Eileen Saki (1943-2023)


Actress Eileen Saki, who played Rosie in seven episodes of M*A*S*H, died last week (May 1st) at the age of 79. Saki was the third actress to portray the namesake owner of Rosie’s Bar; Shizuko Hoshi played Rosie in Season 3’s “Mad Dogs and Servicemen” while Frances Fong appeared as Rosie in Season 5’s “Bug Out” and Season 6’s “Fallen Idol.”

Saki also appeared in “Bug Out” where she was credited as Korean Woman.

Still from the MASH episode Bug Out showing Eileen Saki.
Eileen Saki as Korean Woman in Bug Out (Season 5)

It wasn’t until the end of Season 7 that Saki took over as Rosie, making her debut as the character in “A Night at Rosie’s” and returning in the following episode, “Ain’t Love Grand.” She then played Rosie twice in Season 8 (“Period of Adjustment” and “Captain’s Outrageous”), twice in Season 9 (“Letters” and “No Laughing Matter”), and for the last time in Season 10 (“Snap Judgement”).

Still from the MASH episode Snap Judgement showing Eileen Saki as Rosie.
Eileen Saki as Rosie in “Snap Judgement” from Season 10.
Still from the MASH episode A Night at Rosie's showing Eileen Saki as Rosie.
Eileen Saki as Rosie in “A Night at Rosie’s” from Season 7.

(According to the Internet Movie Database, Saki appears uncredited in the Season 10 episode “Wheelers and Dealers” as Rosie.)

Saki’s acting career began with a role in the 1974 film Poliecwoman. In addition to M*A*S*H, she made guest appearances in TV shows like Good Times, CHiPs, The Greatest American Hero, and Sidekicks. Her final acting credit was a 2016 short film called Man Rots from the Head.

Jeff Maxwell paid tribute to Eileen Saki in a post to the M*A*S*H Matters Podcast Facebook page:

In all my years on M*A*S*H, I was kept busy slopping swill in the mess tent. As such, I never had the opportunity to shoot a scene in Rosie’s Bar or with any of the three actresses who portrayed Rosie.

A million years later, Ryan and I thought it would be fun to feature Eileen Saki, the last of the three Rosies, as our guest on MASH MATTERS. After all, Rosie and her infamous bar were a staple of the show. Neither of us knew Eileen or had any idea how the interview would go, but we hoped we would at least unearth some moments of interest.

It turned out to be love at first guest. I think it took two – maybe three minutes for us to fall in love with her. She was gracious, funny, engaging, insightful, adorable, filled with M*A*S*H stories, and exhibited more energy than I remember having twenty years ago. She spoke with great love for all the cast members but was particularly appreciative of her interaction with Executive Producer and director, Burt Metcalfe. The visit with her was pure joy as she filled every word with joy, life, and love.

Ryan and I hosted a 50th Anniversary celebration at the original M*A*S*H set located in the hills of the former Fox Ranch. Eileen and her husband, Bob, surprised everyone by attending the event. It was wonderful to finally connect with her in person and enjoy the excitement and love shown to her by all the celebrating fans.

A special woman, Eileen captivated you with a twinkle and smile in her soul. I am very grateful to have had that experience. It’s one I will cherish forever.

My heart and love go to Bob and their family.

Love you Eileen and Rosie.


You can find the M*A*S*H Matters Podcast interview with Eileen Saki here.

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

2 Replies to “Eileen Saki (1943-2023)”

  1. Thank goodness, Jeff Maxwell and Ryan Patrick were able to track her down for their “MASH Matters” podcast just a year ago and were able to do an interview with her and get her memories and stories recorded.

    And … all of you ARE listening to the twice-a-month “MASH Matters” podcast, right? Jeff Maxwell will stun you at quick of an off-the-cuff improv talent he has in that funny former TV cook’s head of his!

  2. There are secondary characters in television series that simple exist and then there are those who bring the universe to life. Eileen Sake’s portrayal of Rosie brought M*A*S*H to life- it made us aware that there are other lives that exist beyond the primary characters. Her quick wit and timing will go down as some of the most memorable work pergormed by a secondary character in the history of television.

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