17 famous actors you forgot were on M*A*S*H
Spot the future stars of Cheers, Happy Days, The Karate Kid, Three's Company and more in the tents of the 4077th.
Over its 11 seasons, M*A*S*H churned out over 250 episodes. That means a whole slew of nurses, soldiers and patients passed through the tents of the 4077th. Typically, guest actors appeared as either patients (men) or love interests of Hawkeye (women).
Of the dozens of guest actors to helicopter into a M*A*S*H episode, many of them went on to become major stars. Some were already names.
Here are future sitcom headliners, beloved character actors and Hollywood A-listers who turned up in an episode (or two) of M*A*S*H.
1. Bruno Kirby
The New Yorker had no lines in the pilot episode playing Pvt. Lorenzo Boone, but he had plenty of dialogue to chew on later in life in Modern Romance, Good Morning, Vietnam, City Slickers and more.
2. Leslie Nielsen
Shirley, he can be serious. Nielsen was Col. Buzz Brighton in season one, episode 16, "The Ringbanger."
3. Ron Howard
Yep, that's poor Opie Taylor on the cot as Wendell in "Sometimes You Hear the Bullet," episode 17 of season one.
4. Teri Garr
Garr enjoys a picnic with Hawkeye as Lt. Suzanne Marquette in "The Sniper," episode 10 of season two, and shows up again in season seven's "Our Finest Hour."
5. Pat Morita
The beloved character actor of Happy Days and The Karate Kid plays cards in "Deal Me Out," episode 13 of season two, and returns later that year in "The Chosen People."
6. John Ritter
The Three's Company star also shows up in "Deal Me Out."
7. Ned Beatty
The Deliverance and Superman actor is Col. Hollister in season four, episode 10, "Dear Peggy."
8. Brian Dennehy
Dennehy always makes for a good authority figure, even way back as M.P. Ernie Connors in "Souvenirs," episode 22 of season five.
9. Ed Begley, Jr.
Ed Begley, Jr. was seemingly in everything — and still is — including "Too Many Cooks," the season eight premiere. He plays Pvt. Paul Conway.
10. Shelley Long
The soon-to-be Cheers lead chills with Hawkeye as Lt. Mendenhall in "Bottle Fatigue," episode 15 of season eight.
11. Patrick Swayze
Nobody puts Swayze in the corner. The young actor earned his third credit as Pvt. Gary Sturgis in "Blood Brothers," episode 18 of season nine.
12. Joe Pantoliano
Joey Pants portrays a soldier with an "Identity Crisis" as Cpl. Gerald Mullen / Josh Levin in episode two of season 10.
13. Rita Wilson
Before she hooked up with Tom Hanks, Wilson turned up in the 4077th as a nurse twice, in "Blood and Guts" and "Hey, Look Me Over," in season 10 and 11, respectively.
14. Laurence Fishburne
"Larry" Fishburne was not far removed from his early role in Apocalypse Now when he nabbed this military gig as Corporal Dorsey in "The Tooth Shall Set You Free," episode 14 of season 10.
15. Andrew Dice Clay
The shock comic earned his first screen credit as a drunk Marine, Corp. Hrabosky, in "Trick or Treatment," the second installment of season 11.
16. George Wendt
Wendt also makes a memorable guest in "Trick of Treatment," playing Pvt. La Roche, a man with a pool ball stuck in his mouth on Halloween. It was a rubber prop.
17. Jeffrey Tambor
Thirty-three years before he won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, Tambor made an appearance this classic sitcom as Maj. Reddish in "Foreign Affairs," episode three of the final season.