During a career-spanning interview, M*A*S*H star Wayne Rogers shared how important it is to not take stardom “too seriously” as an actor.
While speaking with Pop Goes The Culture TV before he passed away in 2015, Rogers spoke at length about his M*A*S*H career. From 1972 to 1983, the CBS comedy-drama became one of the most beloved shows on TV. As reruns played after 11 seasons, the show continued to touch generations of fans.
Even though Rogers only starred in it for the first three seasons, he was a vital piece to the popular show. In addition, with the show’s prominence on television came overnight fame.
Wayne Rogers made it clear he didn’t buy into his stardom. Yet when you’re on a show like M*A*S*H it’s somewhat unavoidable. Coming into fame later on in his life helped him stay grounded compared to being a young star. Furthermore he shared sage advice that any up-and-coming Hollywood actor would be wise to take heed of.
“It’s difficult for me, I have to be honest with you, personally to take any of that (fame) too seriously,” Rogers said. “Young actors tend to – and maybe I got to the profession a little late – but you learn very early not to take the public accolades very seriously. The public is very fickle. And you know, you’re the flavor of the month, and next month there’s another flavor.”
‘M*A*S*H’ Star Reveals Amusing Story of Watching the Hit Show With Alan Alda Years Later
Wayne Rogers seemed very down to Earth and grounded about his fame. Yet there’s no denying that he was on one of the most popular classic shows in American television history.
Rogers shared an anecdote about he and his famous co-star Alan Alda during the same interview. The two actors once rewatched old M*A*S*H shows at an event and amusingly thought the show and their performances were pretty good. Considering how successful the sitcom was for 11 seasons, that’s probably a fair assessment.
He said that he simply didn’t rewatch episodes of his own show. At most he’d come across reruns while flipping channels and stop and watch for a second. But the first time he watched a full episode in years was with Alda at an event that paid tribute to the cast.
The M*A*S*H event played two or three episodes during the evening. While viewing the episodes Rogers and Alda looked at each other and each hilariously said, “You know, we weren’t too bad were we? That’s pretty good that stuff.”
“But you’re looking at it as if you’re looking at somebody else. Like it’s not you. That guy was pretty good,” Rogers said with a laugh to Pop Goes The Culture TV. “But I think a lot of that came down to the way we rehearsed… We worked very hard.”