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Old 02-15-2012, 10:35 AM   #1
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Question Did Gary Burghoff (Radar) Make A Huge Mistake in Quitting M*A*S*H???

Gary Burghoff appeared as Corporal Walter “Radar” O’Reilly in every episode of the first three seasons of M*A*S*H. By season four, he was disenchanted with the direction his character was taking. He’d started out as crafty and sneaky, and not averse to helping himself to Colonel Blake’s brandy. But the writers eventually turned him into a naïve farm boy who never sipped anything stronger than a Grape Nehi. Burghoff only appeared in about half the episodes over the next three seasons, and the CBS brass convinced him to stay long enough to play the focus of a two-part send-off during sweeps week in season eight. M*A*S*H writer Ken Levine notes that Burghoff partially expressed his disenchantment during his last appearance by refusing to wear his “Radar hat” during those final episodes, making him look less like the twenty-something company clerk he was playing and more like the balding, middle-aged man he was.

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Old 02-23-2012, 12:47 AM   #2
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His career didn't go anywhere after M*A*S*H; that's for sure (Remember W*A*L*T*E*R? Me, either)! When he was cast in Robert Altman's MASH film, he was a promising young Broadway actor, having just played the title role in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

He spent a better part of nine years playing Radar. The most recent thing I've seen him in is a recent local commercial here in my area for a siding and windows company (he lives the next town over). Seriously.
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Old 03-07-2012, 12:20 PM   #3
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MASH the TV series should have hung it up in the season Radar left. This was around the 7th or 8th season. The show lasted about 3 seasons too long. There are a few good episodes from 8-11, but the show could have pulled the plug on it. For example, The Mary Tyler Moore Show stilled pulled good ratings, but they stopped it because they did not want MTM to fall in quality over time.

Burghoff was totally typecast in the character of Radar. He was the only player from the Robert Altman movie to appear in the TV show. That is the character that he is known by.

I have not seen him in anything after MASH. Not that he wasn't, but I have not seen him in much since MASH. However, he doesn't look like he is poor by a stretch or suffering. He has taken his talents to his knowledge of animals (something that Burghoff brought to the character of Radar). This is how he has made his money since MASH and I am sure he is very comfortable.


Don't call him Radar if you see him either. Fair enough.
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Old 03-19-2012, 03:55 AM   #4
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he may not be as huge a star as he was during his mash days but from interviews that i have read and seen over the years he seems happy with what he has acomplished in his life and so for that reason a have to say that no he did not make a mistake in quitting mash some time in life you have to do whats best for your own growth and needs and it seemes to me that thats what he did
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Old 05-31-2019, 12:26 AM   #5
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I think he was smart enough to get out while the gettin' was still good.
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Old 05-31-2019, 01:18 AM   #6
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MASH the TV series should have hung it up in the season Radar left. This was around the 7th or 8th season. The show lasted about 3 seasons too long. There are a few good episodes from 8-11, but the show could have pulled the plug on it. For example, The Mary Tyler Moore Show stilled pulled good ratings, but they stopped it because they did not want MTM to fall in quality over time.

Burghoff was totally typecast in the character of Radar. He was the only player from the Robert Altman movie to appear in the TV show. That is the character that he is known by.

I have not seen him in anything after MASH. Not that he wasn't, but I have not seen him in much since MASH. However, he doesn't look like he is poor by a stretch or suffering. He has taken his talents to his knowledge of animals (something that Burghoff brought to the character of Radar). This is how he has made his money since MASH and I am sure he is very comfortable.


Don't call him Radar if you see him either. Fair enough.
he left in the 8th season.





And Gary wasn't the only actor from the movie to also appear in the show. Gene Woods played Gen. Hammond in both, and Timothy Brown and Corey Fisher were in both but as different Characters in the show.....
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Old 05-31-2019, 01:24 AM   #7
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Technically, Gary left after season 7, but he agreed to appear in the two-part episode Goodbye Radar in season 8.
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Old 05-31-2019, 02:36 AM   #8
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Technically, Gary left after season 7, but he agreed to appear in the two-part episode Goodbye Radar in season 8.
well whatever
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Old 05-31-2019, 10:27 AM   #9
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He played the part perfectly. Yes, I think he was mistaken to leave.
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Old 05-31-2019, 11:08 AM   #10
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Inasmuch as he was sick to death of playing Radar and, in his last few M*A*S*H appearances, it definitely showed, I think Mr. Burghoff did what he needed to do at the time- even if his post 4077 career never took. He even said that he couldn't think of a single acquaintance that he'd met during the eight years he was on who did NOT call him 'Radar' instead of Gary! IOW, unlike McLean Stevenson, he wasn't quitting counting on his personal charm to launch a never-ended post-M*A*S*H TV stardom, but he seemed to have been so tired of playing the character that he was willing to risk obscurity and even comparative poverty to END it!
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Old 07-13-2019, 04:12 PM   #11
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Of all the regular cast on MASH, only Alan Alda and David Ogden Stiers continued to have long and successful acting careers.
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