If her mother would have anything to say about it, we would have never seen M*A*S*H star Loretta Swit on the show.
Swit is, without a doubt, best known for her role on M*A*S*H as Major Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan. However, the two-time Emmy Award winner says that her mom tried to stop her from becoming an actress altogether.
In a 2010 interview with the Toronto Star, the actress says that she knew from day one that she wanted to become an actress. That desire would eventually grow to become stronger than her mother’s. In fact, Swit recalled a time where her mom literally tried to shield her from leaving the house.
“When I left the house to become an actress, my mother literally flung her body across the door and said ‘You’re killing me!'” the M*A*S*H actress recalled. “It was a very strict household. That can be okay, but there was also no nourishment either. I was blessed with certain gifts. And when I won an arts plaque when I was 6, they would scream at me to go out and play with the other kids.”
M*A*S*H‘s Major Houlihan said that she tried her best to blend in and hang out with the other kids. But in the end, she only wanted one thing.
“I tried to blend, I tried to play ball, but I didn’t want that,” the M*A*S*H star explains during the sit-down. “I wanted to act.” The star says she “would stay up all night with a flashlight under the covers, reading scripts and playing every part.”
Pretty impressive dedication from a young kid. And the fact that she knew she wanted to become an actress and actually made it happen is all the more impressive.
‘M*A*S*H’ Star Had Other Big Time Roles
It goes without saying that she is perhaps best known for her M*A*S*H portrayal of “Hot Lips’ Houlihan. But many fans don’t know that Loretta Swit actually took on the TV show role from another actress. Sally Kellerman played Major Houlihan in Robert Altman’s film version of M*A*S*H.
However, Loretta Swit also starred in other prominent roles. Fans of classic television may recall that she made appearances on Gunsmoke in 1970. In addition, you may also remember seeing her on the NBC Western series Bonanza.
Moreover, Swit even had roles on other CBS shows before calling M*A*S*H her home for 11 seasons. The star actress guest-starred on a few well-known series at the time such as Hawaii Five-O, Mannix, and Mission: Impossible.
For more on the stars of M*A*S*H and other classic TV shows, keep reading here on Outsider.