Ed Flanders: Wikis


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Ed Flanders
Born Edward Paul Flanders
29 December 1934(1934-12-29)
Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Died February 22, 1995 (aged 60)
Denny, California, United States

Edward Paul Flanders (December 29, 1934 - February 22, 1995) was an American actor best known for his role as Dr. Donald Westphall in the television series St. Elsewhere.



Flanders was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the son of Bernice (née Brown) and Francis Michael Grey Flanders.[1] Flanders began his acting career on Broadway before moving on to guest parts in television series. From 1967 through 1975, Flanders appeared in more than a dozen American TV shows, including six appearances on Hawaii Five-O (as six different characters). During this time, he was also prolific in TV movies. He also married actress Ellen Geer during this time; they later divorced.

In the late 1970s, Flanders moved away from small TV roles to take major credits in both TV and feature films, while continuing his stage career. In 1974, Flanders won a Tony Award for Best Supporting or Featured Actor in a Dramatic Presentation for A Moon for the Misbegotten by Eugene O'Neill on Broadway.

St. Elsewhere

In 1982, he began his role in St. Elsewhere which was to earn him four Emmy Award nominations as Outstanding Lead Actor in a TV Series, winning the award in 1983. After a stormy departure from the series in 1987, he returned for two more episodes including the 1988 series finale. During a scene in which Westphall addressed the staff, Flanders began speaking extemporaneously about the quality of art and had to be edited for broadcast. His exit on St. Elsewhere as a regular cast member was titled Moon for the Misbegotten after the play that won him a Tony Award. The episode gained much publicity as Westphall left the hospital after "mooning" his new boss, Dr. Gideon (played by Ronny Cox. However, Flanders continued his working relationship with executive producer Bruce Paltrow in the short-lived 1994 CBS series, The Road Home.

Notable roles

In addition to his six-year role as Dr. Donald Westphall, Flanders is noted as the actor who has played President Harry Truman more times, and in more separate productions, than any other. He portrayed Truman, who was President from April 1945 until January 1953, across the end of World War II and most of the Korean War in Truman at Potsdam, Harry S Truman: Plain Speaking, and MacArthur. In the last, Flanders, once again portraying Harry Truman, had second billing to Gregory Peck's lead as General Douglas MacArthur.

Flanders is one of a very short list of actors, including Jason Robards and Anthony Hopkins, who have portrayed two different Presidents. See also this list of actors who played Presidents.

Ed Flanders also appeared in seven episodes of Hawaii Five-O, each time playing a different role, between 1969 and 1975.

In feature films, Flanders performed major roles in two dark movies based on novels by William Peter Blatty. In the first, The Ninth Configuration (1980), he plays Col. Richard Fell, a self-effacing medic at a secret U.S. army psychiatric facility who assists Marine psychiatrist Col. Vincent Kane (Stacy Keach). The film was based on Blatty's darkly satirical novel Twinkle, Twinkle, "Killer" Kane. Then in 1990, Flanders played the avuncular Father Dyer alongside star George C. Scott in Blatty's The Exorcist III based on the novel Legion.

One of Flanders' best-remembered TV guest roles was in the first season M*A*S*H episode "Yankee Doodle Doctor", playing film director Duane William Bricker. Bricker, commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Special Services, is making a documentary about M*A*S*H units and comes to the 4077th on the recommendation of General Clayton. When Hawkeye and Trapper react to Bricker's filmmaking by destroying the negatives, Bricker abandons the project and leaves. Hawkeye takes over the making of the film which, instead of a serious documentary, becomes a farce in the style of the Marx Brothers.

Flanders also played nationally known journalist William Allen White in the 1977 made for TV movie Mary White. This movie was based on the famous eulogy White wrote about his daughter after her death in 1922 from being hit in the head while riding her horse. He also appeared in the 1979 made-for-TV-horror-mini-series Salem's Lot as Dr Bill Norton.

Later life and death

Flanders continued working in telemovies in the early 1990s, but was suffering from depression, particularly after his 1992 divorce from his second wife and financial problems with his ranch in northern California.

He took his own life by a self-inflicted gunshot wound on February 22, 1995 in Denny, California.

TV and Film appearances and roles played

TV Series

1967 Cimarron Strip (episode: The Roarer)...as Arliss Blynn

1969 Daniel Boone(episode: The Traitor)...as Lackland

1971 The Name of the Game(episode: Beware of the Watchdog)...as Lazlo Subich

1971 Travis Logan D.A....as Psychiatrist

1971 Bearcats! (episode: Hostages)...as Ben Tillman

1971 Goodbye, Raggedy Ann (TV Movie)...as David Bevin

1971 McMillan and Wife (episode: Husbands, Wives and Killers)...as Tom Benton

1971 Mission: Impossible (episode: Blues)...as Joe Belker

1972 Mannix (episode: A Walk in the Shadows)...as Tom Farnom

1972 Nichols aka James Garner as Nichols (episode: Fight of the Century)

1972 Cade's County (episode: The Fake)...as Ben Crawford

1972 Ironside (episode: Five days in the Death of Sgt. Brown: Part 1)...as Phil McIver

1972 The Bold Ones: The New Doctors aka The New Doctors (episode: Five Days in the Death of Sgt Brown: Part II)...as Phil McIver

1972 M*A*S*H (episode: Yankee Doodle Doctor)...as Lt Dwayne Bricker

1972 Banyon (episode: Just Once)...as Sergeant Randall

1973 Kung Fu (episode: The Salamander)...as Alonzo Davis

1973 Marcus Welby M.D. aka Robert Young, Family Doctor (episode: The Comeback)...as Magruder

1974 Barnaby Jones (episode: Death on Deposit)...as 'Doc' Fred Tucker

1969-1975 Hawaii Five-O (7 episodes: [[(1970) Three Dead Cows at Makapuu...as Dr Alexander Kline; (1970) The Guarmerius Caper...as Dmitri Rostov; (1972) While You're at It, Bring in the Moon(1974); One Born Every Minute...as Joe Connors; (1975) And the Horse Jumped Over the Moon (Two more episodes also)

1975 Mary Tyler Moore (episode: Mary's Father)...as Father Terrance Brian

1976 Hallmark Hall of Fame (episode: Truman at Potsdan)...as President Harry S Truman

1979 Backstairs at the White House (episodes 1.1, 1.2 and 1.4)...as President Calvin Coolidge

1979 Blind Ambition (TV mini-series)...as John Dean

1979 Salem's Lot aka Blood Thirst aka Salem's Lot:the Miniseries...as Dr Bill Norton

1982-1988 St. Elsewhere in 120 episodes...as Dr. Donald Westphall

1993 Jack's Place (episode: Who Knew?)...as Marcus Toback

1994 The Road Home (pilot episode)...as William Babineaux


1970 The Grasshopper aka Passions aka The Passing of Evil...as Jack Benton

1972 The Trial of the Catonsville Nine (film)...as Father Daniel Berrigan

1972 The Snoop Sisters aka The Female Instinct (TV movie)...as Milo Perkins

1973 Hunter (TV)...as Dr Miles

1974 Indict and Covict (TV)...as Timothy Fitzgerald

1974 Things in Their Season (TV)...as Carl Gerlach

1975 The Legend of Lizzie Borden (TV)...as Hosea Knowlton

1975 Attack on Terror: The FBI vs the Ku Klux Klan (TV)...as Ralph Paine

1975 A Moon for the Misbegotten (TV)...as Phil Hogan

1976 Eleanor and Franklin (TV)...as Louis Howe

1976 The Sad and Lonely Sundays (TV)...as Dr Frankman

1976 Harry S. Truman: Plain Speaking (TV)...as President Harry S. Truman

1977 The Amazing Howard Hughes (TV)...as Noah Dietrich

1977 MacArthur...as President Harry S. Truman

1977 Mary White (TV)...as William Allen White

1979 Salem's Lot...as Dr. Bill Norton

1980 The Ninth Configuration aka Twinkle, Twinkle, Killer Kane...as Col. Richard Fell

1981 Inchon (film)...voice (uncredited) as President Harry S. Truman

1981 True Confessions...as Dan T. Campion

1981 The Pursuit of D.B. Cooper aka Pursuit...as Brigadier

1981 Skokie (film) aka Once They Marched Through a Thousand Towns (UK title) (TV)...as Mayor Albert J. Smith

1982 Tomorrow's Child (TV)...as Anders Stenslund

1983 Special Bulletin (TV)...as John Woodley

1989 The Final Days (TV)...as Leonard Garment

1990 The Exorcist III aka Exorcist 3 (Philippines: English title); aka Wiiliam Blatty's The Exorcist III (USA complete title)...as Father Dyer

1991 The Perfect Tribute (TV)...as Warren

1992 Citizen Cohn (TV)...as Joseph N Welch

1993 Message from Nam aka Danielle Steel's Message from Nam (UK title)...as Ed Wilson

1995 Bye Bye Love...as Walter Sims

Awards and nominations


Emmy nominations

  • 1979 - Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or a Special, for: "Backstairs at the White House"
  • 1985 - Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, for: "St. Elsewhere"
  • 1986 - Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, for: "St. Elsewhere"
  • 1987 - Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, for: "St. Elsewhere"

Emmy Awards (won)

  • 1976 - Outstanding Single Performance by a Supporting Actor in Comedy or Drama Special, for: A Moon for the Misbegotten
  • 1977 - Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama or Comedy Special, for: Harry S. Truman: Plain Speaking
  • 1983 - Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, for: "St. Elsewhere"

Tony Award

1974 - Tony Award for Best Supporting or Featured Actor in a Dramatic Presentation for A Moon for the Misbegotten by Eugene O'Neill.


External links


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