M*A*S*H Icons Alan Alda and Mike Farrell Reunite For The Hit Show’s 50th Anniversary

by Craig Garrett

On Saturday, actors Alan Alda and Mike Farrell reunited to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the classic tv show M*A*S*H. That’s right, Hawkeye and Hunnicutt are still keeping the faith. The CBS series about medics during the Korean War ran for 11 seasons, following a spinoff of Robert Altman’s 1970 film. The series is regarded as having one of the most watched and critically praised finales in all of television. To celebrate the show’s anniversary, Alda raised a glass of red wine with his former co-star in a photo he shared on his Twitter.

In the caption to the photo, Alan Alda didn’t hold back in his praise for the show and its creative team. “Mike Farrell and I today toasting the 50th anniversary of the show that changed our lives – and our brilliant pals who made it what it was. MASH was a great gift to us.” The post garnered over 400,000 likes from fans.

Capt. B.J. Hunnicutt might be the character Farrell is best known for, but he didn’t join the cast until its fourth season. He replaced Wayne Rogers’s popular character, Capt. “Trapper” John McIntyre after 1975 when Rogers had a contract dispute with producers and left the show. A few years later, Pernell Roberts took over his role in the Trapper John, M.D spinoff.

Alan Alda reflects on M*A*S*H’s legacy

Alda, who was also responsible for writing and directing several episodes of M*A*S*H, won five Emmys over the course of the show. He is the only actor to appear in every episode from when it first aired in 1972 until it ended in 1983. The actor recently spoke to the New York Times about the show’s legacy.

“Aside from really good writing and good acting and good directing, the element that really sinks in with an audience is that, as frivolous as some of the stories are, underneath it is an awareness that real people lived through these experiences and that we tried to respect what they went through,” Alan Alda explained. “I think that seeps into the unconscious of the audience.”

Alda, who revealed in 2018 that he has Parkinson’s disease, said the illness isn’t holding him back. “I’m busy,” he told People in 2019. “I do occasionally do nothing and sit around. But I believe in doing everything in moderation, including moderation. So far it’s working.”

The beloved actor believes that keeping curious about his illness helps motivate him. “My life hasn’t changed much. I just applied my curiosity to it. I’m constantly reading and trying to figure out the best approaches. So far it’s really interesting. I think it’s helped me understand a little better that everybody has something they’re coping with,” Alan Alda said.