"Major Dad" actor Gerald McRaney (search) underwent surgery Monday to remove a cancerous growth from his lung, his Los Angeles publicist told The Associated Press.

McRaney, 56, had the surgery at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

The actor is a longtime smoker. "I'm sure that he will plan to quit," McRaney spokesman Henri Bollinger told the AP.

The growth was detected during a physical examination McRaney underwent before minor knee surgery two weeks ago. Although the lung growth was malignant, the actor's doctor said it was detected at an early stage, Bollinger said.

McRaney will remain in the hospital for several days before returning to his Los Angeles home next week where he is expected to begin work on the new TV series "Commando Nanny," (search) which begins airing in September on the WB network.

Although McRaney played the no-nonsense military man on the long-running sitcom "Major Dad," in the new show he co-stars as a Beverly Hills tycoon who hires a British special-forces commando to baby-sit his three children.