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David Ogden Stiers, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Lilo and Stitch actor dies at 75

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Mar 3, 2018

David Ogden Stiers, an actor known for his roles in Star Trek: The Next GenerationBeauty and the Beast, and Lilo & Stitch, has died at the age of 75, reports the Oregonian/Oregon Live. Stier's agent Mitchell Stubbs told the publication that his client had been battling bladder cancer, to which he succumbed at his home in Newport, Oregon.

Born in Peoria, Illinois, in October of 1942, Stiers attended Urbana High School, where one of his classmates was the famous movie critic Roger Ebert. Eventually moving to California, he performed in the Shakespeare Theater, San Francisco Actors Workshop, as well as The Committee, an improv group whose past members include Rob Reiner. He then relocated to New York City, where he was mentored by John Houseman (The Paper Chase) and studied drama at Juilliard before joining the City Center Acting Company.

Stiers' early credits include stage and screen roles in the early 1970s for The Magic ShowThe Mary Tyler Moore Show, and Charlie's Angels. However, he also had a small voiceover role in George Lucas's 1971 feature debut, THX 1138. This would be a harbinger of his prolific voice career to come. In 1977, Stiers was cast as  Major Charles Emerson Winchester III in the popular army show M*A*S*H. He starred in this role for six years and 131 episodes. 

His genre-related roles in the coming years were Todson in the psychological horror movie Magic (1978), Leonard Mead in the Ray Bradbury Theater episode "The Pedestrian" (1989), Timcin in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Half a Life" (1991), and the voice of Cogsworth in Disney's animated Beauty and the Beast (also '91).

Stiers became a Disney mainstay, doing the voices in a number of the company's movies, like Governor Ratcliffe and Wiggins in 1995's Pocahontas, Archdeacon in 1996's The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Fenton Q. Harcourt in 2001's Atlantis: The Lost Empire, and (perhaps most famously) the many-eyed mad scientist  Dr. Jumba Jookiba in 2002's Lilo & Stitch.

Stiers did even more voice roles for The Wild Thornberrys, the American dub of Spirited AwayJustice LeagueStatic Shock, and Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman, as well as a live-action one for a TV adaptation of Stephen King's Dead Zone in 2002.

By the time of his death, Stiers had more than 100 credits to his name. He is once marked as saying, "What's next is what I really really like to regard. I don't care if it's voiceover work, or commercial, or directing a play, or doing a guest appearance with an orchestra, or going into some sort of ear training for a movie, or what is next. That I keep working just astonishes me. I never take it for granted."

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