny Fosdick' (1980 - 1996) (his death); 1 daughter
  • '?' (? - ?) (divorced)

    Biography

    'McLean Stevenson' began in show business at age 31. During the 1960's, he worked in night clubs and comedy cabarets, did summer stock theater and some television before moving to Hollywood, where he worked as a comedy writer for Tommy Smothers. He eventually began acting in sketches. Mr. Stevenson is best known as the fumbling commanding officer and chief surgeon, Lt. Colonel Henry Blake, on the CBS television series "M*A*S*H". Over a period of thirty years, he also appeared on a number of television series and was a regular guest star on Johnny Carson's "Tonight Show" and the game show "Hollywood Squares." 'McLean Stevenson' was born in Illinois, where his father was a cardiologist. After serving in the Navy, he attended Northwestern University, receiving a bachelor's degree in theater arts. Stevenson worked at a radio station, played a clown on a live television show in Dallas and sold insurance and medical equipment. In 1961, 'Adlai Stevenson' Mclean's second cousin, invited him to a party where, mingling with show business luminaries like 'Gower Champion' and 'Sanford Meisner' Stevenson decided to become an actor. He auditioned and won a scholarship to the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. While studying under Meisner and 'Lee Strasberg' . He made his acting debut in a summer stock production of "The Music Man" and followed up with work in television commercials, "The Defenders" and "The Ed Sullivan Show". He also appeared with 'Alan Alda' in the series "That Was the Week That Was", for which Stevenson was a writer. He also wrote for "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour". After a guest appearance on "That Girl, " with 'Marlo Thomas' he was signed to a regular role on "The 'Doris Day' Show" in 1969. In the fall of 1973, Stevenson, already a popular guest on the "Tonight" show, began a long-running second career as a guest host on the show. He appeared in his best known role as the bumbling surgeon and commanding officer, Col. Henry Blake, on the successful TV series "M*A*S*H". However, Stevenson was soon chafing at his second-banana role on "M*A*S*H" and asked to be released from his contract. In the last episode of the 1974-75 season, Blake was reassigned and his plane was shot down over the Sea of Japan. After leaving "M*A*S*H", Stevenson headlined in a series of failed TV shows.
    Author: Anonymous Ray Hamel

    Filmography

    Another Day at the Races (1974) [Hammond]
    Cat from Outer Space, The (1978) [Dr. Norman Link] <5>
    Christian Licorice Store, The (1971) [Smallwood] <12>
    Class Cruise (1989) (TV) [Miles Gimrich]
    Memories of M*A*S*H (1991) (TV) [Himself/Lieutenant Colonel Henry Braymore Blake]
    Shirts/Skins (1973) (TV) [Doctor Benny Summer] <5>
    "Condo" (1983) [James Kirkridge]
    "Dirty Dancing" (1988) [Max Kellerman]
    "Doris Day Show, The" (1968) [Michael Nicholson (1969-1971)]
    "Hello, Larry" (1979) [Larry Alder] <1>
    "In the Beginning" (1978) [Father Daniel M. Cleary]
    "M*A*S*H" (1972) [Lieutenant Colonel Henry Braymore Blake (1972-1975)]
    "Match Game 73" (1973) [Panelist (1979-1981); Regular Panelist (1981-1982)] <5>
    "Match Game PM" (1975) [Panelist]
    "McLean Stevenson Show, The" (1976) [Mac Ferguson]
    "Tales of the City" (1993) (mini) [Roger 'Booter' Manigault] <19>
    "Tim Conway Comedy Hour, The" (1970)

    Guest apperance(s)

  • '"Golden Girls, The" (1985)' , as Ted Zbornak (episode 3.8 'Brotherly Love (11/14/1987)')
  • '"Hotel" (1983)' , as Harry Gilford (episode 1.13 'Reflections (1/4/1984)')
  • '"Love Boat, The" (1977)' , as [unknown] (episode 'Captain's Replacement, The/Sly as A Fox/Here Comes The Bride...Maybe (1/15/1983)')
  • '"Match Game/Hollywood Squares Hour, The" (1983)' , as Guest Panelist
  • '"Love Boat, The" (1977)' , as [unknown] (episode 4.105 'Model Marriage, A/This Year's Model/Original Sin/Vogue Rogue/Too Clothes for Comfort (Part One) (5/2/1981)')
  • '"Love Boat, The" (1977)' , as [unknown] (episode 4.106 'Model Marriage, A/This Year's Model/Original Sin/Vogue Rogue/Too Clothes for Comfort (Part Two) (5/2/1981)')
  • '"Concrete Cowboys" (1981)' , as [unknown]
  • '"Diff'rent Strokes" (1978)' , as Larry Alder (episode 2.12 'Thanksgiving Crossover (Part 2) (11/28/1979)')
  • '"Diff'rent Strokes" (1978)' , as Larry Alder (episode 2.11 'Thanksgiving Crossover (Part 1) (11/28/1979)')
  • '"Diff'rent Strokes" (1978)' , as Larry Alder (episode 2.4 'Feudin' and Fussin' (Part 2) (9/28/1979)')
  • '"Diff'rent Strokes" (1978)' , as Larry Alder (episode 2.3 'Feudin' and Fussin' (Part 1) (9/28/1979)')
  • '"Diff'rent Strokes" (1978)' , as Larry Alder (episode 1.20 'Trip, The (Part 1) (3/30/1979)')
  • '"Diff'rent Strokes" (1978)' , as Larry Alder (episode 1.21 'Trip, The (Part 2) (3/30/1979)')
  • '"Sonny Comedy Revue, The" (1974)' , as Himself (1974)
  • '"Celebrity Bowling" (1971)' , as Guest Bowler
  • '"That Girl" (1966)' , as Mr. McKorkle (episode 3.19 'My Sister Keeper (2/6/1969)')
  • '"Hollywood Squares, The" (1966)' , as Guest Panelist
  • '"Tonight Show, The" (1954)' , as guest host (1958)

    Trivia

  • McLean's first name came from McLean County, Illinois, where he was born and raised.
  • Grandfather was Vice-President Adlei E. Stevenson, who served under President Grover Cleveland from 1893 to 1897.
  • Cousin of Democratic presidential candidate (1952 and 1956) 'Adlai Stevenson' .
  • Stevenson died one day before 'Roger Bowen' . Bowen played the role of Col. Henry Blake in the movie "M*A*S*H;" Stevenson played the role on TV.
  • Interred at Forest Lawn (Hollywood Hills), Hollywood, California, USA, in the Columbarium of Valor.
  • To research for his role as an army surgeon in "M*A*S*H" (1972), McLean Stevenson thoroughly studied a book on the history of medicine loaned from 'Alan Alda' . Months later, that knowledge proved extremely useful when he came upon a person who was criticaly wounded in a car accident. Drawing on his research, he was able to keep the person alive until help arrived.
  • Brother of 'Ann Whitney' .

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