Alan Alda – Hawkeye Pierce
As the basis of this series is people I admire, rather than my favourite TV show,
I have selected Alda as a suitable standard bearer for Mash as well he is an
actor I admire, in fact his 1978 movie with Ellen Burstyn, “Same Time Next
Year” is one
of my all time favourites.
He has led a productive life as an actor both in movies and television.
The setting for Mash was the Korean war which had been over for 18 years
TV series about a war, any war.
While the Korean war lasted only 3 years, Mash survived, no, thrived for 11
years,this was due to two main factors, a brilliant cast, which, while it changed
some over the years, never lost it’s core strength, and a team of brilliant script
writers, whomaintained the same mixture of humor and pathos over the
hundreds of episodes and at all times avoiding glorifying war, Alan Alda wrote
19 of the Mash scripts.
I have chosen Alan Alda’s character, Hawkeye Pierce to be the central figure
because that’s how I saw Hawkeye’s role but again there were so many great
As a reminder, without going into who played all these rolls, remember:
Hawkeye Pierce; Brilliant surgeon, practical joker and philosopher his letters
to Dad could easily be the birth of blogging.
Trapper John McIntyre (left 1976); Brilliant doctor, tent mate in “The Swamp”
and practical joker.
Major Frank Burns (left 1977); Hopeless buffoon romantic interest for Hot
Major Margaret (Hot Lips); Houlihan; Head of nursing staff, an Army Brat,
and forsome strange reason attracted to Frank.
Col. Henry Blake (left 1975); More at home fishing or golfing, Henry would
have been lost without his company clerk Radar,
Radar O’Reilly (left 1981); Radar was innocent, and unworldly, but he seemed
to have the ability to read Henry’s mind and later Potter's as well.
Father Mulcahy; The innocent yet smart Padre to the 4077th.
Cpl. Max Klinger; Klinger spent years in dresses vainly trying for a section 8,
he finally became the new company clerk when Radar left.
Col. Potter (arrived 1975); Ex cavalry soldier Potter arrived complete with
horse, but as a career soldier he brought a new style of leadership to the
B J Hunnicut (arrived 1976); B J as a replacement for Trapper he had a hard
role to fill but he managed to do this very well.
Major. Charles Winchester (arrived 1977); Charles as the brilliant upper class
surgeon felt he was far above the MASH environment, but settled into his role.
In its 11-year run, M*A*S*H earned 14 Emmy Awards, and remains one of
TV’s most beloved series of all time.