Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Larry Linville
Larry Linville (September 29, 1939April 10, 2000) was an American actor.
Larry Linville was born in Ojai, California, and is best known for his portrayal of obnoxious, self-important Major Frank Burns in the television series M*A*S*H.
In stark contrast to the belligerent, callous, mean-spirited, and selfish Frank, Larry Linville himself has often been described by the show's other cast members as a kind, friendly man who was very open-minded and courteous to those around him. When the show started, Larry signed a five-year contract and was offered to renew for two more seasons when his contract expired, but he declined. After five seasons, Larry had grown tired of playing the same negative, cartoonish antagonist, especially since during that period, the show's tone had changed from pure comedy to more dramatically focused storylines, and he decided to leave the series so that he could pursue other more challenging roles.
He was married five times, to Vana Tribbey, Kate Geer, Melissa Gallant, Susan Haganand, and Deborah Guydon. His only child, Kelly Linville (born 1970) is a photo technician in Los Angeles, California.
He starred in a total of 28 movies and TV shows. He guest starred in many TV shows - most commonly Murder, She Wrote, Fantasy Island (he appears as an inept genie trapped in a bottle), The Love Boat, and Mannix and CHiPs. He also appeared on episodes of the television shows Mission: Impossible {he usually played a vicious unfunny Frank Burns type Gestapo secret policeman}, The Rockford Files (he played a petulant Frank Burns-type psychologist), and Kolchak: The Night Stalker (in which he played the youngest police captain on the force.) Ironically before appearing on MASH, Linville played a doctor on the TV Movie "The Night Stalker"-a predessor of the Kolchak TV series. After M*A*S*H, he played a stock character - the Crazy General - along with Edward Winter in the pilot episode of Misfits of Science. He also starred in the short-lived The Jeffersons spin-off Checking In, where he played Florence Johnston's (Marla Gibbs) nemesis, Lyle Block. However, this series only lasted four episodes.
A longtime smoker and drinker, Linville began to suffer in the late 1990s as his excesses began to catch up with him. In February 1998, he underwent surgery to remove part of his lung after doctors found a malignant tumor under his sternum. His health problems continued over the next two years. Linville died of pneumonia in New York City on April 10, 2000, after complications from cancer surgery. Linville died on fellow MASH actor Harry Morgan's 85th birthday.


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