Vale: Allan Arbus

Allan Arbus, best known as psychiatrist Major Sidney Freedman on MASH, has died, aged 95.

2013-04-24_1403Allan Arbus, best known as psychiatrist Major Sidney Freedman on MASH, has died, aged 95.

Arbus died on April 19th in Los Angeles.

During his career he appeared in shows such as The Mod Squad, The Rockford Files, The Odd Couple, Hawaii Five-O, NYPD Blue, Judging Amy and Curb Your Enthusiasm, which was his last TV appearance in 2000. He also appeared in films including The Electric Horseman, The Last Married Man in America and Damien: Omen II.

But his most well-known role was in a dozen episodes of MASH as the liberal psychiatrist who had a zinger for every patient.

Allan Alda said he found Arbus so convincing that he often opened up to him. “I was so convinced that he was a psychiatrist I used to sit and talk with him between scenes,” Alda told the Archive of American Television.

In his final MASH appearance in 1983 he told the 4077th’s beleaguered staff, “Ladies and gentlemen, take my advice; pull down your pants and slide on the ice.”

Source: Variety LA Times

3 Responses

  1. Oh man, this is sad news. Now I’ve gone all sentimental – I guess I’m gonna have to go and watch all those boxed sets of MASH sitting on my sitcom shelf.

    When Josh Thomas wrote Please Like Me he watched The Office to learn how to write a sitcom. He should have watched MASH instead – it’s the greatest sitcom of all time (final episode got 120 million viewers!). It had everything – great characters, great one liners, heart, soul, darkness, you name it. It pains me that so many young people today have no idea what a proper sitcom looks like. Or maybe I’m just being an old fogie…

  2. Farewell Major Freedman.
    His episodes of MASH (as well as those with Col Flagg – and especially those eps with both characters!) are my favourite MASH memories.
    At 95yo at least he had a good innings – we should all be so lucky….

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