Saturday, January 1, 2011

Cast of the TV show "M*A*S*H"

In 1972 a TV show was created based on a movie created two years before called "M*A*S*H".  This acronym if you are unfamiliar, stands for Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, which was the premise for the show.  The TV show was based on the trials and tribulations, the good times and the bad times, but mostly the good, of a M*A*S*H unit based in Korea during the Korean war. The focus of the show was Major Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce.  We saw how the he and his cohorts forgot about the fact that they were near the front lines of a war and was in the middle of the blood and guts of it all. We'll never forget the times that they spend stewing in "The Swamp" with their homemade still cranking out martinis when they were not in the surgical tent.

Opening of the TV show "M*A*S*H"
The original  Pierce and McIntyre from the film "M*A*S*H" Donald Sutherland and Eliot Gould
A typical poker game at "The Swamp". Left to Right: Wayne Rogers ("Trapper" John McIntyre), McLean Stevenson (Lt. Col Henry Blake), Alan Alda ("Hawkeye" Pierce), Allan Arbus (Major Sidney Freedman), Pat Morita (Captain Sam Pak)

Hawkeye Pierce shared many tent mates during his stay at the 4077th M*A*S*H unit.  First he shared a tent with "Trapper" John McIntire played by Wayne Rogers, who left several years into the show and was replaced by B.J. Hunnicut played by Mike Farrell.  His other tent mate, Frank Burns played by Larry Linville, also left halfway into the show and was replaced by Charles Winchester III portrayed by David Ogden Stiers.

Some cast members of the TV show "M*A*S*H" from the early years. Left to Right:  Larry Linville (Frank Burns), Loretta Swit ("Hot lips" Houlihan), Alan Alda ("Hawkeye" Pierce) , McLean Stevenson (Lt. Col. Henry Blake), Wayne Rogers ("Trapper" John McIntyre), William Christopher (Father Francis Mulcahy), Gary Burghoff ("Radar O'Reilly), Jamie Farr (Corporal Max Kllinger)

The reasons for the changes vary. Rogers played his character "Trapper" John character until 1975 when, because of a dispute in a new contract, he as well as McLean Stevenson chose to leave the show unhappy with their minor roles.  Both would confess later regretting the decision to leave after the show continued on to be a huge hit for another seven seasons.  Rogers, whose character of "Trapper John" got his ticket home to the U.S., would be replaced by Mike Farrell playing the character of B.J. Hunnicut.  Wayne Rogers would not be the one to play the lead character in the spin-off of "M*A*S*H" based on  his character "Trapper John M. D.".  He turned down the role because he did not want to stuck in the rut of playing a doctor. McLean Stevenson would be written out of the show also as his character Henry Blake got his leave to return home as well, however his airplane was shot down and Colonel Blake was killed.  The new commander of the the M*A*S*H unit would be Colonel Sherman T. Potter played by Harry Morgan.

Some of the cast members of the TV show "M*A*S*H" in the later years. Seated: Jamie Farr (Corporal Max Klinger) .
standing font: Mike Farrell (B.J. Hunnicut), Alan Alda  ("Hawkeye" Pierce), Loretta Swit (Margaret "Hot Lips" Huolihan), Harry Morgan (Col. Sherman T. Potter).    Standing rear: David Ogden Stiers (Major Charles Winchester) , William Christopher (Father Francis Mulcahy), 

Larry Linville would leave the show two years later Frank Burns after his character would ask for a transfer after his lover "hot lips" Houlihan would marry Donald Penobscott.  He was then replaced with the much more socially refined Major Charles Winchester II.

The show ran for 10 years. They decided to call it quits in 1983.  At the time it was a record among sitcoms for the longest running show.  It may have been the end, however, Harry Morgan, Jamie Farr and William Christopher along with Rosalind Chao starred in a spin-off of "M*A*S*H" that lasted two years, "After "M*A*S*H".  The three meet again in a veteran's hospital after the Korean War.

Alan Alda ("Hawkeye Pierce) and his father Robert Alda (Dr. Anthony Borelli) who guest starred on "M*A*S*H"

Another attempted spin-off from the show did not go so well for Gary Burghoff who starred in "W*A*L*T*E*R" which did not last long.  However, out of all of the cast members, Gary Burghoff is the only cast member who appeared in both the original movie as well as the TV show.

Gary Burghoff (Corporal Eugene "Radar" O'Reilly) from the TV show "M*A*S*H"

Find out what the cast members of "M*A*S*H" are doing now.  See whatever happened to:

Alan Alda         Captain Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce
Loretta Swit         Major Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan 

Harry Morgan         Colonel Sherman T. Potter (from 1975 to 1983)
Gary Burghoff         Corporal Walter Eugene "Radar" O'Reilly
David Ogden Stiers     Major Charles Winchester (1975 to 1983)
Jamie Farr         Corporal Maxwell Q. Klinger 
Mike Farrell         Captain B.J. Hunnicut (from 1975 to 1983)
William Christopher     Father Francis Mulcahy
Larry Linville         Major Franklin Marion Burns (1972 to 1977) 
Wayne Rogers        Captain "Trapper" John McIntyre (1972 to 1975)
McLean Stevenson    Lt. Colonel Henry Blake (from 1972 to 1975)
Kellye Nakahara     Lieutenant Kellye Yamato

Links are being updated daily so stay tuned!

Other notable guest stars:

Rick Hurst of "The Dukes of Hazzard"
Linda Kelsey of "Alice"
Teri Garr
Joan Van Ark of "Knots Landing"
Rita Wilson
Robert Alda - Alan Alda's dad and fellow actor
Sorrell Booke of "The Dukes of Hazzard"
Pat Morita of "The Karate Kid"
Jack Soo of "Barney Miller"
Carmen Mathews - notable long time actress

Some of the surviving cast and producers of "M*A*S*H" in 2009.  Left: William Christopher , Kellye Nakahara, Alan Alda, Mike Farrell, Loretta Swit , Alan Arbus, Burt Metcalfe Larry Gelbart, Jeff Maxwell, Wayne Rogers

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