Gene Reynolds, co-creator of ‘M*A*S*H,’ dies at 96

Gene Reynolds, co-creator of

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Gene Reynolds, co-creator of 'M*A*S*H,' died at 96.

Gene Reynolds, who co-created the iconic 1970s comedy series “M*A*S*H,” has died at 96.

The producer-director-writer died Monday in Burbank, California, Directors Guild of America representative Lily Bedrossian confirmed to USA TODAY.

Reynolds and Larry Gelbart co-created the popular anti-war CBS sitcom, which followed the staff of a mobile Army surgical hospital during the Korean War over 11 seasons –roughly three times the length of the real war. Reynolds also directed and wrote episodes for the socially conscious series.

“M*A*S*H,” a TV adaptation of Robert Altman’s acclaimed 1970 film of the same name, mined the dark comedy of war, as doctors patched up injured soldiers just to send them back to be shot at again.

Launched in 1972 during the Vietnam War, the show mixed madcap antics and Groucho Marx-style banter, anchored by surgeons Hawkeye Pierce (Alan Alda), “Trapper John” McIntyre (Wayne Rogers) and later B.J. Hunnicutt (Mike Farrell), with sobering commentary about the pain and horror of war, including the loss of their beloved commanding officer, Henry Blake (McLean Stevenson). 

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