‘M*A*S*H’: All the Characters Played by Multiple Actors

by Joe Rutland

When it comes to classic TV show casts, one of them that still stands out all these years later is the CBS sitcom M*A*S*H. Of course, Alan Alda starred as Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce there. Others who were part of the show for most of its run included Loretta Swit, Jamie Farr, and Harry Morgan. Yet Morgan came on after the first few seasons to play Col. Sherman Potter. Remember who he replaced? None other than McLean Stevenson, who played Col. Henry Blake but was Henry was killed off the show. There is a full cast of characters that still brings about smiles to fans’ faces even now. So, were there characters who were played by multiple actors? Yes. We get a little help here from MeTV.

Let’s start out with Father Francis Mulcahy, best known to be played by William Christopher. But, did someone else play the priest to the 4077th crew? Yes! Actor George Morgan would play Father Mulcahy in the show’s pilot episode. Obviously, there was a change in casting before the series started its long run on TV.

Characters Like Donald Penobscott Had Others Play Role on ‘M*A*S*H’

If you recall on the show, then you know Swit’s Margaret Houlihan was married for a bit to Donald Penobscott. Did you know that there were two different actors who played Donald on M*A*S*H? Mike Henry and Beeson Carroll filled that role. Henry would appear in three Tarzan movies but he also had a memorable role in a very funny film. He would play Junior, who was the son of Sheriff Buford T. Justice, played by Jackie Gleason, in Smokey and the Bandit.

What about Rosie the bartender? Yep, the role was played by Shizuko Hoshi, Frances Fong, and Eileen Saki. Igor Straminsky was a character who popped up in numerous episodes. The character was played on M*A*S*H by Jeff Maxwell and Peter Riegert. Again, Riegert is an actor who had a role in another funny flick. He played Boon in National Lampoon’s Animal House.

Do you remember Nurse Meg Cratty? You might have seen her pop up in scenes with Hawkeye two seasons apart. So, actresses Ann Doran and Hope Summers would play Cratty. Wait, though, there’s a classic TV connection with one of these actresses. Where do you think that you have seen Summers’ name before in the sitcom world? Does The Andy Griffith Show ring a bell? OK, so you remember that Aunt Bee, played by Frances Bavier, had some friends around Mayberry. One of them was named Clara Edwards and she was played by Summers. The actress also played Clara on the spinoff show Mayberry R.F.D. starring Ken Berry.