Wayne Rogers enjoyed plenty of tributes after his death at the age of 82 on December 31 — but The ENQUIRER was there when Wayne was known as "one of the most ruthless men" in showbiz!
Insiders on the set of his hit '80s sitcom "House Calls" told The ENQUIRER how the "M*A*S*H" star's fear of failure had him obsessed with success, money and power!
"He's the boss," warned a source at Universal studios, where "House Calls" was filmed.
"Dare to get in his way and he'll trample you!"
A former member of the cast of "House Calls" declared: "He's especially hard on the writers. I know of one he drafted from 'M*A*S*H.' But very soon they had a disagreement over a script and — BOOM! The very next day that writer was gone!
"People on the show live in constant fear of being fired!"
Wayne's legendary temper also made for some memorable days when he was playing Trapper John on the"M*A*S*H" set, a close friend revealed.
"Once he got into such a hassle with Gary Burghoff, who played the role of Radar, that — without realizing it — Wayne set a new world's record in the chair throw — 45 feet!"
Wayne's pal even revealed an amazing tale from the filming of the 1970 film "WUSA," shot when Wayne was still practically a nobody!
"He lost his temper with Anthony Perkins," recalled the insider, "seized him by the lapels and shook him until he nearly separated his skull from his neck!
"This was the price Perkins paid for not performing the scene to Rogers' liking!"
But even terrified "House Call" crew members had to salute Wayne's wild ambition!
"He's desperately driven," said one source — who said Wayne took pride in turning his back on his own wealthy family.
The insider recalled Wayne telling him: "I was determined I would never fail and never be second best.
"I wanted to prove to my successful father that I could come out from under his shadow and stand on my own two feet.
"I would do anything I had to do, and climb over anybody in the way, to be a success in life on my own terms!"
Others also praised Wayne as "a model father," a warm and "most loving person," and "absolutely brilliant" when it comes to business.
He had already amassed a huge fortune through his financial dealings, with his 1981 holdings estimated to be worth a staggering $20 million!
Another friend said: "Wayne can be the warmest and most loving person in the world!"
Wayne had the support of Hollywood studios, too.
"House Calls" was a surprise hit, and a studio insider gave Wayne plenty of credit for its success.
"He is a rare combination of actor and tycoon," said the exec. "Everything he touches turns to gold!"