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Roger Bowen (May 25, 1932February 16, 1996) was an Americanmarker comedic actor and novelist, known for his portrayal of Lt. Col Henry Braymore Blake in the 1970 film MASH. He often portrayed roles as a stuffy defender of the upper class and had regular roles on a number of television series. His successful acting career aside, Bowen always considered himself a writer who only moonlighted as an actor. He wrote eleven novels (including Just Like a Movie) as well as sketches for Broadway and television. He was also one of the co-founders of Chicago's famed comedy and acting troupe The Second City.

Bowen was born in Attleboro, Massachusettsmarker. He said he was writing theater reviews for the University of Chicagomarker student newspaper when he was asked to pen material for an improvisational troupe that included Alan Arkin and Mike Nichols. The troupe, Compass Players, evolved into The Second City. Bowen spent most of the 1960s playing "preppie" types on a number of TV & radio commercials. His first film role was 1968's Petula, but his big movie break came in 1970, when he created the role of lackadaisical Colonel Henry Blake in the 1970 Robert Altman cult film M*A*S*H.

While it was another veteran of TV commercials, McLean Stevenson, who would make Colonel Blake’s role on the long-running M*A*S*H television series, Roger Bowen already had solid exposure in the early 1970s. After MASH, Bowen gained a fan following as "Hamilton Majors Jr.", the pleasantly snooty and supportive Ivy League boss of Herschel Bernardi on the TV sitcom Arnie (1970–72).

After Arnie, Bowen joined the cast of The Brian Keith Show, then returned to commercials and movie cameo roles, showing up briefly in such films as Heaven Can Wait, The Main Event and Zapped!.

In the early 1980s, Bowen enjoyed another round of weekly TV work with recurring roles on House Calls, At Ease, and Suzanne Pleshette is Maggie Briggs. He made his final film appearance in the Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss film What About Bob?.

But his love, as he was quick to point out, was writing.

Coincidental death

In a strange coincidence, Bowen's death, of a heart attack came one day after that of actor McLean Stevenson, who played Lieutenant Colonel Henry Blake in the M*A*S*H television series. Because of this, Bowen's family did not report his death to the media until a week afterward, so that it would not be dismissed as a garbled version of Stevenson's obituary.

Bowen is survived by his wife Ann (Stage Director), son Michael (Theatre Producer), daughter Katie (Avid Editor), and son Dan (Executive Television Producer).

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