Kathy Denny Fradella Confirms She’s the Brunette in the Opening Credits

70 Comments

This past January I wrote about the identity of the brunette running in the front of the nurses during the opening credits of M*A*S*H. You can read all about the “running nurses” here (two are still unidentified). Back in 1978 someone wrote to the TV Talkback section of The Los Angeles Times asking about this nurse. The paper couldn’t answer the question but a few weeks later the actress in question wrote in and identified herself as Kathy Denny Fradella.

Kathy Denny Fradella Leading the Running Nurses

Kathy Denny Fradella Leading the “Running Nurses”

A few days ago Kathy e-mailed me to confirm that she was indeed the running nurse at the front of the pack. Here’s what she had to say:

Hello my name is Kathy Fradella (Baker) I am the brunette nurse that runs in the front during the opening credits of mash. I stumbled across your website and thought I would comment,just in case you still thought it was Michele Lee. I worked on the show as an extra the first season. I went on to do stunt work and small bit parts as an actress. I am still living in Southern California. Since Mash I have married and had two children (grown up now).
I am no longer working in the film industry.
I hope this solves the puzzle.
Thank You!
Kathy (Mystery Nurse)

So that mystery is finally solved for good. A big thank you to Kathy for taking the time to e-mail me.

70 Replies to “Kathy Denny Fradella Confirms She’s the Brunette in the Opening Credits”

    1. I THINK WE ALL DID !!!! I STILL WATCH RERUNS AND ALWAYS WATCH YOU RUN IN THE START !! YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL AND I WISH YOU HAD MORE PARTS IN EVERY EPISODES !!!!

    2. I’ve always wondered who you were and even had a crush on you. Sad part is I know you have better ideas of dating some old fart like me, but still like you for being the misstry girl from Mash. Best wishes, Roger

  1. I have followed MASH since it was first on TV. I have always loved the show and I am greatful you were finally identified. You were, and apparently still are, a very beautiful woman.

  2. I thought I was the only one that fell in love with Kathy Denny Fradella from the opening credits of MASH. After all these years now I see I’m not even close to being the only one. lol I wonder if she’s got a fan club web site? I’d love to see pictures of her today. I’m sure anyone that beautiful would still be beautiful today.

  3. Like some many other’s, I’m a fan of your’s and have been ever since the show first air’d. You stuck out and I’ve carried that opening scene/credit in my head all these years. Being one who attempted the stardom route myself, I’m intrigued that you’re still in Southern Cali and have went on with your life; “Me too”, returning to Oklahoma and carrying on in a new direction, but I’m still your fan…. take care. I love watching you run. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. I fell in love, too. I had/have the music memorized and know exactly when Kathy appeared/appears. A gorgeous memory I’ll carry the rest of my life.

  5. like many guys i instantly fell in love with you all these years and now i know its nice of you to put us guys out of our misery oh and whoever you are married to well hes just about the luckiest guys in the world. xxxx

  6. I finally got the energy to find to put a nameto that beautiful person who has mesmerized me for years. And she IS a great runner! Thank you Ms. Fradella for sharing your story with your fans

  7. I heard long ago that the first nurse had given up on getting in to TV and had started working as a real estate agent. I always wanted to purchase a house with her as the agent.

  8. No matter what I’m doing I know exactly where in the theme that Kathy runs toward….my open arms in my fantasy! Geez, so much for being original haha

  9. I have watch mash for years and have always thought the lead running nurse was absolutely gorgeous. I am glad to learn her name. Would love to see a recent photo.

  10. I have watched mash for years and have always thought the lead running nurse was absolutely gorgeous. I am glad to learn her name. Would love to see a recent photo.

    1. I am happy others feel the same. Whenever the theme plays, I know exactly where she appears (after the ambulance drives by). I would also like to see a current pictire.

  11. 40 years of watching this show and I only just noticed this goddess. I didn’t expect to find anything on her when I typed “mash opening running nurses” into Google but here I am. Wow! Thanks for this!!

  12. Even if I don’t have time to tune-in for a full episode, I watch the opening credits long enough to catch that glimpse of this TRUE AMERICAN BEAUTY

  13. Isn’t the Internet a wonderful thing? Watching every episode of M*A*S*H on DVD it’s been great Googling actors to find out a bit more about them,where are they now etc. …no more so than the lead running nurse who it seems we ALL fell in love with on sight! Thanks, Kathy, for catching up with all your fans. Your beauty will always be an enduring memory for us all

  14. Wow, I finally decided to google Mash running nurses. I was surprised to find out who the nurse was running in the lead. I always look forward to the beginning of each episode so I can get a glimpse of the beautiful woman out in front. Now to find out I am not the only one that looks forward to seeing her, I just wish she had more exposure on the movie set. She is a beautiful woman. By the way, I never looked at the other running nurses.

    1. Thank you Rick, now that I am older your compliment really makes me feel good.
      Best Regards,
      Kathy

      1. I also am glad I am not alone thinking she is a beautiful person. I was eating lunch one day with several of my high school buddies. (1969) I don’t remember why I brought up the subject of the running nurse. I was shocked to hear 6 of the 7 were also in love with her.

      2. Too funny, I was in my early teens when I saw you in the 70,s and thought wow, olive drabs, hair pulled back, and you still stood out. Thanks for the memories. Hope life is treating you well.

  15. I’m also a member of your enormous fan club. Those four strides have been etched in my memory for four decades! I just now googled “the running nurse.” because I’m sitting here reading the John D. MacDonald “Travis McGee” novel “Cinnamon Skin” written back in 1981. Towards the beginning you and your scene are discussed (and therefore further immortalized!) The characters speculate how many times by how many persons this scene has been viewed. Best wishes and thanks for the memory.

  16. Finally found out who you are, I was totally attractive to you the way you ran and the way you looked in the pickle uniform curves and all. After all these year once again thank you for letting everyone know.

  17. I was really surprised when Google brought me to the site that answered my question but, somehow I feel better knowing the name Kathy Fridella as my long-time heart throb. Hope you are doing well Kathy. You stil look awesome in the reruns.

  18. My 94-year-old father just asked me if I would find out who that beautiful brunette was in the opening credits of MASH running toward the camera because “he was taken by her.” I immediately knew who he was talking about but I couldn’t imagine how I was going to find her. Thanks so much of clearing up the mystery! I just called him and told him. He was only disappointed that he wouldn’t be able to see her in longer performances elsewhere.

  19. I am a 73 year old veitnam vet. I watch Mash all the time. Have often wonderd who the beauty was leading the group of nurses up the hill. I finally spoke it into my phone wow! Found that i am not alone. Wish you well Kathy.

  20. My 87yr old husband watches MASH reruns everyday-he has often wondered who the great looking gal was always leading the pack of running nurses. I am so happy to find out for him-his comments have included-she sure makes fatigues look good! as an Army guy he sure knows about fatigues!

  21. you have made my day since I started watching MASH M59 and the only thing I remember about Mash is you running down that that pass is few things in life that bring people pleasure in and you are definitely one of them

  22. I’m sure that you’re a Beauty has brought many people pleasure just watching you in the opening sequences and mash you could have been the star of the show no doubt I loved all the actors on there and actresses and whatever but you are you are you are at the top of the list

  23. I wasn’t sure if you were a nurse or you’re going to the Olympics but man whatever it was I want to be part of that I still do

  24. I’m 56 years old and men are not the only ones who thought you were friggin gorgeous. I had to keep it to myself until I got into my twenties…being gay I had to hide my thoughts about women. You know you had it going on when both genders find you absolutely beautiful.

    1. Simply beautiful, your determination in that scene makes you more of an attraction. Love watching you all these years.. Best wishes..

  25. Hi Kathy.

    It’s been a long time. I hope all is well with you. It seems that there are a lot of other people that were smitten with you besides me. Just thought I would say HI.

  26. Just another guy who saw a dark haired beauty for a few seconds and can’t get her out of his mind

  27. If pretty was against the law they would have to lock you up !!! I would love t see you now I’m sure you would still be doing time . I hope everything is going your way.
    KEN

  28. So happy to see this. Her headshots are as beautiful as I imagined!

    I just gave her credit on the YouTube post of the opening credits. Her name had not been mentioned yet although there were comments about the beautiful brunette running nurse!

    I guarantee you that there are thousands upon thousands who would like to know!

    Kip

  29. Watching the re-runs of M.A.S.H now in 2018 and Kathy you’re as good looking now as you were the first time I saw you all those years ago on the t.v, on a more serious note I always watched the show hoping that you’d be given a regular acting spot, I can’t explain as to why you caught my eye there was just something about you in that split second, and silly me I always thought I would be the only one who noticed you. Thank you for cheering me up for many years Kathy. x x

  30. I have just completed watching the entire series of mash which I downloaded in its entirety a good few months ago. I recalled watch many of the episodes as a young boy. 9 when it first aired and older with the rerun on a minor TV channel. Now at 54 Kathy still sticks out like a soar thumb to me. She is incredibly beautiful and I am certain it’s not faded all these years later. Glad to have found this page after Googling and being able to make a comment.

  31. Hi beautiful lady
    I can never get over how 3seconds of film can stick in ones mind
    Also cant get over how much you look like another striking beauty Chere Bryson
    May you live long etc.
    Bob m.

  32. Have watched over many times , one of the great shows ever made. Always wonder about the beauty leading the pack , have only been in love with you for 40 yrs.
    Hope you have had a wonderful and happy life.

  33. Kathy Fradella (Baker) should have gotten a speaking part! What the hell Alan Alda She would have been a nice addition to the show, and a nice compliment to Loretta Swit

  34. thanks for all the information; I have often wondered who she was and, of course, she is lovely but i think the running was extremely erotic!! You could tell in 3 seconds that she was in great shape!! Thank you Kathy for all of the memories!!

  35. I watched MASH first time around and still catch it occasionally. Your run towards the camera made a big impression on this young teenager and is still always the first thing that comes to mind whenever I think of the programme. I fell in love with you then (nothing’s changed there) and my late dad felt the same! So glad to finally be able to put a name to that beautiful face. Thank you!

  36. WOW HOW AWESOME TO FINALLY GET TO LEARN
    [ KATHY DENNY FRADELLA (BAKER) NAME ] ……
    SHE WAZ MY (TEENAGE CRUSH) THRU’OUT THE
    ( 1970’s) OF THE “M*A*S*H” SHOW…..
    FROM PITTSBURGH Pa …..
    YOU STILL MAKE MY HEART SKIP A BEAT !!!!
    WHEN I SEE YOU IN (M*A*S*H – RERUNS) ……..

  37. Stunning goddess! With all respect , I’ve been captivated since a teenager by your beauty and profile of you running with that determined look on your face. There are many beautiful women in film but somehow your image is etched in the minds of so many males that it is a curiousity. Every man’s dream!

  38. Itโ€™s proof of chemical attraction that so many menโ€™s eye focus on you alone in the opening credits. I am no exception.

  39. I always thought …and still do …that she was one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen….always wondered who she was….glad I found out….

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