Arlene Alda Discusses The Last Days of M*A*S*H

When the very last episode of M*A*S*H to be filmed (“As Time Goes By”) was before the cameras in January 1983, photographer Arlene Alda was on hand to capture the emotion for LIFE magazine. Fans of the series may not necessarily recognize her name but will likely assume some connection to Alan Alda. The two are married and collaborated on a book called The Last Days of MASH that collected dozens of Arlene’s photographs and notes as well as commentary from Alan. It also featured production documents, letters, editorial cartoons, and much more.

Arlene was interviewed on New York City’s Channel 7 (WABC-TV) Eyewitness News at 5PM at some point in 1984 to discuss The Last Days of MASH. She was interviewed by Tom Snyder and Kaity Tong. The book was published around October 1983, I believe, but Snyder mentions it being “a year almost” since the series went off the air, which dates the interview to around February 1984.

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The interview touches upon Alan Alda’s commercials for Atari and whether or not McLean Stevenson was at the final party for the cast and crew. I apologize for the sound quality. I tried to clean it up a little bit.

For the record, I reviewed The Last Days of MASH back in 2010. You can find that review here.

4 Comments

  • futurenurse says:

    This is a neat video! Mrs. Alda seems like a very down-to-earth person, and her book certainly looks fascinating. I recently ordered ‘The Last Days of MASH’, and I’m waiting for it to come in the mail. Is there anywhere we can view the Atari commercials that Alan Alda was in? I didn’t even know that he had been in commercials.

  • BDOR says:

    I really admire Alan and Arlene’s marriage, I really do. So many Hollywood couples end in bitterness and hatred, and here Alan and Arlene have been going strong since high school, that is absolutely amazing. I know they care very deeply for each other: I recall Loretta Swit once remarking one day between filming, Alan had tears in his eyes, and when she asked what was wrong, he said he missed his family. Similarly, I saw footage of Alan winning the Emmy for writing “Inga,” and the look of pride and joy on Arlene’s face from the audience spoke so much volume.

    Just amazing.

    The only other example of everlasting love between one couple I can think of is Caroll and Debbie Spinney. So much so they’ve been “accused” of “faking” for people on the grounds that two people can’t be that in love with each other for so long. Well, the Aldas and the Spinneys are proof otherwise.

    • Andrea says:

      I admire them as well. I always mention them when people say Hollywood marriages don’t work. I know they’re not showbizzy people but William Christopher has been with his wife for nearly 60 years as well.

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