NEW JERSEY -- On a recent episode of One-on-One with Steve Adubato, Emmy-Award winning actor Alan Alda discussed his role in the groundbreaking TV series M*A*S*H. Not only did the show make him a better writer and actor, Alda said, M*A*S*H “changed his life in many ways.”
M*A*S*H aired on CBS from 1972 to 1983 and was one of the highest-rated shows in the history of television. The show depicts a group of characters serving at an army hospital during the Korean War (M*A*S*H is an acronym standing for Mobile Army Surgical Hospital). Its 2 ½ hour finale still holds the record as the most-viewed television finale of all time, watched by over 105 million people.
“I found that we were doing something unusual to get the sense of community, to get the sense of an ensemble,” Alda said. “We had a connection with one another,” he added. “When you’re laughing, you’re vulnerable.”
Though the series is known for having a strong set of characters, Alda played the leading role of Hawkeye Pierce, and appeared on every single episode of the show. Other leading roles were played by actors Loretta Swit, Jamie Farr, Mike Farrell and McLean Stevenson.
“We had this personal connection and we took that a few feet away to the set,” said Alda. “When they called us to do the shot we were still connected,” he said. “When you see these people in the show acting like they’re family, it’s because we really made a connection with one another.”