Hollywood Reporter Publishes New M*A*S*H Oral History


The Hollywood Reporter has published a M*A*S*H oral history to commemorate the upcoming 35th anniversary of the series finale. Titled “‘M*A*S*H’ Finale, 35 Years Later: Untold Stories of One of TV’s Most Important Shows,” it includes commentary from every surviving member of the main cast except David Ogden Stiers. Supporting cast members Jeff Maxwell, Kellye Nakahara, and G.W. Bailey were interviewed for the piece, as was William Christopher’s widow, Barbara.

Also contributing their memories are Gene Reynolds, Burt Metcalfe, Ken Levine, Elias Davis, Dan Wilcox, Dennis Koenig, David Pollock, David Isaacs, and medical consultant Walter Dishell.

The oral history starts with the early days of M*A*S*H, including the conversations between Gene Reynolds and Larry Gelbart that led to the pilot script, casting, and fights with the network. It ends with the decision to wrap up the series and what M*A*S*H means to those who worked on it. Mike Farrell shares a poignant story about returning to Stage 9 on the 20th Century Fox studio lot for the first time in decades.

Some of the stories may sound familiar to hardcore M*A*S*H fans but I encourage everyone to take a few minutes and read the entire thing. It’s worth it.

(Thanks to Aaron and Dan.)

4 Replies to “Hollywood Reporter Publishes New M*A*S*H Oral History”

  1. Excellent read. Thanks for making us aware of this @RJ. It’s not completely clear but does anyone know if all the members were together giving their tidbits, or was this all spliced together later on? Would be great to think all of them were together so many years later.

    Also, some of those pictures, especially the one linked below are amazing quality. I’ve never seen any that good before.


  2. Article was quite interesting — I had always heard that Mac left because he didn’t want to play “3rd banana” to Hawkeye, but I was not aware that he had been offered the Tonight Show as a possible Carson replacement.

    Also the insights of Mac’s awareness of Blake’s death which Burghoff related was news to me (as well as Gary’s offer to not read the line if Mac didn’t want him to).

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