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Wayne Rogers

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Wayne Rogers
Rogers as Trapper in M*A*S*H, 1972
William Wayne McMillan Rogers III

(1933-04-07)April 7, 1933
DiedDecember 31, 2015(2015-12-31) (aged 82)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Alma materPrinceton University, 1954
Military career
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service1954–1956
Rank Ensign
UnitUSS Denebola, navigator
  • Actor
  • investor
  • television personality
Years active1959–2014
  • Mitzi McWhorter
    (m. 1960; div. 1983)
  • Amy Hirsh
    (m. 1988)

William Wayne McMillan Rogers III (April 7, 1933 – December 31, 2015)[1] was an American actor, known for playing the role of Captain "Trapper" John McIntyre in the CBS television series M*A*S*H and as Dr. Charley Michaels on House Calls (1979–1982).

He was a regular panel member on the Fox News Channel stock investment television program Cashin' In as a result of having built a career as an investor, investment strategist, adviser, and money manager. Rogers also studied acting at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in New York City.

Early life[edit]

Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Rogers attended Ramsay High School in Birmingham and was a graduate of the Webb School in Bell Buckle, Tennessee.[1] He earned a history degree from Princeton University in 1954. He was a member of the Princeton Triangle Club and the eating club Tiger Inn. After college, Rogers served as an officer in the United States Navy, as a navigator on the USS Denebola, and planned to enter Harvard Law School before he became an actor.[1][2]


Early career[edit]

Rogers appeared on television in both dramas and sitcoms such as The Invaders, The F.B.I., Combat!, Gunsmoke, Have Gun Will Travel, Wanted Dead or Alive, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., and The Fugitive, and had a small supporting role in the 1967 movie Cool Hand Luke. He also appeared on The Big Valley in 1968.

He played Slim Davis on the soap opera Search for Tomorrow in 1959. He also played a role in Odds Against Tomorrow, which was nominated for a Golden Globe Award in 1960 as Best Film Promoting International Understanding. He guest starred on an episode of the CBS western Johnny Ringo.

Rogers co-starred with Robert Bray and Richard Eyer in the western series Stagecoach West on ABC from 1960 to 1961.

Rogers was cast as U.S. Army Lieutenant Richard Henry Pratt in 1965 in Death Valley Days.

He appeared on the Cannon episode "Call Unicorn" in 1971.

M*A*S*H (1972–1975)[edit]

When Rogers was approached for M*A*S*H, he planned to audition for the role of Hawkeye Pierce. He found the character too cynical, however, and asked to screen test as Trapper John, whose outlook was brighter. Rogers was told that Trapper and Hawkeye would have equal importance as characters. That changed after Alan Alda, whose acting career and résumé up to that point had outshone that of Rogers, was cast as Hawkeye and proved to be more popular with the audience. Rogers enjoyed working with Alda and the rest of the cast as a whole (Alda and Rogers quickly became close friends), but eventually chafed that the writers were devoting the show's best humorous and dramatic moments to Alda.[citation needed]

When the writers took the liberty of making Hawkeye a thoracic surgeon in the episode "Dear Dad" (December 17, 1972), even though Trapper was the unit's only thoracic surgeon in the movie and the novel, Rogers felt Trapper had been stripped of his credentials. He decided to leave the show between production of the third and fourth seasons, making his last on-screen appearance in the episode Abyssinia, Henry, which was also the final episode for fellow cast member McLean Stevenson who had portrayed Lieutenant Colonel Henry Blake.[citation needed]

On the M*A*S*H 30th Anniversary Reunion Television Special aired by Fox-TV in 2002, Rogers spoke on the differences between the Hawkeye and Trapper characters, saying, "Alan [Alda] and I both used to discuss ways on how to distinguish the differences between the two characters as to where there would be a variance.... My character [Trapper John McIntyre] was a little more impulsive [than Hawkeye]." Rogers considerably reduced his Alabama accent for the character of Trapper.[3]

He succeeded Elliott Gould, who had played the character in the Robert Altman movie MASH, and was himself succeeded by Pernell Roberts on the M*A*S*H spin-off Trapper John, M.D. After three seasons, Rogers left the show after a contract dispute with the producers.

Post-M*A*S*H work[edit]

After leaving M*A*S*H, Rogers appeared as an FBI agent in the 1975 NBC-TV movie Attack on Terror: The FBI vs. the Ku Klux Klan, as Michael Stone in the 1980 miniseries Top of the Hill, and as civil rights attorney Morris Dees in 1996s Ghosts of Mississippi. He also starred in the short-lived 1976 period detective series City of Angels and the 1979–1982 CBS series House Calls, first with Lynn Redgrave (both were nominated for Golden Globes in 1981, as best actor and best actress in TV comedy, but did not win) and then later with actress Sharon Gless (coincidentally, one of the House Calls co-stars was Roger Bowen who played the original Colonel Henry Blake in the MASH movie). Rogers also appeared in the 1980s miniseries Chiefs.

Rogers then was a guest star five times in a recurring role on CBS's Murder, She Wrote. He has served as an executive producer and producer in both television and film, and as a screenwriter, and a director.

Rogers also starred in several other movies. In 1981, he played the role of an art forger in Roger Vadim's The Hot Touch. Then, in the movie The Gig (1985), alongside Cleavon Little, he was a jazz musician-hobbyist whose group has an opportunity to play a Catskills resort and must confront failure. Also in 1985, he starred opposite Barbara Eden in the televised reunion movie I Dream of Jeannie... Fifteen Years Later based on the 1960s situation comedy I Dream of Jeannie. Rogers took on the role of Major Tony Nelson, which was originally portrayed by Larry Hagman in the television series when Hagman was unavailable to reprise the character he had originated. In 1986, Rogers hosted the short-lived CBS television series High Risk. He also starred as Walter Duncan in the 1987 movie Race Against the Harvest. In 1990, Rogers co-starred with Connie Selleca in the CBS made-for-television movie Miracle Landing based on the true story of the 1988 Aloha Airlines Flight 243 crash landing after an explosive cabin depressurization.

Financial career[edit]

Rogers began to test the stock and real estate markets during his tenure as a M*A*S*H cast member and became a successful money manager and investor. In 1988 and 1990, he appeared before the United States House Committee on the Judiciary as an expert witness, testifying in favor of retaining the banking laws enacted under the Glass–Steagall Legislation act of 1933.[4] He appeared regularly as a panel member on the Fox Business Network cable TV stocks investment/stocks news program Cashin' In, hosted since 2013 by Fox News anchor Eric Bolling. In August 2006, Rogers was elected to the board of directors of Vishay Intertechnology, Inc.,[5] a Fortune 1000 manufacturer of semiconductors and electronic components. He was also the head of Wayne Rogers & Co., a stock trading investment corporation.

On April 23, 2012, Rogers signed as the new spokesman for Senior Home Loans, a direct reverse mortgage lender headquartered in Long Island, New York.


Rogers received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2005.[6]

Personal life and death[edit]

As a young actor, Rogers met actress Mitzi McWhorter in New York in the late 1950s. They married in 1960, had two children, and divorced in 1983. They had been separated for almost four years prior to the divorce. Rogers married his second wife, Amy Hirsh, in 1988.

In 2001, Rogers made Destin, Florida, his home.[7]

Rogers died on December 31, 2015, from complications of pneumonia in Los Angeles at the age of 82.[8][9] He died exactly one year before fellow M*A*S*H cast member William Christopher.[10]


Year Title Role Notes
1959 Odds Against Tomorrow Soldier In Bar
1959 Gunsmoke Tom Episode: "False Witness"
1960 Death Valley Days George Schmidtlein Episode: "Mission to the Mountains"
1960 The Millionaire Allan Merrick Episode: "The Story of Sylvia Merrick"
1960 Wanted Dead or Alive Bad Guy
1962 Alfred Hitchcock Presents Kenneth Season 7 Episode 37: "The Big Kick"
1962 Gunsmoke Brack Episode: "Cody's Code"
1963 Have Gun Will Travel Daniel Episode: "The Debutante"
1964 Dr. Sex Raincoat Man Uncredited
1965 The Glory Guys Lieutenant Mike Moran
1965 Honey West (TV series) Jerry (villain) Episode 14: "Invitation to Limbo"
1966 Chamber of Horrors Sergeant Jim Albertson
1966 Combat! Reiser Season 5 Episode 1: "The Gun"
1967 Cool Hand Luke "Gambler"
1967 The Invaders Lieutenant Matteson Season 2 Episode 7: "The Spores"
1968 The Big Valley Don Jarvis Season 4 Episode 6: "The Jonah"
1970 WUSA Minter
1971 Cannon Steve
1972 Pocket Money "Stretch" Russell
1972–1975 M*A*S*H Captain "Trapper" John McIntyre Main cast; Seasons 1 through 3
1975 Attack on Terror: The FBI vs. the Ku Klux Klan FBI Special Agent Don Foster
1976 City of Angels Jake Axminster 13 episodes
1977 It Happened One Christmas George Hatch TV movie
1978 Once in Paris... Michael Moore
1979–1982 House Calls Dr. Charley Michaels 57 episodes
1981 The Hot Touch Danny Fairchild
1983 Chiefs Will Henry Lee TV miniseries
1985 I Dream of Jeannie... Fifteen Years Later Colonel Tony Nelson TV movie
1985 The Gig Marty Flynn
1987 The Killing Time Jake Winslow
1987 Race Against the Harvest Walter Duncan TV Movie
1989 Passion and Paradise Raymond Schindler TV movie
1990 Miracle Landing Bob Schornstheimer TV movie
1993 The Goodbye Bird Ray Whitney
1993–1995 Murder, She Wrote Charlie Garrett 5 episodes
1996 Ghosts of Mississippi Morris Dees
1997 Diagnosis: Murder Dr. Ken Morrisay Episode: "Physician, Murder Thyself"
1999 Love Lies Bleeding Inspector Abberline
2000 Coo Coo Cafe
2001 Frozen with Fear Charles Sullivan
2002 Three Days of Rain Business Man
2003 Nobody Knows Anything! Gun Schnook (final film role)


  1. ^ a b c Wilson, Claire M. "Wayne Rogers". Encyclopedia of Alabama. (Auburn University). Retrieved May 26, 2022.
  2. ^ Compton, Carrie (February 8, 2017). "Lives: Wayne Rogers '54". Princeton Alumni Weekly. Retrieved May 26, 2022.
  3. ^ Comments made by Rogers on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.
  4. ^ Andrew Dalton – AP (January 1, 2016). "Wayne Rogers, Trapper John on 'M.A.S.H.,' dies at 82". Washington Post. Archived from the original on January 1, 2016.
  5. ^ "Wayne M. Rogers Profile&". Forbes. Archived from the original on May 15, 2010. Retrieved May 2, 2010.
  6. ^ "'M-A-S-H' star Wayne Rogers gets star on Hollywood walk of fame". USA Today. Associated Press. December 13, 2005. Retrieved August 15, 2009.
  7. ^ Jackson, Scott T. (March 2010). "Wayne Rogers: Actor, Entrepreneur, Financial Pundit". Emerald Coast Magazine. 11 (1). Retrieved January 14, 2016.
  8. ^ Bueno, Antoinette (December 31, 2014). "'MASH' Star Wayne Rogers Dies at 82". Entertainment Tonight. CBS Television Distribution. CBS Studios Inc. Retrieved January 1, 2016.
  9. ^ "M*A*S*H star Wayne Rogers dead at 82". BNO News. December 31, 2015. Retrieved January 1, 2016.
  10. ^ "Wayne Rogers, Trapper John on 'M*A*S*H*,' dies at 82". Fox News. FOX. Associated Press. January 1, 2016. Archived from the original on January 5, 2016. Retrieved January 1, 2016.

External links[edit]

Preceded by "Trapper John" Actor
September 17, 1972 – March 18, 1975
Succeeded by