Wayne Rogers Biography

Wayne Rogers was an American actor best known for his role in the CBS TV series ‘M*A*S*H’. Check out this biography to know about his childhood, family life, achievements and fun facts about him.

Quick Facts

Birthday: April 7, 1933

Nationality: American

Famous: Actors American Men

Died At Age: 82

Sun Sign: Aries

Also Known As: William Wayne McMillan Rogers III

Born in: Los Angeles, California, United States

Famous as: Actor

Height: 6'3" (190 cm), 6'3" Males

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Spouse/Ex-: Amy Hirsh (m. 1988–2015), Mitzi McWhorter (m. 1960–1983)

father: William Wayne McMillan Rogers Jr.

mother: Lydia Eustis Rogers

Died on: December 31, 2015

U.S. State: California

City: Los Angeles

More Facts

education: Princeton University

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William Wayne McMillan Rogers III was an American actor who, over the course of his 55-year career, had crafted one of the most diverse and impressive filmographies of all time. He is especially renowned for portraying Captain "Trapper" John McIntyre in the CBS television series, ‘M*A*S*H’. The son of a Rhodes Scholar, Rogers was once a student at Princeton University where he was part of its theatre troupe, Triangle Club. He did not pursue acting immediately after leaving college; instead he opted to enlist in the United States Navy. During his service, however, his love for performance began to take shape and following his discharge, he made his screen debut in the 1959 television series ‘Search for Tomorrow’. He appeared on the big screen in the same year, playing a soldier in ‘Odds Against Tomorrow’. Rogers was then cast in a series of small and side roles in both films and TV shows before being hired for ‘M*A*S*H’. He left the show in 1975, and in the subsequent years, acted as the civil rights activist Morris Dees in ‘Ghosts of Mississippi’, co-starred with Barbara Eden in ‘I Dream of Jeannie... Fifteen Years Later’, and anchored CBS’ ‘High Risk’. The 2003 comedy ‘Nobody Knows Anything!’ was his last screen appearance. Besides being an actor, Rogers was a successful investor and a regular panellist on Fox’s ‘Cashin' In’.

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Childhood & Early Life
  • Wayne Rogers began his career by portraying the character Slim Davis in the soap opera ‘Search for Tomorrow’. He also made an appearance in the Golden-globe nominated film ‘Odds Against Tomorrow’.
  • His first major role came about in 1960 when he was cast as Luke Perry in the western drama ‘Stagecoach West’. He guest-starred in another western ‘Johnny Ringo’ in the same year. Besides these, he played the recurring role of the deputy Billy Lordan in ‘Law of the Plainsman’ (1959-60).
  • The first half of the 1960s was relatively uneventful for Rogers. He was seen playing small roles in projects such as ‘The Dick Powell Theatre’ (1962), ‘Alfred Hitchcock Presents’ (1962), ‘The Great Adventures’ (1963), ‘Dr. Sex’ (1964), ‘Gunsmoke’(1959-65), ‘The Long, Hot Summer’ (1965-66), and ‘The Fugitive’ (1966). He turned producer for a horror quickie named ‘The Astro Zombies’ (1968), which turned his $47,000 investment into massive profits.
  • Rogers guest-starred as seven different characters in seven different episodes in the crime-drama ‘The FBI’. In the 1972-release ‘Pocket Money, he worked with Paul Newman and Lee Marvin.
  • In 1975, he appeared in CBS’ two-part television movie ‘Attack on Terror: The FBI vs. the Ku Klux Klan’, which was the fictionalised version of the 1964 disappearance and murder of three Civil Rights activists in Mississippi. Rogers was cast as FBI Special Agent Don Foster (based on real-life FBI agent John Proctor).
  • He also played prominent roles in the short-lived period detective series ‘City of Angels’ (1976) and the sitcom ‘House Calls’ (1979-82), for which both he and his co-star Lynn Redgrave received Golden Globe nominations.
  • He had a recurring part in Angela Lansbury’s ‘Murder, She Wrote’. In the reunion film ‘I Dream of Jeannie... Fifteen Years Later’ (1985), he replaced Larry Hagman as astronaut Tony Nelson. In 1988, he hosted CBS’ ‘High Risk’, a universally panned TV series about “high-risk” stunts and jobs such as cave exploring, automobile repossessing, and border patrolling.
  • Rogers’ portrayal of Morris Dees in the biographical courtroom drama ‘Ghosts of Mississippi’ received much critical praise. After retiring from acting following the release of ‘Nobody Knows Anything!’, he remained active as a producer for several more years. One of his last films as a producer was the 2014 crime-drama ‘Jamesy Boy’.
  • He was given the nickname ‘The Wizard’ for his financial acuity. During his time on ‘M*A*S*H’, he started to develop an interest in real estate and stock markets and later became a prolific investor and money manager. Between 2012 and 2015, he made regular appearances on the Fox Business Network's investment/stocks news program ‘Cashin' In’ as an expert panellist.
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Major Works
  • Wayne Rogers played Captain "Trapper" John McIntyre, an impulsive and optimistic thoracic surgeon who serves as the perfect foil for the cynical and pragmatic chief surgeon Hawkeye Pierce (Alan Alda) in NBC’s situational comedy ‘M*A*S*H’ (short for Mobile Army Surgical Hospital).
  • The series was inspired by the 1970 American satirical black comedy ‘Mash’, which itself was adapted from Richard Hooker’s 1968 novel ‘ MASH: A Novel About Three Army Doctors’ and told the story of the staff of an army hospital in the Korean War trying to find levity despite their harsh situation.
  • Rogers initially had plans to audition for Pierce but concluded that the character was too jaded. He was asked to screen test for McIntyre instead, who had a brighter outlook. Assured that both characters would enjoy same importance, he accepted the part. Despite the show being a critical and commercial success and having a stellar 11-season (1972-1983) run, he left in 1975 as he felt the writers were giving the best lines and dramatic moments to Alda.
  • When the producers sued him for breach of contract, Rogers reacted by counter-suing. The case was eventually settled after a year of legal proceedings.
Awards & Achievements
  • On December 13, 2005, Wayne Rogers was conferred with his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7018 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
Personal Life &Legacy
  • Wayne Rogers had been married twice. In the late 1950s, he was introduced to his first wife actress Mitzi McWhorter in New York. They wed in 1960. McWhorter bore him a son, William Rogers IV, and a daughter, Laura Rogers. Although they formally divorced in 1983, they already had been living separately for four years by then.
  • In 1988, he married Amy Hirsh. He also allegedly had a son named Luigi Calabrese (born 1986) with actress Melinda Naud,
  • On December 31, 2015, Rogers passed away in Los Angeles, California at the age of 82, due to complications from a severe case of pneumonia. He is survived by his wife, three children, and four grandchildren.
  • Rogers was the owner of three houses; one in Los Angeles, California, another in Destin, Florida, and the last one in Deer Valley, Utah.

1. Cool Hand Luke (1967)

  (Crime, Drama)

2. Odds Against Tomorrow (1959)

  (Crime, Drama, Thriller)

3. Once in Paris... (1978)


4. The Glory Guys (1965)

  (Western, Romance)

5. Ghosts of Mississippi (1996)

  (Drama, History)

6. Chamber of Horrors (1966)


7. WUSA (1970)

  (Romance, Drama)

8. Pocket Money (1972)

  (Western, Comedy, Drama)

See the events in life of Wayne Rogers in Chronological Order

How To Cite

Article Title
- Wayne Rogers Biography
- Editors, TheFamousPeople.com
- TheFamousPeople.com
Last Updated
- November 24, 2017
Wayne Rogers

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