‘M*A*S*H’ Icon Alan Alda Has a Thoughtful Lesson About ‘Health’ That Anyone Can Use

by Joe Rutland
mash-alan-alda-thoughtful-lesson-health-anyone-can-use
(Photo by Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic/Getty Images)

When it comes to personal health, M*A*S*H legend Alan Alda has had battles in recent years. But he’s found a way to deal with them.

Alda, who played Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce on the famed CBS show, took to Twitter on Sunday afternoon. The actor tossed out some wisdom he picked up along the road of life.

The actor has been dealing with Parkinson’s disease since 2015. But he’s stayed busy with TV appearances and even popping up on a podcast here and there.

Alda has done both film and TV work in his career. Films like The Seduction of Joe Tynan, Paper Lion, The Four Seasons, and Nothing but the Truth are part of his collection.

Besides M*A*S*H, Alda has appeared in such TV shows as ER, The West Wing, 30 Rock, and Ray Donovan.

Alda appeared in all seasons of M*A*S*H on CBS. He was one of a handful of cast members who could claim that, too.

‘M*A*S*H’ Star Made His TV Debut With One Of Medium’s Funniest Characters

It would probably be an even nicer story for Alan Alda if his career just rode a red carpet all the way to M*A*S*H. He would not have had to work on other shows to get that big break.

But we think, Outsiders, that Alda is just happy that he got a break on a popular sitcom.

Let’s turn back the clock to 1958, way before M*A*S*H. One of the medium’s funniest characters was Sergeant Ernie Bilko, played by comedian Phil Silvers.

The show was called The Phil Silvers Show and starred the Broadway comic along with some other well-known character actors of the day.

Alda played a cat named Carlyle Thomson III in a 1958 episode called Bilko the Art Lover.

What was it about? IMDb has this for a synopsis: “Bilko is in dire need of a break but true to form has no funds. He contacts Carlyle Thompson III thinking he now has his millions but instead finds him as penniless as himself.”

Oh boy, the humor ensues on the show.

Among the members of Bilko’s crew back then was actor Allan Melvin. That name should perk up some classic TV fans’ ears. You’ve seen him in The Brady Bunch. Melvin played Sam the Butcher, who was the boyfriend of Alice Nelson, played by Ann B. Davis.

Alda, though, would go beyond his Bilko experience and grow into one of television’s most enduring characters, too.

Outsiders, if you want to check out Alda and Silvers in this scene, then go right here.

M*A*S*H remains a popular show in syndication. Heck, you might also be able to see some of Alda’s other appearances from his career, too.

Outsider.com