American actor Ed Flanders is probably best known for his award-winning role of Dr. Donald Westphall on the medical drama St. Elsewhere. He started acting on-stage in his home state of Minnesota before moving on to Broadway in the 1960s. He worked during the '70s on television shows like Hawaii Five-O and numerous made-for-TV movies. In 1976, he won his first Emmy award for the role of Phil Hogan in A Moon for the Misbegotten, based on the Eugene O'Neill play. He had also received a Tony for his performance in the Broadway cast of the play's 1973 revival.
Flanders portrayed President Harry S. Truman in the late-'70s feature film MacArthur and the TV movie Meeting at Postdam, but it was his lead role in Harry S. Truman: Plain Speaking that earned him his second Emmy. He also played other real-life figures in Mary White (as journalist William White), Backstairs at the White House (as President Calvin Coolidge), and The Amazing Howard Hughes (as Hughes' associate Noah Dietrich). He earned his third Emmy award for his most memorable role, Dr. Westphall on St. Elsewhere, during its run on NBC from 1982-1987. He also played Dr. Norton on Salem's Lot and Charles Shaffer in the miniseries Blind Ambition. On the big screen, he worked with writer/director William Peter Blatty on The Ninth Configuration and The Exorcist III, and appeared with Robert Duvall and Robert De Niro in the feature film True Confessions. After appearing in the civil war drama The Perfect Tribute and the HBO biopic Citizen Cohn, he was cast in the short-lived 1994 TV series The Road Home. Flanders' last screen appearance was a small role in Bye Bye, Love in 1995. He died that year of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Denny, CA, at the age of 60. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, Rovi