M*A*S*H Actor Allan Arbus Dies at 95

By Stephen M. Silverman

04/23/2013 at 11:45 AM EDT

M*A*S*H Actor Allan Arbus Dies at 95

Allan Arbus, best known for his dozen appearances as the sarcastic psychiatrist Maj. Sidney Freedman on the ’70s series M*A*S*H, died Friday at his Los Angeles home, his daughter, photographer Amy Arbus, told The New York Times. He was 95.

The cause was complications of congestive heart failure, his daughter Arin Arbus said.

As psychiatrist Dr. Sidney Freedman, a guest role in which he appeared throughout the long-running series, Arbus was so believable that “MASH” star Alan Alda later said he long assumed the actor had real expertise in the field.

Arbus began acting professionally in his late 40s, after building a successful career in fashion photography with his first wife, Diane Arbus, who later turned to the unflinching portraiture for which she became known.

In addition to numerous roles on TV and in movies, from Matlock and Curb Your Enthusiasm (in 2000) to Cinderella Liberty and Damien: Omen II, the New York City native, during his military service in the army, had been a photographer – as was, notably, his wife, Diane Arbus.
The two met when Allan was an employee in the advertising department of her parents’ Fifth Avenue department store, then married in 1941 and formed a professional partnership.
Despite her parents’ wealth, however, “she and Allan never received any financial help from her father, and throughout their marriage – particularly in the early years – they were always worried about money,” author Patricia Bosworth wrote in her 1984 Diane Arbus: A Biography.
The Arbuses dissolved their business partnership in 1956, when Diane quit. They separated in 1959, and officially divorced a decade later, yet were said to have remained friends. And while Diane, who began her career as a fashion photographer, committed suicide in 1971, at age 48, her iconic photos of those on life’s periphery continue to be shown in museums.
She was also portrayed by Nicole Kidman in the heavily fictionalized 2006 movie Fur, in which Ty Burrell (the current Modern Family star) played Allan Arbus.
According to The Times, Allan Arbus married the actress Mariclare Costello in 1976. She survives him, as do Amy and another daughter with Diane Arbus, the writer Doon Arbus, along with another daughter (with Mariclare), Arin Arbus.

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