There are a number of actresses who appeared in more than one episode of M*A*S*H as more than one nurse. Perhaps the writers simply indicated a nurse was needed and the casting department went with an actress who already had experience on M*A*S*H and nobody put two and two together. Many actresses were credited as Able, Baker or Charlie (the first three entries in a phonetic alphabet used until 1956 by NATO; see this article from TIME magazine, published in 1956, about the switch to a new alphabet).
In the big scheme of things, an actress being credited with different character names is not important at all but it can be a fun thing to point out. This page is a work in progress; as additional credited and uncredited appearances for actresses are noted, they will be added.
Lesley Evans appeared in three early Season Two episodes, credited each time as a different nurse. In every episode, she was involved with Hawkeye in some fashion. In “Divided We Stand” she enjoyed drinks with Hawkeye; during her brief appearance in “For The Good Of The Outfit,” Hawkeye asks her if she wants to play sardines; and in “Kim,” she watched a movie with Hawkeye and, the next morning, while getting dressed in the Swamp she worries that Trapper wasn’t actually asleep. She nearly forgot her dog tags and was mortified when Father Mulcahy walked in.
List of Appearances
- “Divided We Stand” (credited as Nurse Bryan)
- “For the Good of the Outfit” (credited as Nurse Mason)
- “Kim” (credited as Nurse Mitchell)
NOTE: Gwen Farrell is not related to Mike Farrell (B.J. Hunnicutt).
Gwen Farrell was with M*A*S*H from the very start, appearing as one of the “running nurses” in the opening credits (see this page) and staying with the show until the final episode. However, she was never given a set character and was credited with a variety of names before finally settling on Gwen during the final seasons.
Her first credited appearance was in Season Two’s “For The Good Of The Outfit,” in which she can be seen giving Igor a manicure. Years later, in “The Life You Save,” she was helping to move a soldier during a sniper attack and was shot in the leg. She recovered fully. And in “Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen,” she said she wanted to live in Washington and was going to try to get a job at Walter Reed.
In an uncredited appearance in “Lend a Hand,” Margaret sent her to get some blankets.
List of Appearances
- “For the Good of the Outfit” (credited as Nurse Butler)
- “Kim” (uncredited)
- “Carry On, Hawkeye” (credited as Nurse Wilson)
- “Deal Me Out” (credited as Nurse)
- “Henry in Love” (credited as Nurse)
- “Dear Ma” (credited as Nurse Able)
- “38 Across” (credited as Anesthetist)
- “Period of Adjustment” (credited as Nurse)
- “Life Time” (uncredited)
- “Lend a Hand” (uncredited)
- “The Life You Save” (credited as Gwen)
- “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen” (credited as Nurses)
Uncredited in her first appearance, Lois Foraker went on to appear in three episodes as three different nurses. In “Deluge” she helped Hawkeye and B.J. with a patient who had phosphorus burns. In “The Smell of Music” she was distracted by the ruckus caused by Hawkeye and B.J. attempting to make more noise than Charles on his horn. And in “What’s Up, Doc?” she was put on report by Margaret after she was unable to anesthetize a struggling patient. Margaret called her Bell, the only time she was referred to by name.
List of Appearances
- “Of Moose and Men” (uncredited)
- “Deluge” (credited as Nurse Able)
- “Smell of Music” (credited as Nurse Denver)
- “What’s Up Doc?” (credited as Nurse Bell)
NOTE: Because the nurse in question wore a surgical mask in “Hawkeye Get Your Gun,” it is possible Phyllis Katz has been misidentified. However, she was credited in that episode.
Credited in four episodes, Phyllis Katz was only given a name in one episode; otherwise she was credited as either Nurse or Triage Nurse. In “Hawkeye Get Your Gun” she scratched Hawkeye’s back during surgery and took umbrage at B.J.’s comment about it being a lucky shot (“Lucky shot nothing. I know my anatomy.”) She helped Hawkeye tie his surgical gown in “What’s Up, Doc?” and sneezed while doing triage with B.J. in “Major Ego.” Finally, in “Inga,” she was given a backhanded compliment by Charles in front of Dr. Inga Helverson. Later, when a patient had a serious reaction to penicillin, she deferred to Dr. Helversen, not Charles.
List of Appearances
- “Hawkeye Get Your Gun” (credited as Nurse Able)
- “What’s Up Doc?” (credited as Nurse)
- “Major Ego” (credited as Triage Nurse)
- “Inga” (credited as Nurse)
NOTE: Because there were so many pretty blonde nurses in M*A*S*H, especially during the first few seasons, Sheila Lauritsen may be mistaken for other blonde actresses.
Sheila Lauritsen was one of the “running nurses” in the opening credits (see this page) and was credited in only six episodes during the first two seasons but appeared in many others uncredited. In those six episodes, she was credited as Nurse Hardy once, Nurse Watson twice, as Sheila twice, and as simply Nurse once. During her first credited appearance, in the first season episode “The Army-Navy Game,” she is approached by Radar who, not knowing what was going to happen what with the shelling, asked her about heading to the supply tent. She agreed. In “Showtime,” she tried to say goodbye to Kaplan but the poor man was afraid the slightest touch would mean certain death. Only moments after he drove away, he crashed his jeep.
Margaret chastised her for dropping a lap sponge on the floor in “Hot Lips and Empty Arms.” She danced cheek to cheek with Henry in “Officers Only” but by the next episode, “Henry In Love,” she was seeing Hawkeye (and Henry had his sights set on Miss Nancy Sue Parker). She was also introduced as Lt. Sterner during “Henry In Love.” And in “For Want Of A Boot,” she hid next to Hawkeye in the mess tent while waiting to give Frank his surprise party.
In an uncredited appearance in “The Incubator,” she openly flirted with Trapper in the O.R. despite the fact that he was very hungover. The aviator glasses he was wearing might have helped, though. What a lucky guy.
List of Appearances
- “The Army-Navy Game” (credited as Nurse Hardy)
- “Showtime” (credited as Nurse)
- “For the Good of the Outfit” (uncredited)
- “L.I.P (Local Indigenous Personnel)” (uncredited)
- “Dear Dad… Three” (uncredited)
- “The Incubator” (uncredited)
- “Hot Lips and Empty Arms” (credited as Nurse Watson)
- “Officers Only” (credited as Nurse Watson)
- “Henry in Love” (credited as Sheila)
- “For Want of a Boot” (credited as Sheila)
Lynette Mettey made six appearances over the course of the first four seasons and was credited as four different characters. Interestingly, she originally had a recurring role during Season One as Lt. Nancy Griffin. She had a date with Hawkeye in “Sometimes You Hear The Bullet,” but it was continually interrupted. An attempt was made to reschedule but eventually she just gave up. In “Sticky Wicket,” she informed Hawkeye that something was wrong with one of his patients, leading him to lose confidence in his abilities. And in “Cease-Fire” she was one of three nurses Hawkeye dumped when it looked like the war was coming to an end (he told them all he was married with kids).
In “Carry On, Hawkeye,” she was credited as Nurse Sheila Anderson and helped keep things operating when most of the 4077th came down with the flu. She was credited as Nurse Baker in “The General Flipped at Dawn” and was on a date with Hawkeye in the storage supply building when General Steele decided to inspect. Her final appearance, in “Some 38th Parallels,” saw her credited as Nurse Able, and she was once again involved with Hawkeye. This time, however, Hawkeye found himself unable to perform, although eventually things worked out.
List of Appearances
- “Sometimes You Hear the Bullet” (credited as Lt. Nancy Griffin)
- “Sticky Wicket” (credited as Lt. Nancy Griffin)
- “Cease-Fire” (credited as Nancy)
- “Carry On Hawkeye” (credited as Nurse Sheila Anderson)
- “The General Flipped at Dawn” (credited as Nurse Baker)
- “Some 38th Parallels” (credited as Nurse Able)
Over the course of the first three seasons, Bobbie Mitchell appeared in fifteen different episodes as eight different nurses, including four episodes as Nurse Baker, three as Nurse Able, and two each as Nurse Lyons and Nurse Marshall, plus four other names. An additional appearance in Season Five brings her grand total to sixteen appearances and nine different nurses. That may very well be a M*A*S*H record. She also appeared uncredited in at least one episode.
A few of her appearances: in “The Army-Navy Game,” as Nurse Mason, she joined Hawkeye and Trapper in Henry’s office to celebrate the start of the Army-Navy game. In “Divided We Stand” she played strip poker with Hawkeye and Trapper; they lost. In “The Trial of Henry Blake,” as Nurse Marshall, she was making time with Hawkeye when Klinger made his escape bid using a home-made hang glider. Hawkeye saw Klinger soaring overhead, looking like “a big red bird with fuzzy pink feet,” but Nurse Marshall missed him. Hawkeye painted her toenails in “George” while Radar watched.
Mitchell appeared uncredited in “Dear Peggy” and was called Gage by Hawkeye. In “Out of Sight, Out of Mind,” her final appearance, Bobbie Mitchell played Lt. Gage, who was in the nurses quarters when a blind Hawkeye was brought in. Despite assurances from her fellow nurses, she refused to change in front of Hawkeye, who continued to make lewd comments and noises.
List of Appearances
- “The Army-Navy Game” (credited as Nurse Mason)
- “Divided We Stand” (credited as Nurse Marshall)
- “The Trial of Henry Blake” (credited as Nurse Marshall)
- “Dear Dad… Three” (credited as Nurse Gilbert)
- “Operation Noselift” (credited as Nurse Lyons)
- “The Chosen People” (credited as Nurse Lyons)
- “As You Were” (credited as Nurse Murphy)
- “George” (credited as Nurse Mitchell)
- “Iron Guts Kelly” (credited as Nurse Able)
- “O.R.” (credited as Nurse Able)
- “Alcoholics Unanimous” (credited as Nurse Baker)
- “There Is Nothing Like a Nurse” (credited as Nurse Able)
- “Mad Dogs and Servicemen” (credited as Nurse Baker)
- “House Arrest” (credited as Nurse Baker)
- “Payday” (credited as Nurse Baker)
- “Dear Peggy” (uncredited; Hawkeye refers to her as Gage)
- “Out of Sight, Out of Mind” (credited as Lieutenant Gage)
NOTE: I have been unable to locate Patricia Stevens in the Season Seven episode “Major Ego,” so if anyone can point her out, please do.
Patricia Stevens is credited with thirteen appearances and an assortment of names, including Nurse Mitchell (two episodes), Nurse Baker (five episodes) and Nurse Able (one episode). Oddly enough, she was credited as Nurse Baker as early as the second season but would appear in five additional episodes as other nurses before being credited as Nurse Baker again in “Margaret’s Marriage” in the fifth season. Confusing?
In her first credited appearance, in Season Two’s “For Want Of A Boot,” she was hit on by a very drunk Colonel Blake at Frank’s surprise birthday party. She helped with the secret operation to give Stanley Robbins a better nose in “Operation Noselift” and in “As You Were” she went off with Trapper when they both took ten minute breaks. Together, they had twenty minutes, after all. In “George,” she was helping Henry relax with a warm towel when Hawkeye and Trapper burst in to berate the poor colonel (who in this case had not done anything wrong). After the two left, Henry asked her to look in his ear and tell her what she saw.
In “Bulletin Board” she was seen on a date with Klinger and she was part of Margaret’s bridal shower in “Margaret’s Marriage.” In “Your Hit Parade” she is on duty in the mess tent, which has been turned into a makeshift post-op ward due to a high number of causalities. Her last credited appearance was in Season Seven’s “Major Ego,” in which she worried alongside Hawkeye about Private Sutton, whose drainage tubes indicated internal bleeding.
- “For Want of a Boot” (credited as Nurse Mitchell)
- “Operation Noselift” (credited as Nurse Mitchell)
- “As You Were” (credited as Nurse Baker)
- “George” (credited as Nurse Stevens)
- “Life with Father (credited as Nurse)
- “Bulliten Board” (credited as Nurse Brown)
- “Dear Mildred” (credited as Nurse Able)
- “Hawk’s Nightmare” (credited as Nurse)
- “Margaret’s Marriage” (credited as Nurse Baker)
- “Fallen Idol” (credited as Nurse Baker)
- “Patent 4077” (credited as Nurse Baker)
- “Your Hit Parade” (credited as Nurse Baker)
- “Major Ego” (credited as Duty Nurse)
Last updated November 10th, 2013