McLean Stevenson Biography

McLean Stevenson
Date of Birth
Nov 14, 1929
Birth Place:
Normal, IL


Though he has appeared on several television series, including one named after himself, McLean Stevenson is best remembered for playing the slightly befuddled Lt. Colonel Henry Blake during the first three years of the long-running series M*A*S*H (1972-1983). He has also occasionally worked in feature films, making his debut in The Christian Licorice Store (1971). Stevenson made his television debut playing Michael Nicholson between 1969 and 1971 on The Doris Day Show. The son of an Illinois cardiologist, Stevenson did not become an actor until he was 31. Prior to that, he sold medical supplies, worked as an insurance clerk, was a seaman, and served as Northwestern University's athletics director. It was while at Northwestern that Stevenson earned a theater arts degree. According to Stevenson, the idea to become an actor came to him while he was walking across a football field watching the players. Believing that most of them were wasting their time, he thought it better to go to New York and act. Following his education, Stevenson did just that and spent much of the '60s performing in nightclubs and comedy spots as well as working in summer stock. He also wrote comedy for Tommy Smothers. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

Provided by Rovi