Alan Alda, one of the stars from the hit TV show M*A*S*H, detailed the magic moments from the show that nobody saw but still made the show great.
Alda, who played crowd-favorite Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce on the show, told WTOP News that there were “so many wonderful things” that happened to him as an actor on the show. From behind-the-scenes shenanigans to interacting with the grips and runners on set, Alda said the show made a lasting impact on him.
“There were times we told a story in a completely different way from the conventional way [and] everybody on the set was galvanized,” Alda told the entertainment news website. “The prop person was more excited, the extras were more excited. There were things that brought us together, the pizza we would have on Friday night to sit around and talk about the previous week. Those were things that nobody would see … but they were things that made the show what it was.”
“Hawkeye” On M*A*S*H Through The Years
Between treating wounded soldiers, “Hawkeye” can be found making wisecracks, drinking heavily, and pulling pranks on those around him.
Alda is a much different character off-screen. He was born into a family of performers. According to the Archive of American Television, his father was both an actor and a singer while his mother was a homemaker and beauty pageant winner. Alda told AAT in an interview that this background helped him develop “Hawkeye’s” range.
The success of Hawkeye earned Alda an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series in 1982. This success helped propel both Alda and M*A*S*H to new heights together.
Alda told WTOP News that the cast talked about many of these memories when they got together for the show’s reunion in 2018.
“These ways we found in connecting are unusual. … I’ve been acting a long time and I’ve never seen people do what we did,” he said.
A Newfound Voice
After M*A*S*H ended in 1983, Alda used his newfound voice to speak out about political matters. According to Vanity Fair, Alda became a staunch supporter of the feminist and women’s rights movements. Prior to that, he co-chaired the Equal Rights Amendment campaign in 1976 alongside Betty Ford.
He continued this success in the 1990s when he appeared in several Woody Allen films. He was in Crimes and Misdemeanors and Everyone Says I Love You.
In 1993, Alda became the host of Scientific American. That gig lasted until 2005, when Alda began appearing on The West Wing. He appeared in 28 episodes during the show’s final two seasons and played a fictitious U.S. senatorial candidate who portrayed many of Alda’s real views.