The actor, who enjoyed a long and productive career after moving from fashion to film, passed away last week.
Allan Arbus, the actor best known for playing the psychiatrist Maj. Sydney Freidman on the popular TV show M*A*S*H*, died last Friday at his home in Los Angeles. Arbus was 95. In 1969, Arbus left the successful fashion photography business he had created with his then ex-wife and moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. Since then, he has gone on to star in films like “Coffy” and “Crossroads” and was a TV regular during the 1970s and ’80s, appearing on “Taxi,” “Starsky & Hutch,” “Matlock” and other shows. However, his most notable role by far was on M*A*S*H* where he played a remarkably witty and at the same time, believable therapist. Alan Alda, who played Capt. Hawkeye Pierce on the series, recalls Arbus thusly:
“I was so convinced that he was a psychiatrist I used to sit and talk with him between scenes,” Mr. Alda said in an interview with the Archive of American Television. “After a couple months of that I noticed he was giving me these strange looks, like ‘How would I know the answer to that?’”
Mr Arbus’s last role was on the HBO series “Curb Your Enthusiasm” in 2000. The announcement of his death was made by his daughter, Amy Arbus, last week. He is survived by his second wife, Mariclare Costello and their two daughters.