12 Sep 2009

Death of 'M.A.S.H' TV show writer

1:40 pm on 12 September 2009

American writer Larry Gelbart, who developed a hit TV show about medics in the Korean War, has died of cancer in Los Angeles.

M.A.S.H ran for 11 seasons before ending in 1983, with a final episode that attracted more than 106 million viewers.

Based on a 1970 movie of the same name by director Robert Altman, the series was about doctors operating on the wounded a few miles from the front lines of the war in the 1950s.

"Meatball surgery" was performed amid comedy and pathos.

The series received an Emmy award for outstanding comedy in 1974.

Gelbart, 81, also co-wrote the book A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, which became a Broadway musical, and the movie Tootsie (1982).

He was inducted last year into the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame.