Brandis Kemp (1944-2020)


Actress Brandis Kemp, who played Alma Cox on AfterMASH, died last week (July 4) at the age of 76. AfterMASH premiered on CBS in September 1983 as a spin-off (or continuation) of M*A*S*H. Harry Morgan, William Christopher, and Jamie Farr starred as Sherman Potter, Father Mulcahy, and Max Klinger as civilians working at General John J. Pershing Veterans Administration Hospital in Missouri.

Kemp played Alma Cox, executive secretary to the hospital administrator. Alma took an instant dislike to Klinger. The two feuded and insulted one another in nearly every episode. CBS cancelled AfterMASH in October 1984. The series finale never aired in the United States.

Still from the AfterMASH episode Together Again showing Brandis Kemp as Alma Cox
Brandis Kemp as executive secretary Alma Cox in the AfterMASH episode “Together Again” (CBS, September 1983)

Prior to AfterMASH, Kemp starred in ABC’s Fridays, a late-night live comedy series, from April 1980 to April 1982. She continued acting, mostly on television, throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s. According to the Internet Movie Database, her final acting role was in 2006.

Obituaries can be found at The Hollywood Reporter and Deadline Hollywood.

4 Replies to “Brandis Kemp (1944-2020)”

  1. Brandis Kemp supplied some solid acting skills in the program’s necessary antagonist character, Alma Cox. At times, her character may have wavered a bit because the writers occasionally didn’t know what to do with her — particularly during that much-messed 2nd season, when Alma Cox became shoehorned as Potter’s assistant and suffered from a level of isolation akin with what happened to Frank Burns during the 5th season of the original series. But, what never wavered was Brandis Kemp’s performance skills, and she managed to bring a solidly consistent tone to her character, no matter where the script might have taken her. IMDB’s info isn’t complete about this series, but I -think- it might be possible that Brandis actually appeared in more “AfterMASH” episodes than anybody besides “the Big 3” — making even more appearances than Rosalind Chao.

    During the course of their runs, “M*A*S*H” (across 11 seasons) and “AfterMASH” (in 2 seasons) each had 11 performers who received name billing in their series’ opening credits. With the passing of Brandis Kemp, we also now have just 5 main credited cast members still with us from each of those series … less than half.

    (And: Let’s get this series put out on DVD already.)

  2. Who am I missing who was a regular who passed? Bill Christopher, Harry Morgan, Anne Pitoniak, Barbara Townsend, John Chappell… I don’t think Pat Cranshaw was ever a series regular in the main titles. But you are the AfterMASH expert and I defer to you.

    1. Spoiler warning — because, after seeing that list, I think a lot of other people are going to be rattling their heads a little to try to figure out who the 6th one is.

      It’s Brandis Kemp.

      Pat Cranshaw -deserved- to be a regular. His character was consistently the funniest one on the series, and it was money in the bank that something delightful would happen whenever he showed up in a scene.

      Other noteworthy thing about Brandis Kemp that hit me after writing my initial response: Of all the “new” lead performers who were introduced in the one-hour opener of “AfterMASH” (keeping in mind that Rosalind Chao was a carryover from the last 2 episodes of “M*A*S*H”), Brandis Kemp was the -only- one who was continued into the 2nd season.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.