Earlier this year, I posted a set of quotes from cast members and producers following the final day of filming M*A*S*H in January 1983. The packet of quotes I had posted was missing quotes from David Ogden Stiers. After the post went live, a comment was made that Stiers was indeed at the conference and did speak. Since that post, I have added some more press material to my collection, and I now have a copy of the quotes from Stiers at that press conference. Instead of adding to that post from earlier this year, I decided to dedicate a full post to Stiers’ comments because I really like what he had to say.
Major Charles Emerson Winchester III was a stuffy but brilliant surgeon. Behind the scenes, we have heard stories about how Stiers was shy and very private, but that did not stop him from pulling some practical jokes. In addition, he was took his job seriously, so I was not surprised when I saw how thoughtful his final thoughts about M*A*S*H were in 1983. He spoke about about how nervous and insecure he was joining M*A*S*H in its sixth season and how he was welcomed to the cast with a practical joke. But his appraisal of each of the other characters in the series and how they related to Charles really struck me. He really understood Charles, and I like how he discusses his relationship with Col. Potter, Hawkeye, BJ, and Margaret.
Stiers brought Charles to life in a way no one else could because he got to know the character he played. After six seasons of playing him, he felt comfortable discussing Charles on a deeper level. As I read this series of quotes, I found myself nodding in agreement with his assessments of the character, and I am really glad that I found a copy of these profound quotes. This may not be the longest set of quotes from that press conference, but I do think they might be the most sincere and thought provoking.