Allan Arbus dies: 'M*A*S*H' psychiatrist Maj. Sidney Freedman was 95
Allan Arbus, who played psychiatrist Maj. Sidney Freedman on the show "M*A*S*H," has died at age 95.
The actor and New York native passed away at his Los Angeles home on Friday, April 19, the New York Times reported on Tuesday. He is survived by second wife, Mariclare Costello, their daughter and his two other daughters who are from his previous marriage to photographer Diane Arbus.
Diane, whose maiden name was Nemerov, took her own life at age 48 in 1971. She and Allan had worked together before he was drafted and served as a photographer in the Army Signal Corps in Burma during World War II.
They were married for about 28 years and divorced in 1969. That year, he made his official acting debut, in the movie "Putney Swope," which was written and directed by Robert Downey Sr., father of Robert Downey Jr.
Allan went on to star on shows such as "The Odd Couple" and the original "Hawaii Five-O" before he was cast as Freedman, a witty, acerbic and often hilarious psychiatrist on the 1970s war comedy series "M*A*S*H," which aired for 11 seasons.
After the show ended, Allan continued to act after the program ended its run in 1983. He appeared in Robert Downey Sr.'s 1972 film "Greaser's Palace," the 1973 movie "Coffy" and the thriller "Damien: Omen II " in 1978. Allan also starred in the 1985 comedy film "Volunteers" with Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, who married the actor three years later, and John Candy, who died in 1994 at age 43.
Allan also continued his TV career. He had recurring parts on shows such as "Matlock" and "Judging Amy." His last on-screen role was on the 2000 season 1 finale of Larry David's HBO sitcom "Curb Your Enthusiasm," in which he played Uncle Nathan.
"M*A*S*H" co-star Alan Alda recalled in Archive of American Television interview, released in 2009, how realistic Allan's performances were on the show. (Watch Alda's interview below)
"I was so convinced that he really was a psychiatrist, I used to sit and talk with him between scenes as if he was a psychiatrist," Alda said. "After a couple of months of that I noticed he was giving me these strange looks, like 'How would I know the answer to that?' He just convinced me. I knew he was an actor, I knew he wasn't a psychiatrist but he just seemed so real in the part. Show you, I probably needed one. Too bad he wasn't."