I did not know him, and hesitate to devote too much of a remembrance on a character he played.
Then again, his Colonel Potter changed the dynamics of arguably the most important show on television ever. Colonel Potter brought the historic perspective of a seasoned career military man, and yet was a character who valued humanity more than anything. He recoiled at the horrors of war even as he honored the intent of those who served, and also gave the show the example of a different type of authority: one with integrity. While the writing was good, the delivery was special and always believable.
In relation to the other characters, Colonel Potter embodied the best of what a father could be: wise and insightful, open and honest, and never to old to learn something new.
Perhaps his best known moment: the toast to old friends, while supported by his MASH family.
Here's to you, boys.
To Ryan, who died in W.W.I, the war to end all wars.
To Gianelli, who died in the war after that.
To Stein, the joker of the crowd.
And to Gresky, my best friend who just passed away in Tokyo.
You were the friends of my youth. My comrades through thick and thin and everything in between.
I drink to your memories.
I loved you fellows, one and all.