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David Ogden Stiers Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Trade Mark (5)  | Trivia (20)  | Personal Quotes (7)

Overview (4)

Born in Peoria, Illinois, USA
Died in Newport, Oregon, USA  (bladder cancer)
Birth NameDavid Allen Ogden Stiers
Height 6' 4" (1.93 m)

Mini Bio (1)

David Ogden Stiers was born in Peoria, Illinois, to Margaret Elizabeth (Ogden) and Kenneth Truman Stiers. He moved with his family to Eugene, Oregon, where he graduated from North Eugene High School in 1960. At the age of twenty, he was offered $200 to join the company of the Santa Clara Shakespeare Festival for three months. He ended up staying for seven years, in due course playing both King Lear and Richard III. In 1969, he moved to New York to study drama at Juilliard, where he also trained his voice as a dramatic baritone. He joined the Houseman City Center Acting Company at its outset, working on such productions as The Beggar's Opera, Measure for Measure, The Hostage and the hit Broadway musical The Magic Show for which he created the character Feldman the Magnificent. He lent his voice to animated films, with Lilo & Stitch (2002) being his 25th theatrically-released Disney animated film. He was also an avid fan of classical music, having conducted many orchestras, including the Yaquina Chamber Orchestra in Newport, Oregon, where was the principal guest conductor.

His other theatre work included performances with the Committee Revue and Theatre, the San Francisco Actor's Workshop, The Old Globe Theatre Festival in San Diego and at the Pasadena Playhouse in Love Letters with Meredith Baxter. As a drama instructor, he worked at Santa Clara University and also taught improvisation at Harvard. In addition to his long-running role in M*A*S*H (1972), Stiers' work on television also included the excellent mini-series North and South (1985), North and South, Book II (1986), The First Olympics: Athens 1896 (1984) and roles in such productions as Anatomy of an Illness (1984), The Bad Seed (1985), J. Edgar Hoover (1987), The Final Days (1989), Father Damien: The Leper Priest (1980) and Mrs. Delafield Wants to Marry (1986). Among his screen credits were The Accidental Tourist (1988), The Man with One Red Shoe (1985), Creator (1985), Harry's War (1981), Magic (1978) and Oh, God! (1977).

Above all, the multi-faceted talent that was David Ogden Stiers will be most fondly remembered as the pompous, ever-so articulate Major Charles Emerson Winchester III in M*A*S*H. He had found that taking on the role was -- from the beginning -- an easy choice. Stiers saw and loved the movie version. Moreover, he had a fond regard of fellow actor Harry Morgan (who played the character of Colonel Potter) as a kind of fatherly role model. In retrospect, Stiers viewed his experiences with the show as a career highlight, saying "No matter how much you read about the M*A*S*H company, the evolution of it, the quite beautiful human stance it takes, you will not know how much it means ".

David died of bladder cancer on March 3, 2018, in Newport, Oregon. He was 75.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: I.S.Mowis & Matt Dicker

Trade Mark (5)

Disney movies
The role of Major Charles Winchester on "M*A*S*H" (1972)
Towering height
Beard
Deep, calm voice

Trivia (20)

Has conducted 70 orchestras in over 100 appearances. He is resident conductor of the Newport Symphony Orchestra in Newport, Oregon.
Some of the M*A*S*H (1972) actors jokingly had his dressing room painted orange and purple while Stiers was off for Thanksgiving break.
Was a high school classmate of Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert.
Provided the voice of Cogsworth the clock in Disney's Beauty and the Beast (1991). His advice to the Beast on what to give Belle, "Flowers, chocolates, promises you don't intend to keep..." was his own creation.
Provided several other voices for Disney: Gov. Ratcliffe & Wiggins in Pocahontas (1995) and Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World (1998); Cogsworth and the narrator in Beauty and the Beast (1991); and the Archdeacon in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996).
He is often given small roles in Woody Allen films for which he receives high billing considering his screen time.
On M*A*S*H (1972), he played an Harvard alum and in real life, Stiers taught theater games at Harvard.
Didn't learn to drive until 1975, when his role on the Kojak (1973) episode, Kojak: Money Back Guarantee (1975), called for him to be seen driving.
Has a son from a relationship in the 1960s.
Graduated High School at North Eugene High School, Oregon.
Played French horn in the orchestra at Juilliard, which is rather more amusing considering an episode of M*A*S*H (1972) where he bothers Hawkeye and B.J. with persistent bad horn playing.
His last name is pronounced "styers".
Best known by the public for his role as Major Charles Winchester on M*A*S*H (1972).
His acting mentor was the late Harry Morgan.
Originally went into audition for the role of Lumiere the Candlestick in Disney's Beauty and the Beast (1991). He got the role of Cogsworth the clock instead.
Is the only actor to be a part of both the cast of Beauty and the Beast (1991) and it's 1994 Broadway cast. In both he provides the atmospheric narration for the respective prologues.
He appeared in five films directed by Woody Allen: Another Woman (1988), Shadows and Fog (1991), Mighty Aphrodite (1995), Everyone Says I Love You (1996) and The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (2001).
Sadly, he passed away just three days after the 35th anniversary of the milestone episode M*A*S*H: Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen (1983), which he had appeared in.
His remains were cremated. His ashes were sprinkled into the Pacific Ocean.
He provided his voice to 5 films in the Walt Disney Animation Studios canon: Beauty and the Beast (1991), Pocahontas (1995), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996), Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001), and Lilo & Stitch (2002). This is only the main theatrical films and does not contain any direct to home video sequels, prequels, or spin-offs.

Personal Quotes (7)

Why he chose to come out as gay, May, 2009: I could claim noble reasons as coming out in order to move gay rights forward, but I must admit it is for far more selfish reasons. Now is the time I wish to find someone and I do not desire to force any potential partner to live a life of extreme discretion for me.
[on creating the voice of Cogsworth in Beauty and the Beast (1991)] I, at first, imagined a grandfather clock with a deep booming voice. Because he was smaller his vocal chords were also smaller and so the vocal quality became tighter. Then I tried to add a little bit of an uptight, pompous aspect and so that was the voice.
The simple fact of it is, in the British tradition, you're an actor who happens to be in a film or on television or on the stage. In America, annoyingly, you're identified as a film actor or a TV actor or a whatever actor. Early in my career, I decided to stop paying attention to the labels.
What's next is what I really really like to regard. I don't care if it's voice over work, or commercial, or directing a play, or doing a guest appearance with an orchestra, or going into some sort of ear training for a movie, or what is next. That I keep working just astonishes me. I never take it for granted.
I enjoy working and even though many have this idealistic belief that the entertainment industry and studios like Walt Disney are gay friendly. For the most part they are, but that doesn't mean for them that business does not come first. It's a matter of economics. Most of my more notable work in the last two decades has been as a voice actor. Certainly, I've done television appearances, be they recurring or guest roles, and numerous motion picture and documentary stints, but a lot of my income has been derived from voicing Disney and family programming. What they might allow in a more known actor, they prefer not having to deal with in minor players.
The thing I love about the arts - music, theater, museums, galleries - is that everybody wins. You are touched and hopefully moved, and it is unique to each person. Even though you may have listened to the same performance, what you heard could be vastly different from what anyone else heard.
The joy is to see that mouth drop open as they try to put the voice of that tiny clock with this tub of lard , me. It isn't adoration, it's a moment of learning. And that, to me, is a little slice of heaven.

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