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Larry Linville

Major Frank Burns

From student of aeronautical engineering to actor might seem like a huge leap, but for Larry Linville it was simply following his destiny. He decided to pursue a career in acting while still a student at the University of Colorado. He was one of three Americans out of 300 accepted at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London.

Linville made his Broadway debut in Eugene O'Neill's More Stately Mansions starring Ingrid Bergman; he also appeared in Neil Simon's Rumors. Early in his career he starred in a number of television shows such as Mission Impossible, Mannix, The F.B.I., Room 222, Bonanza, Marcus Welby and The Young Lawyers, frequently playing uptight characters.

His role in Room 222 brought him to the attention of producer Gene Reynolds who cast him as maligned the "Frank Burns" in M*A*S*H. He remained on the shows for five seasons. After M*A*S*H he continued to appear on several television shows and had regular roles in Grandpa Goes to Washington, Checking In and Paper Dolls. He was also in films including Earth Girls Are Easy and Kotch.

In 1998 he had surgery to remove part of his lung after doctors found a malignant tumor. He died of pneumonia on April 10, 2000 after complications from cancer surgery.

Character Bio

Major Frank Burns enjoys the regimen and discipline that war brings to his life. He's found a like-minded peer and lover in Major Margaret Houlihan and when not in romantic trysts, schemes with her to try to undermine those around them.

Burn's arrogance is as astounding as his incompetence. Even wounded soldiers want to kill him. Yet Burns doesn't seem to have a need for friends and does everything in his power to keep people at bay. Burns will do anything to keep his wealthy wife from divorcing him despite the fact that this causes conflict with his one ally, Major Houlihan, with whom he is obviously in love.

After Major Houlihan gets married, Burns becomes distraught, despite the fact that he is still married. Suffering a breakdown he goes berserk accosting a General's wife he mistakenly takes for Houlihan. After a psychiatric examination he is discharged, and promoted to Lt. Col.