68 (passed away Feb. 15th, 1996)
Nov. 14th, 1927
Normal, Illinois, USA
6' 2 1/2"
McLean Stevenson's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles1978 - The Cat from Outer Space
Guest TV Roles
Dr. Norman Link
Dr. Theodore 'Ted' Zbornak
Lt. Miller (segment "Love and the Penal Code")
McLean Stevenson began in show business at age 31. During the 1960s, he worked in night clubs and comedy cabarets, did summer stock theater and some television before moving to Hollywood, where he worked as a comedy writer for Tom Smothers. He eventually began acting in sketches. Mr. Stevenson is best known as the fumbling commanding officer, Lt. Colonel Henry Blake, on the CBS television series "M*A*S*H" (1972). Over a period of thirty years, he also appeared on a number of television series and was a regular guest star on Johnny Carson (I)'s "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" (1962) and the game show _"Hollywood Squares, The" (1966)_.
- Originally auditioned for the role of Hawkeye Pierce on M*A*S*H (1972) before being convinced to take the role of Henry Blake.
- Served in the Navy.
- One legacy of Stevenson is a word coined from his first name. "McLeaning" is a term used in media, especially television, to refer to cases when a character is killed off because the actor who played him decided to leave the show, as happened to Henry Blake when McLean Stevenson left M*A*S*H.
- Cousin of Democratic presidential candidate (1952 and 1956) 'Adlai Stevenson' (qv).
- Spoke often at youth groups and organizations, promoting the acting field.
- After the news of Col. Blake's death on _"M*A*S*H" (1972)_ (qv) (He left at the end of the third season) shocked the world, the very next night on "The Carol Burnett Show" (1967), the opening shot was of Henry Blake in a smoking raft, waving his arms, hollering, "I'm OK! I'm OK!".
- Brother of 'Ann Whitney' (qv).
- In the season finale of the first season of _"M*A*S*H" (1972)_ (qv), the name of his character's (Henry Blake) wife is Mildred. In the second season, her name was changed to Lorraine. When he was replaced by 'Harry Morgan (I)' (qv), Morgan's character, Colonel Potter, had a wife named Mildred.