Wayne Rogers hated the Hollywood lifestyle during his time on M*A*S*H

Rogers would rather get down and dirty doing the work than he would sit at a dinner party.

Image credit: The Everett Collection

A big part of being a famous actor or performer is also participating in the lifestyle that comes along with success. It could mean parties, private events, swirling social circles, and more. 

In fact, opportunities usually stem from being present when the opportunities present themselves. 

While this is true for many celebrities, Wayne Rogers was famous, and he was rich, but he hated participating in the Hollywood lifestyle. 

Rogers is best known for his role in the 1972 M*A*S*H series where he played the role of Capt. 'Trapper' John McIntyre. His character was a skilled surgeon in the 4077th and was known for being laid-back, funny, and kind. 

Where most performers would gladly accept the frills and fluff of Hollywood parties, according to a 1974 interview with St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Rogers hadn't been to a Hollywood party, premiere, or awards banquet in years. 

"Take the Emmy Awards," Rogers said. "I haven't won an Emmy. But what if I did? What good would it do me as an actor? Would it help increase my salary? I don't think so. What would you say an Emmy is worth? Thirty-three cents?"

Rogers said he had a hard time seeing the point of the Hollywood glitz and glamour. Rogers even considered himself more of a serious actor who was devoted to literature. 

According to the interview, Rogers was so far removed from the Hollywood lifestyle that he even picked up a few side hustles. In his time away from M*A*S*H he would build condominiums, was involved in a microfilm process, and owned 2,500 acres of vineyards in California.

"Somebody once told me I shouldn't try to change Hollywood," Rogers said. "That isn't my point at all. I don't want Hollywood to change me."

Rogers said in the 15 years that he had been acting in films and television he'd changed very little.

Having other businesses and careers outside of acting helped ground him. Even before fame, Rogers worked as a lifeguard, waiter, and a few other 'normal' jobs. He learned to value his time through jobs that left him little time to act. 

Not only was Rogers a business-savvy man with many different jobs, but he also liked working. According to the article, he spent three months around the time of this interview working in fields and planting grapes in his vineyard. 

"It's funny, but I know very few stars in this town," Rogers said. "I have no reason to know them. I don't care for the values they hold. A few of the guys are great - like Mike Connors and Lee Marvin. There's nothing phony about them. No bull involved."

"Some of the actors I can't believe - the guys who turn out for all the parties," Rogers continued. "If an Emmy is worth 33 cents, what is a premiere worth?"

According to Rogers, there is more to life than attending a Hollywood party or premiere. He knew about real hard work, and the struggle it took to become an actor was enough time spent for Rogers. 

"The real excitement is being vulnerable, intellectually and emotionally making a stand and taking a risk," Rogers said. "When the results are in you've put yourself on the line and know where you stand. I never got that kind of feeling at a Hollywood party."

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8 Comments

Doc 3 months ago
Rogers was a close minded, bigoted political conservative who didn’t get invited to parties because he was not nice, not very smart, unimaginative and dour. Someone here suggests Hollywood types are weak degenerates which says everything about the right wing bias and fear that makes conservatives so sad, lonely, and uninvited. Pretty pathetic. But not a surprise.
jmworacle 3 months ago
He was also a savy financial wizard and would appear on the Fox Network financial shows.
IndianaRockz 3 months ago
Wayne Rogers sounds like a nice, down to earth guy with values, not falling into plastic Hollywood values.

Good article.
sagafrat69 3 months ago
MASH fans kind of got cheated with Roger's early exit. I really wish Trapper John would've gotten at least a few more seasons. There was kind of a good guy/bad guy vibe that Trap had that super nice guy Beeg never had. Trapper even thought about killing a patient! He potentially could've ended up being one of the most interesting characters of the series. A great real estate developer so fortunately for him he didn't need the show or Hollywood.
PiperMaru sagafrat69 3 months ago
I found him incredibly bland, boring and insipid.
BorisK 3 months ago
I saw Mike Farrell in line in the men's room at Springsteen concert in the 80s. LA Memorial Coliseum.
McGillahooala 3 months ago
Wayne Rogers was a real man and it came out on the screen. You really can’t imagine him socializing with the weak pathetic degenerates that make up most of Hollywood.
DocForbin 3 months ago
Of course Rogers didn't even play Trapper in the spin-off "Trapper John, M. D.". Pernell Roberts did instead.
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