Today we got the sad news that actor David Ogden Stiers passed away at the age of 75. Rather than mourn his passing, as fans, we choose to celebrate his life by showcasing some of our favorite performances.
Major Charles Winchester (M*A*S*H) 1977-1983
Stiers played haughty, aristocratic surgeon Charles Winchester. Perpetually above it all, Charles spent most of his time railing against having to be stuck in Korea with his miscreant roommates in the swamp when he could be at home living the rich, cultured life that he is accustomed to. Fortunately, for the audience, he could find ways to have fun with the guys as well making his performance well-rounded and fun to watch.
Timicin (Star Trek: The Next Generation) 1991
In the episode “Half A Life”, Lwaxana Troi (Majel Roddenberry) fell in love with a scientist on the planet Kaelon played by Stiers. After developing a means of revitalizing his planets dying sun, he is called back to the planet to perform a ritual suicide that is part of his planet’s culture. Wanting to extend his time to finish his work and because of his feelings for Troi, he refuses. An act that causes devastating sociopolitical issues on his planet. His performance is both tragic and brave as he conveys a wide range of emotions brilliantly on-screen.
Cogsworth/Narrator (Beauty and the Beast) 1991
Besides lending his voice to the narration at the beginning of the film that would go on to be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars, David Ogden Stiers gave the brilliant performance of Cogsworth, head of the household and walking, talking clock. His performance as the exasperated servant is punctuated by some brilliant moments between himself and the late Jerry Orbach as Lumiere.
Governor Ratcliffe (Pocahontas) 1995
David Ogden Stiers would return to the world of Disney on several occasions. His next role for the House of Mouse was as the villainous Governor Ratcliffe in Pocahontas. His haughty, superior temperament was a pretty spot on representation of British colonial arrogance and he performed one of the best Disney songs ever made “Mine, Mine, Mine”.
Jumba (Lilo & Stitch) 2002
Never really sure where Jumba lands on the scale of villain or hero, Stiers played the mad scientist as someone fiercely loyal to the people he calls family, but always looking for a way to do something evil when no one’s looking. He was the perfect combination of brilliance and over the top lunacy, often in the same moment. Jumba was an incredibly fun character to see on-screen and on television and I cannot imagine anyone else bringing him to life.
Are there any performances that we missed? What are some of your favorite David Ogden Stiers performances? Let us know in the comments below.
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