One Time M*A*S*H Guest Star Patrick Swayze Dies


His breakthrough role came in 1987 when he starred in Dirty Dancing but on April 6th, 1981 Patrick Swayze guest-starred on M*A*S*H (in “Blood Brothers“) as Pvt. Gary Sturgis, a terminally-ill soldier more worried about his wounded buddy than himself. Swayze passed away today at the age of 57 after battling pancreatic cancer. He was diagnosed in March of 2008 but continued working, starring in A&E’s The Beast. The series wrapped its first and only season in April of 2009.

Patrick Swayze in Blood Brothers

Patrick Swayze in “Blood Brothers”

My favorite Swayze performance is the 1985 ABC miniseries “North and South,” based on the John Jakes novel. Swayze reprised his role in “North and South, Book II” but I haven’t had a chance to see that one. He also starred in Ghost in 1990 and appeared in The Outsiders in 1983.

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9 Replies to “Episode Spotlight: Blood Brothers”

  1. Not really a bad episode, but pretty heavy-handed. This is one of the few times I think William Christopher’s Fr. Mulcahy is completely overdone; his incredulous “Well, are you just going to sit there drinking your coffee?!” to Hawkeye in the mess tent I have always found particularly cringe worthy.

    And yes, I as well thought Cardinal Reardon was implying he’d like a drink.

  2. Patrick Swayze portraying a character afflicted with a disease which sadly foreshadowed an unfortunate event in his own life… 🙁

    1. the scene is available on youtube, i plan on writing it out as i cannot find it anywhere online. if and when i do i can email it to you or post it here. 🙂


      Here’s the link to the script for that episode.. For future reference, all the scripts for every episode are posted online. Just search for the episode name, MASH script and you’ll find it

      And here’s the speech. A bit late I realize.

      Good morning.
      Well, uh, here we are.
      Uh, it’s, uh, Sunday again.
      I’m sure you’ve all come expecting to hear a sermon.
      Well, l I have to admit, I’m not as prepared as I’d like to be.
      In fact, I’m not even dressed as I’d like to be.
      Y-You see l I was working on my sermon which I hoped would be a particularly inspirational one in honor of Cardinal Reardon.
      But I was called away and Well, to be honest I never got back to it.
      So, uh if you’ll just bear with me I’d like to share with you the reason why.
      I want to tell you about two men each facing his own crisis.
      The first man you know rather well.
      The second is a patient here.
      Well, the first man thought he was facing a crisis.
      But what he was really doing was trying to impress someone.
      He was looking for recognition encouragement a pat on the back.
      And whenever that recognition seemed threatened he reacted rather childishly.
      Blamed everyone for his problems but himself because he was thinking only of himself.
      But the second man was confronted by the greatest crisis mortal man can face the loss of his life.
      I think you’ll agree that the second man had every right to be selfish.
      But instead he chose to think not of himself but of a brother a brother.
      And when the first man saw the the dignity and the selflessness of the second man he realized how petty and selfish he had [Gasps] l I had been.
      It made me see something more clearly than I’ve ever seen it before.
      God didn’t put us here for that pat on the back.
      He created us so he could be here himself so that he could exist in the lives of those he created in his image.
      Well, l I know you didn’t come here to listen to me.
      It gives me great great pleasure to introduce His Eminence Cardinal Reardon.

  3. One of my favorite Father Mulcahy episodes! My father, who used to be a preacher for the deaf, ALWAYS tears up at Mulcahy’s sermon and completely agrees with every word in it.
    In Mr. Christopher’s book, “Mixed Blessings” he write that his grandmother always wanted him to be a preacher, and in a way, she got her wish.
    Also in that book, his wife mentioned that he’d been up all night at one point, practicing his lines for a sermon that “Father Mulcahy” was going to preach. I have seen almost every episode, and other than the hilarious drunken sermon in “Alcoholics Unanimous”, the sermon in this episode is the only one he preachers in the series, and I may be wrong, but I think it was this scene he was practicing that night that his wife wrote about.
    P.S. I loved seeing William Christopher’s scene with Patrick Swayze in the show, so sad both Patrick and William are gone, now. Real gentlemen and two of the most wonderful actors in history! Rest in peace, Bill and Pat!

  4. This episode really hurt my heart it was so good. Especially knowing how Patrick Swayze died. Wow was he good in this episode! So often the actors playing patients in post op seem like Wally Clever rejects. He’s a natural. The way he says, “god almighty” as his eyes well up! Wow. He had an almost angelic glow about him that made him look almost ghostly (heh). So innocent in some ways but wise too. Like he knows something nobody else does.

    Mulcahy’s worry over the cardinal’s arrival was kinda fun to watch. However, once again his pride and vanity got in the way of his priestly duties. He didn’t care if people sinned as long as the cardinal didn’t see because that would make HIM look bad. I’m glad this time he was made to see how unimportant his vanity is alongside the needs of the patients. Did he really think the cardinal expected every person in a warzone to be a Bible thumper? After all, the nature of war breaks the first commandment anyway. The actor who played the cardinal might as well have been made of wood as he lacked any charisma or any feeling at all.

    Mulcahy’s breakdown at the end where he admits how selfish he’d been almost derailed the episode. It was embarrassing that he let the audience know he was talking about himself. The show couldn’t resist trying to wring a little more sentiment out of a genuinely emotional episode. Somehow Mulcahy making it about himself again removed any impact from his sermon.

  5. There are two moments in this episode which stand out to me.

    One is the Mulcahy speech at the end of course, and the sweet moment between him and the Bishop. It showed the best of Mulcahy’s humble character after earlier scenes which also showed him at his insecure worst in several ways (albeit still in keeping with his character). It was also nice to see the Bishop as being a truly good man, unlike the other episode where the visiting spiritual leader is judgemental and severe.

    The other scene which I love is a short one, where Hawkeye has discovered the leukemia under the microscope, and shows BJ. I don’t know why (perhaps because I’m in healthcare too), but the devastated look on Hawkeye’s face and his demeanour in that scene and later in the mess tent always gets to me. It was an interesting but odd characterisation that Hawkeye was so nervous about telling the soldier about his illness though, but I guess as a surgeon he probably didn’t have that conversation too many times, so the jitteriness was probably quite human.

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