You know that Alan Alda played the famous character “Hawkeye” on the classic television program M*A*S*H. You probably knew that he won five Emmy Awards for his performance in the show. However, you probably didn’t know the absurd amount of money he made for the role. Let me tell you, that number is absolutely mind-boggling.
In 1980, Alan Alda made a whopping $200,000 every single week for his role in the show. To put it in perspective, the average American only made $12,513 in the entire year in 1980. That’s means that in one year, the average American only made six percent of what Alan Alda made in one week. To put it in perspective even further, by today’s value, Alan Alda would make almost $635,000 per week. By anyone’s standard, that is a whole lot of money.
Alan Alda Indirectly Causes Wayne Rogers Departure
While Alan Alda made $200,000 weekly for his role on the show, Wayne Rogers’ “Trapper John” character started to feel slighted. After Rogers saw Alda’s character getting more airtime and taking all of the good humor, he decided to bring it up. He no longer wanted to play the sidekick to Aldo, who also started gaining more creative control of the show. As a result, Wayne Rogers left the show after three seasons as “Trapper John.”
Wayne Rogers also dealt with a contract dispute in his final season with the show. He was able to leave in the middle of the season because he never actually signed his contract. His contract, which was not quite as hefty as Alan Alda’s, had a “morals clause” that Rogers did not agree with. So, he never actually ended up signing the contract. That left him free to move on as soon as he saw his role on the show diminishing.
His departure did not effect Alan Alda, however, as “Hawkeye” continued to grow into the main character of the show. By the time the show reached it’s final season in 1983, Alan Alda had appeared in 256 episodes and directed several of them. It is hard to say whether or not Alan Aldo was really worth $200,000 per week, but the show’s success suggests that he was worth something pretty darn close.