Allan Arbus Dies At 95, Iconic MASH Psychiatrist

Allan Arbus died Friday at home in Los Angeles at age 95 as a result of congestive heart failure. His daughter Amy Arbus reported the sad news to the media on Tuesday.

A former fashion photographer who once owned a studio with his first wife, he left that business to become an actor. Although a regular on many 1970s and 80s era TV programs, including Taxi and Starsky and Hutch, he is inevitably best remembered for his iconic role as the psychiatrist Major Sidney Freedman on the popular series M*A*S*H.

In the regular guest role on M*A*S*H, Arbus was so convincing that star Alan Alda said he thought that Arbus must have had some real experience in the field.

Alda has said that he used to ask Arbus for advice, until he finally realized that he’d confused the character with the man.

His first wife, Diane Arbus, had already left their fashion photography studio before the end of their marriage. In pursuit of her art, she eventually became the renowned black-and-white photographer of people who were on the margins of society, including so-called freaks such as circus performers. Despite her critical success, she committed suicide in 1971.

Allan Arbus married his second wife in 1976. That marriage has lasted, and she survives his recent death.

He will be missed. Below the video check out comments from fans sorry to hear that Allan Arbus has died.

[Korean war memorial photo by Yeowatzup via Flickr

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