M*A*S*H' TV star dies

Larry Linville, best known for his portrayal of the power-hungry and neurotic Maj. Frank Burns on the CBS television show "M*A*S*H," has died, aged 60.

Linville suffered from cancer and had a lung removed in 1998 after a malignant tumor was discovered. Longtime manager Barry M. Greenberg of Los Angeles said Linville was hospitalised on Sunday and died of complications of pneumonia.

Linville was a native of Ojai, California, and had been living in New York.

"He was wonderfully refreshing and irreverent but always a very talented and professional guy," Greenberg said. "He took this cancer thing better than anybody I've ever seen."

Linville was part of a breakout cast that made "M*A*S*H" one of the longest-running shows on television. He starred with Alan Alda, Gary Burghoff and Wayne Rogers as part of an ensemble that launched the show in 1972, on the heels of the hit movie of the same name.

The show, at times with comedy, at times with stark political commentary, detailed life at the 4077th Mobil Army Surgical Hospital, where Linville was a whiny, military stickler smitten with the head nurse.

Much of the show's early action revolved around the antics of tent-mates Burns, Hawkeye Pierce (played by Alda) anook on serious topics of war and bloodshed, often seemingly more relevant to the Vietnam War than the conflict in Korea.

Linville left "M*A*S*H" after the fifth season. He went on to guest star on numerous television series and had roles in "Grandpa Goes to Washington," "Checking In" and "Paper Dolls."

Linville is survived by his wife, Deborah.

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