Charles Siebert, ‘Trapper John, M.D.’ Star, Dead at 84

by Joe Rutland

Actor Charles Siebert, who was a stage-trained actor and played Dr. Stanley Riverside II on the classic TV show Trapper John, M.D., is dead. Seibert was 84 years old. He died on May 1 of COVID-related pneumonia at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center, his daughter, Gillian Bozanic, told The Hollywood Reporter.

Siebert played in movies like The Other Side of Midnight (1977), Blue Sunshine (1977), Coma (1978), Norman Jewison’s … And Justice for All (1979), and All Night Long (1981). Others include White Water Summer (1987) and Eight Men Out (1988). Siebert portrays Helen Keller’s father in the 1979 NBC telefilm The Miracle Worker. It stars Melissa Gilbert as Helen and Patty Duke — an Oscar winner 16 years earlier for her turn as the blind, deaf and mute girl — as teacher Annie Sullivan.

Charles Siebert Appeared In Every Episode of ‘Trapper John, M.D.’

Meanwhile, Charles Siebert was in all 151 episodes of the M*A*S*H spinoff Trapper John, which aired from 1979-86. His character, the head of emergency services at San Francisco Memorial Hospital, often clashed with surgeon “Trapper” John McIntyre, played by Pernell Roberts. But Siebert would also become a TV director. He directed episodes of shows like Knots LandingPacific Blue, Silk Stalkings, Pensacola: Wings of Gold, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, and Xena: Warrior Princess through 2001.

Charles Alan Siebert was born on March 9, 1938, in Kenosha, Wis. He studied acting at Marquette University under the renowned Father John J. Walsh and at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. He then became a charter member of San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theater in 1965.

Stage Work Included Role In ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’

Siebert was cast in 1987 alongside Hayley Mills on the NBC pilot Good Morning, Miss Bliss. That show would eventually become Saved by the Bell and get picked up by the Disney Channel. But Siebert’s role was eliminated. His stage work included appearances in David Storey’s The Changing Room and Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof on Broadway and Rubbers, directed by Alan Arkin, off-Broadway.

Meanwhile, Siebert would spend seven summers at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts. He has a recurring role as the boss of Ann Romano, Bonnie Franklin’s character, on CBS’ One Day at a Time from 1977-79. Siebert starred in a short-lived Joan Rivers-created comedy Husbands, Wives & Lovers, also for CBS, in 1979.

Survivors include his second wife, Kristine, whom he married in 1986; children Gillian and Christopher, a musician with the band Lavay Smith and Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers; step-children Kristina, Max, and Jeremy; and brothers Ronald, Leonard, and Jack. Catherine, his first wife, died in 1981 of breast cancer at age 44.