Character Actors I Would Have Love to Have Seen on M*A*S*H

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Big Daddy O'Reilly
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Character Actors I Would Have Love to Have Seen on M*A*S*H

Post by Big Daddy O'Reilly » Sat Jun 01, 2019 3:32 pm

One of the things that sitcoms and other shows of the 50s and 60s were noted for was their use of familiar faces in guest appearances, recurring roles, and other incidental parts - you would see these character actors on various different shows all the time, but this didn't seem to necessarily be something that M*A*S*H indulged in as often. Sure, they occasional featured some of these familiar faces, such as Joseph Perry playing the cook in "The Long-John Flap," but there's a ton of familiar faces from the previous decades that I would have loved to have seen on M*A*S*H - and given the kinds of roles they tended to play, I have a pretty good idea what kind of characters I could see them playing:

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Dick Wilson
He was perhaps best-known to TV audiences back in the day as Mr. Whipple in a string of commercials and adverts for Charmin toilet paper, in which he couldn't resist squeezing the packaging to feel how soft it was. He was featured quite frequently on BEWITCHED as various different drunks, some of whom would try to hit on Samantha. He also would appear occasionally on HOGAN'S HEROES, more often than not as an underground agent working with Hogan and his men.

On M*A*S*H, I think I could see him playing some kind of corpsman: maybe a medic, or a litter carrier . . . or, if keeping with tradition, maybe a bar tender in an Officer's Club somewhere (not necessarily the 4077th), or a black marketeer who dabbles in the illegal sale of alcohol - and can't resist taking a nip himself.

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Hal Smith
Everybody knows Hal Smith as Mayberry's favorite town drunk Otis, and while that was perhaps his best-known role, he also would occasionally pop up in other parts on other TV shows like GREEN ACRES or THE ODD COUPLE, and he was also quite a prolific voice actor as well.

There's two kinds of roles I could possibly see him in on M*A*S*H: 1. Either continue to type-cast him and have him as a soldier who turns to the bottle to drown out the horrors of war he's seen too much of, or 2. I could see him as the kind of General that Margaret once described who plop their bot bellies over the table and spout "war is hell" over and over again.

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Alice Ghostley and Mary Grace Canfield
I decided to list these two together, because they both seem kind of similar to me, in that they often seem to play homely and unappealing, yet sympathetic and unassuming kinds of characters.

And it's because of that, I could easily see either of them in the kind of role where they would be insecure, sensitive nurses who might cave under the pressure Margaret heaps upon them. Either that, or either one of them could have easily been Edwina.

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Reta Shaw
Many of her TV credits include roles in which she plays gruff, tough, sharp-tongued, demanding old hags that could make even the manliest of men cower in fear, such as her memorable guest appearance on THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW as prison escapee Big Maude Tyler.

Definitely could see her playing some kind of elderly female officer of higher rank who could easily strike fear even into the hearts of Frank and Henry . . . maybe Potter not so much, I don't think Potter could be pushed over by her so easily, and as such, they may end up developing a mutual respect for each other. I could even imagine Margaret being afraid of her.

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Robert Strauss
This guy, despite his burly appearance, and deep, gravely voice, was quite a humorous and comedic actor, appearing on such shows as BEWITCHED and GREEN ACRES, and being part of the ensemble cast of the WW2 POW movie STALAG 17.

There's a ton of different kinds of roles I could see him pulling off on M*A*S*H, but mostly roles where he holds a questionable amount of authority, such as an M.P., a callous Colonel of a platoon, a misguided Intelligence officer (who could probably give Flagg a run for his money), or perhaps even the commanding officer of another MASH unit.

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Paul Lynde
Okay . . . this one is definitely a stretch. Paul Lynde was all over the place in the 60s, from Uncle Arthur on BEWITCHED, to Dr. Dudley on THE MUNSTERS, and annual guest appearances on I DREAM OF JEANNIE. As boisterous, bombastic, off-beat, and flamboyant as Paul Lynde is, he may seem kind of out of place on a show like M*A*S*H . . . unless, he was cast in a role that utilized his unique comedic personality to its best potential. . . .

With that said, rather than seeing him in a role where he's a soldier of some sorts (not entirely off, since he's played such a role on I DREAM OF JEANNIE), I could instead see him as a visiting obnoxious U.S.O. entertainer.



And these are just some of the characters that come off the top of my head whom I would have liked to have seen on M*A*S*H.
Last edited by Big Daddy O'Reilly on Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Character Actors I Would Have Love to Have Seen on M*A*S*H

Post by Doug » Sat Jun 01, 2019 4:09 pm

Interesting.

Right off the bat, Paul Lynde would have been fine in the first three seasons. He's a very screwball comedian, and I could see him getting into some sort of antics with Hawkeye and Trapper, probably at the expense of Frank and Margaret.

Alice Ghostley, Mary Grace Canfield, and Reta Shaw would totally work as nurses. Reta Shaw could have been the visiting Colonel in House Arrest.

The other two would work too, maybe as visiting brass.

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Re: Character Actors I Would Have Love to Have Seen on M*A*S*H

Post by JocularityGirl » Sat Jun 01, 2019 5:57 pm

I would have really LOVED to have seen Richard Dawson , who played Newkirk from Hogan's Heroes guest-star on MASH, or maybe even Robert Clary, who played LeBeau in that same T.V. show.
As for actresses, Kate Jackson (Sabrina from Charlie's Angels) would have been wonderful as a nurse, seeing as she'd already played one in The Rookies. I would have had her and Father Mulcahy have one of those relationships where it's obvious they like each other, but neither one says a word!
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Re: Character Actors I Would Have Love to Have Seen on M*A*S*H

Post by Big Daddy O'Reilly » Sat Jun 01, 2019 7:16 pm

That's something else I think would have been interesting, if somehow any of the actors reprised their roles from HOGAN'S HEROES on M*A*S*H, showing that those characters were now involved in the Korean War. In addition to either Richard Dawson or Robert Clary, I could easily see Larry Hovis return as Carter, maybe as a downed bomber pilot recuperating at the 4077th, and seeing the antics the gang gets into reminds me of his time at Stalag 13, and the mischevious capers he and his fellow heroes got into. And if not reprising Newkirk, Richard Dawson could have easily been a random British soldier whenever we saw them, such as the unit that was under the command of Bernard Fox (also a HOGAN'S HEROES castmember, playing Colonel Crittenden) as Major Derek Ross, or one the British soldiers who spent the night of Christmas at the 4077th detailing their Boxing Day tradition.

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Re: Character Actors I Would Have Love to Have Seen on M*A*S*H

Post by JocularityGirl » Sun Jun 02, 2019 9:47 pm

Yes, Big Daddy! Those are all GREAT ideas, I totally agree!
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Re: Character Actors I Would Have Love to Have Seen on M*A*S*H

Post by Big Daddy O'Reilly » Mon Jun 03, 2019 4:34 pm

Here's one I forgot to add to my list the other day:

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Noam Pitlik
This guy was almost everywhere back in the day, both on and off camera. On camera, he appeared on such shows as THE MUNSTERS, THE MONKEES, GET SMART, HOGAN'S HEROES, I DREAM OF JEANNIE, and SANFORD AND SON; off camera, he directed for such shows as BARNEY MILLER, TAXI, and ALICE.

With that said, I can imagine this guy playing any sort of role if he ever appeared on M*A*S*H. Given that some of the roles he's played were menacing and antagonistic, I could see him as perhaps a ruthless Colonel or even General who comes off as indifferent to wounded soldiers; or perhaps an M.P. whom Hawkeye gets in trouble with and isn't about to let him get away with something; maybe even a soldier in Post-Op suffering from PTSD or some kind of other mental breakdown and goes on a rampage in camp, maybe even taking hostages or pulling a gun out on the doctors (like perhaps Frank for demeaning his mental stress).

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Re: Character Actors I Would Have Love to Have Seen on M*A*S*H

Post by Big Daddy O'Reilly » Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:40 pm

Another one to add:

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Woodrow Parfrey
Appearing on comedies like BEWITCHED, I DREAM OF JEANNIE, HOGAN'S HEROES, and GET SMART, as well as heavier subjects like PERRY MASON, GUNSMOKE, BONANZA, and THE FUGITIVE, Woodrow Parfrey could tackle both humorous roles, as well as serious ones, both very well.

Given that he's often played gruff military personnel during his career (including a no-nonsense General on BEWITCHED), I think he could have easily been a recurring General on M*A*S*H like Hammond, Barker, and Clayton: he'd be well-balanced at being commanding when he needs to be, while also maintaining a warmth about him.

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Re: Character Actors I Would Have Love to Have Seen on M*A*S*H

Post by Big Daddy O'Reilly » Fri Jun 07, 2019 4:41 pm

Here's yet another one I just thought to add to the list:

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Larry D. Mann
I saw this guy quite frequently on BEWITCHED in various different roles, including a police officer who arrested Darrin to trespassing on a florist's property, as well as various different McMann & Tate clients. I also remember him appearing in the finale of GREEN ACRES, which was actually a back-door pilot for another spin-off about Oliver's ditzy ex-secretary back in New York. And, like Hal Smith, he was also a prolific voice actor, working for various different animation companies, notable Hanna-Barbera and DePatie-Freleng.

Herb Voland, who played General Clayton, also appeared frequently on BEWITCHED as various different McMann & Tate clients, so it's easy for me to say I can see Larry D. Mann playing a General on M*A*S*H, but at the same time, I could also imagine him in roles such as an M.P., or maybe a desk jockey at Headquarters in Seoul . . . really, just about any role, maybe even a Supply Sergeant somewhere when any of the 4077th gang are trying to scrounge for certain supplies.

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Re: Character Actors I Would Have Love to Have Seen on M*A*S*H

Post by Big Daddy O'Reilly » Thu Aug 01, 2019 8:33 pm

Here are a couple of lovely ladies who would have been delightful on M*A*S*H:

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Marlyn Mason and Marj Dusay

I feel like the possibilities with either of them are endless: they could fun-loving nurses, they could be army brats, they could war co-respondants, they could be just about anything; both very talented actresses, it's hard to imagine either of them in just one kind of specific role.

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Re: Character Actors I Would Have Love to Have Seen on M*A*S*H

Post by Mr Kwong » Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:17 am

I can sum it up for you in two words:

Fred Ziffle

[youtube]https://youtu.be/ngFn2Dzhpsw[/youtube]

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Re: Character Actors I Would Have Love to Have Seen on M*A*S*H

Post by skootz64 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:01 pm

Jeff Corey, Arthur O'Connell, Jack Palance, George Kennedy...full disclosure--I was surfing the IMDB...

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Re: Character Actors I Would Have Love to Have Seen on M*A*S*H

Post by phantomeagle » Mon Sep 02, 2019 2:23 am

I've always loved Tyne Daly. She would've made a great nurse with an attitude.

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Re: Character Actors I Would Have Love to Have Seen on M*A*S*H

Post by JocularityGirl » Mon Sep 02, 2019 4:16 pm

I love that idea, Phantomeagle! Welcome to the Forum!
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Re: Character Actors I Would Have Love to Have Seen on M*A*S*H

Post by phantomeagle » Sat Sep 07, 2019 6:53 pm

JocularityGirl wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 4:16 pm
I love that idea, Phantomeagle! Welcome to the Forum!
Thanks she's one of my all time favorite actresses, so it would've been awesome if she was there.

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Re: Character Actors I Would Have Love to Have Seen on M*A*S*H

Post by JocularityGirl » Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:14 pm

You're welcome! She's one of my favorite actress, too!
Father Mulcahy: "A faith of convience is a hollow faith."

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