‘M*A*S*H’: One Actress Later Wrote Bette Midler’s ‘The Rose’

by Joe Rutland
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Talk about an amazing piece of trivia, Outsiders. An actress who appeared on M*A*S*H would go on later to write the song, The Rose.

Singer-actress Bette Midler played the lead role in the 1981 film of the same name. Let’s see who that actress was in a story from MeTV. The song was written by Amanda McBroom, who played a USO performer on a 1981 episode called That’s Show Biz.

If you are trying to see who she is, then look for Ellie Carlysle, a red-headed musician who plays the accordion and piano.

“I was the one with the wiggle-waggles and the really ugly blue dress,” McBroom said in an interview with Talkin’ Broadway.

‘M*A*S*H’ Actress Still Writes Songs Today But Story Behind Song Is Incredible

She has been an actress performing in bit parts on TV since 1973.

Among her appearances were GunsmokeHawaii Five-O (HPD officer Sandi Wells in some episodes), Charlie’s AngelsTaxi, and more. McBroom provided voices for the animated show, The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang.

McBroom has found time to not only be an actress on TV but on Broadway and songwriting.

In fact, the M*A*S*H actress is still writing songs today.

About The Rose, well, there’s a story that McBroom was looking for a record deal.

The story goes that McBroom was trying to secure a record deal. Her manager thought if she wrote a song like Bob Seger, then it would make her a shoo-in. So, McBroom wrote The Rose in 45 minutes.

She felt that her song was simple and just needed some embellishment. Midler, though, just provided her own singing talent to the song. The Divine Miss M’s rendition secured the Grammy for Pop Female Vocal Performance in 1981.

Two of Show’s Cast Members Had Recognition of Appearing in First, Last Show

M*A*S*H did have a number of cast changes throughout its time on CBS.

When its final episode aired, though, two of them held the honor of appearing in both the first and last episodes.

Who were they? Simple. Alan Alda and Loretta Swit. Alda played Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce, while Swit played Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan.

Alda and Swit appeared in all 215 episodes of M*A*S*H. Still, some speculate about their appearances.

They are the lone credited actors in both the first and last episodes. Show editors took footage from Season 5’s opening episode and used it. Some longtime M*A*S*H fans went on IMDb and offered their takes.

Gary Burghoff, who played Radar O’Reilly, was in a clip from Bug Out Radar. Father Mulcahy as a character also was in the first and last episodes. Actor George Morgan was in the pilot; William Christopher took over and played the character.

Outsider.com