Probably best known as the befuddled but beloved Lt. Colonel Henry Blake on the hit television show M*A*S*H, McLean Stevenson starred in several television series and game shows for over thirty years.
After winning a scholarship to study at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy he made his debut in the summer stock production of The Music Man. Work followed in television commercials and roles in The Defenders, The Ed Sullivan Show and That Was The Week That Was where he was also a writer and appeared with fellow M*A*S*H-mate Alan Alda. He also appeared in That Girl and The Doris Day Show.
A talented writer, Stevenson penned for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, wrote "The Trail of Henry Blake" for an episode of M*A*S*H and provided a story for another, "The Army-Navy Game." Although a popular character on M*A*S*H, he felt his character was playing second fiddle to Alan Alda's "Hawkeye" and asked to be let out of his contract.
After M*A*S*H he appeared in a series of short-lived sitcoms and guest starred on several shows including Hollywood Squares, The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and The Love Boat. On February 15, 1996, while recovering from surgery, he went into cardiac arrest and died.
Befuddled, bewildered, beloved; commanding officer Lt. Col. Henry Braymore Blake is more friend than boss to his charges at the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital. A family man, with two sons and a daughter back home, he still enjoys the occasional flirtation with the nurses - a past time he shares with Hawkeye and Trapper.
He continually refuses to discharge Corporal Klinger, despite his cross-dressing antics and sent a Korean boy to an orphanage, believing he'd be in better care there than with Hawkeye and Trapper.
Although clearly the bain of Burns' and Houlihan's existence, who constantly go over his head when they don't get their way, Blake blows off their criticism. Blake has a soft spot for young Corporal "Radar" O'Reilly, who sees him as a father figure. In return for offering him guidance and support, Radar keeps the camp running smoothly.
Friend or foe, the entire camp is shocked and saddened to learn that Blake's plane had been shot down over the Sea of Japan while heading home on discharge.