The Original 'MASH:' Cast List Of The 1970 Movie

Entertainment | October 14, 2019

Left: Donald Sutherland. Right: Elliott Gould and Ben Dadivson. Source: IMDB

Before MASH became a television show, it was first a film directed by Robert Altman with a remarkable cast. The list of actors begins with Elliott Gould and Donald Sutherland, and includes Robert Duvall, Sally Kellerman, and Tom Skerritt. The story, actually a string of vignettes, was adapted from the novel of the same name by Richard Hooker, and the screenplay, written by Ring Lardner Jr., won an Academy Award. The black comedy, set during the Korean War in the 4077th Mobile Army, went on to become a television series and most of the actors followed their own paths, with only one of them deciding to make the transition with the show from the big to the small screen.

Donald Sutherland Played Hawkeye Pierce

Donald Sutherland as Hawkeye Pierce. Source: (pinterest)

Hawkeye was a wisecracking, heavy drinking, womanizing, prank-pulling doctor played by Donald Sutherland in the film. Sutherland was born in Canada in 1935. He has starred in more than 200 films. His career started with bit parts, and he had his first real break with The Dirty Dozen in 1967. In between this film and MASH, he had a number of roles. He has had significant success since the film, including Ordinary People, A Time To Kill, JFK, and The Hunger Games franchise. While he hasn’t been nominated for an Oscar, he has won two Golden Globes. Sutherland was inducted into the Canadian Walk of Fame in 2000. He married three times, and during his second marriage, to Shirley Douglas in 1966, he fathered actor Kiefer Sutherland. Alan Alda played his role in the television show.

Elliott Gould Played Trapper John

Elliott Gould (left) as Trapper John. Source: (pinterest)

Trapper John was a thoracic surgeon with a sardonic, deadpan sense of humor. Born in Brooklyn in 1938, Elliott Gould was nominated for an Oscar for his performance in Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice in 1969 before being cast as Trapper John in MASH. After MASH, Gould made several flops, then took a break from filmmaking. He returned to movies as Philip Marlowe in 1973’s The Long Goodbye, a moderate success, but then hit another bad streak. Even though his movies throughout the '70s and early '80s were mostly flops, he remained enough of a star to host Saturday Night Live five times. In Gould's later career, he's played supporting roles, on shows like Friends and Ray Donovan, and in the movies Ocean’s Eleven and Ocean’s Twelve. On the television show, Trapper John was played by Wayne Rogers.

Tom Skerritt Played Duke Forrest

Tom Skerritt (center) as Duke Forrest). Source: (imdb)

A surgeon who shared a tent with Trapper John and Hawkeye, Duke Forrest was a character who did not make the transition from the big to the small screen. Tom Skerritt reportedly turned down the role, believing that the show would not be successful and so the role was dropped for TV. Skerritt, born in 1933, made his movie debut in 1962 in War Hunt. He had many television appearances prior to his role on MASH, including Gunsmoke. Since his role in MASH, he remained busy, acting in more than 40 movies and more than 200 television shows. His credits include Alien, Top Gun, and Steel Magnolias. Skerritt won a Primetime Emmy for his performance in Picket Fences. In addition to his acting career, he appeared in the title role of the Northwest Ballet’s production of Don Quixote and he founded Heyou Media, a digital media company.

Sally Kellerman Played 'Hot Lips' Houlihan

Sally Kellerman as "Hot Lips" Houlihan. Source: (imdb)

An RN who joined the army in 1942, Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan was the head nurse. In the film, she earned the nickname when, during a tryst with Frank Burns, she says “kiss my hot lips,” which is broadcast via a hidden PA microphone. She was payed by Sally Kellerman in the film. Born in 1937, Kellerman made her film debut in 1957’s Reform School Girl. She had small television roles for a number of years, including appearances on My Three Sons and The Outer Limits. Although she appeared in other films, her big break came with MASH, for which she received an Oscar nomination for best actress in a supporting role. She appeared in more Altman films. 1972, she released her first album, Roll with the Feeling. Meanwhile, she continued acting in movies such as A Little Romance, Foxes, and Rodney Dangerfield’s Back to School. She started to return to singing, releasing a jazz and blues fusion album, Sally, in 2009, and singing in clubs in New York and LA. Loretta Swit played the role on tv.

Robert Duvall Played Frank Burns

Robert Duvall as Boo Radley, his role prior to his role in MASH. Source: (pinterest)

Burns is an antagonistic high-strung major whose only friend is Margaret Houlihan, with whom he is having an affair. Robert Duvall played the role in the film. Duvall, born in 1931, graduated from Principia College, where he studied drama. He made his debut in Somebody Up There Likes Me in 1956. He was then cast as Boo Radley in 1962’s To Kill A Mockingbird. After MASH, he appeared in Apocalypse Now, the first two Godfather movies, and Network. He has been nominated for seven Academy Awards and seven Golden Globes; he has won four Golden Globes, a SAG award, a BAFTA, and an Emmy. In 2005, he received the National Medal of Arts. On the television show, his role was played by Larry Linville.

Roger Bowen Played Henry Blake

Roger Bowen with Indus Arthur. Source: (imdb).

A career army physician commissioned prior to World War II, Henry Blake commands the 4077th. He is laid back and lacks strict military discipline. Roger Bowen, who played the role in the movie, did not consider acting his vocation, but rather, a side job. He majored in English at Brown and his role as Henry Blake was his major acting role. He wrote 11 novels as well as sketches for television and Broadway. Bowen cofounded Chicago’s Second City acting troupe. He suffered a heart attack in 1996 and died. McLean Stevenson played Henry Blake on television until he decided to leave the show after the first season.

Rene Auberjonois Played Father John Mulcahy

Rene Auberjonois as Father John Mulcahy. Source: (fanpop)

The chaplain for the 4077th, Father Mulcahy was called “Dago Red” in the film. Despite the derogatory nickname, he was treated with respect. In the film, Mulcahy was played by Rene Auberjonois. The child of an artistic family, Auberjonois knew he wanted to be an actor at the age of six and had his first theater job at 16. He has appeared in theater, on television, and in films. In 1970, the year MASH was released, he won a Tony for Best Supporting or Featured Actor in a musical for his role in Coco. He has been in numerous movies and television shows, being a regular on Boston Legal, Benson, and Star Trek Deep Space Nine. He has also done voice work for television shows, video games, and movies, most notably providing the voice for Chef Louis in The Little Mermaid. William Christopher played the role of Mulcahy on the television show.

Gary Burghoff Played Radar O'Reilly

Gary Burghoff as Radar. Source: (imdb)

In the movie, Radar O'Reilly is sneaky and receives his nickname because of his excellent hearing. He is the only character played by the same actor in both the movie and television series: Gary Burghoff. Before being cast as Radar, Burghoff had two television credits to his name as well as a theater role. In 1967, he appeared as Charlie Brown in the off-Broadway production of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. After the film, he was Radar in the television show, although the television character differed from the movie character. He left the television show in the seventh season to spend time with his family. He made regular television appearances throughout the ‘70s. However, his life took him away from acting. He was a spokesperson for BP, IBM, and PriceRadar.com. He has worked as a professional jazz drummer, and he holds patents for inventions. In 2010, he acted one more time, in Daniel’s Lot.

Tags: Cast Lists From Popular Movies | Donald Sutherland | Elliott Gould | Gary Burghoff | MASH | Rene Auberjonois | Robert Altman | Robert Duvall | Roger Bowen | Sally Kellerman | Tom Skerritt

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Cyn Felthousen-Post


Cyn loves history, music, Irish dancing, college football and nature. Social media is also her thing, keeping up with trends and celebrities with positive news. She can be found outside walking or hiking with her son when she's not working. Carpe diem is her fave quote, get out there and seize the day!