Gary Burghoff Poster

Trivia (33)

Was a drummer who headed a jazz trio, The We Three, and was an award-winning songwriter. Studied acting with James Tuttle and musical comedy with Charles Nelson Reilly.

Has a deformed left hand that he took great pains to hide during the run of M*A*S*H (1972), often by hiding it behind his clipboard.

His character "Radar" on M*A*S*H (1972), who showed a fondness for the care of animals, was actually inspired by Gary's true love for wildlife. He once worked for the Animal Rehabilitation Clinic in Southern California, where he nurtured and cared for many species of birds such as the brown pelican, and many other animals including opossums, gray squirrels, raccoons and abandoned creatures needing special attention.

Was licensed by the State of California to care for wounded animals.

Is a renowned painter of Wildlife Art.

Starting in 1997, Gary had to refuse a lot of his fan-mail due to his address being published on the internet, as he would state in a stamped message on fan's return envelopes.

Launched a chain of ice cream/frozen yogurt stores in Hawaii in the late 1970s, which had limited success.

He attended the "Hollywood Collectors & Celebrities Show", at Beverly Garland's Holiday Inn, in North Hollywood, California.

Originated the role of Charlie Brown in the off-Broadway musical "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown".

Holds several patents on fishing lures.

Was the first MASH (1970) actor to be cast for the TV series (M*A*S*H (1972)).

Has one daughter: Gena Gale Burghoff and two sons: Miles and Jordan.

Along with G. Wood, Timothy Brown and Corey Fischer, he is one of only four actors to appear in both the original film (MASH (1970)) and the subsequent TV series (M*A*S*H (1972)).

Sesame Street (1969)'s Big Bird has a teddy bear, "Radar", which was named after Gary's M*A*S*H (1972) character. Gary gave it to Big Bird as a gift after visiting the "Sesame Street" set in the 1970s.

Played Walter "Radar" O'Reilly in four different "MASH" productions: the feature movie MASH (1970), the television series M*A*S*H (1972), guest-star appearance on AfterMASH (1983), and the television pilot W*A*L*T*E*R (1984).

The teddy bear that Burghoff carried as Radar O'Reilly in M*A*S*H (1972) is now at the Smithsonian Institution. However, when the entire set, along with props, was displayed in the Smithsonian immediately after the final episode was aired, there was a note added to the case displaying many props that they had been unable to locate the bear.

Gary's favorite sports are baseball and fishing. He has visited and fished in every state except Alaska, where he plans to visit one day. He is also an inventor and holds several patents for fishing tackle, including Chum Magic, a floating device that can be filled with chum to attract fish. Gary says it helps increase catches by about 300 percent.

Besides recording a jazz album in the early 1980s, he wrote more than 100 songs and won the ASCAP Award for Excellence three times.

He wrote an introduction for Two-Character Plays for Student Actors, a collection of plays by Robert Mauro.

Burghoff attended the memorial service for McLean Stevenson when the actor passed away in 1996.

The only actor in Twentieth Century Fox's hit film MASH (1970) who was asked to reprise his character for the extremely successful television series. G. Wood played General Hammond in both the movie and television series but he was not a regular character in the series although he was a regularly recurring character.

After graduation, he headed to New York to study. He sold underwear at Saks Fifth Avenue to make money while studying and also played jazz at local night spots with "The We Three," a musical trio he formed.

In 1961, his painting "Men of Jazz" won him the Hallmark Award and represented Wisconsin in the Hallmark Student Art Exhibit in Washington, D.C.

Gary was born to Rodney Burghoff, who worked for a clock company, and Ann Burghoff, who had been a professional dancer and directed local theater productions. He has an older brother, David.

Burghoff is a philatelist and was the star of a United States Postal Service video for beginning stamp collectors.

He left M*A*S*H (1972) after Season 7 because of burnout and a desire to spend more time with his family, though he returned in Season 8 to film a special 2-part farewell episode, "Goodbye Radar".

Last appearance on M*A*S*H (1972) on Season 8 Episode 5, but still credited in opening credits up to Season 8 Episode 11.

He studied drama at HB Studio in Greenwich Village in New York City.

Though Tom Skerritt was asked to return to be in the show, Gary was the only cast member of the movie to play his character regularly in the show MASH.

Left the M*A*S*H series following a series of contract disputes and an insistence that he was being deprived of more commercial success in film and television due to the time demands of the series. Once he left the program, job offers were few, and his career never again reached that level of success.

In several TV talk show interviews many years following the conclusion of M*A*S*H, several of the lead performers of the series confided - each on different occasions - that the series regulars were actually somewhat glad to see Burghoff leave the show. There were continued stories of the actor missing rehearsals, consistently showing up on the set hours late at a time, and even failing to show at all. The actor's primary complaints, they claimed, was a failure to get additional screen time for his character, but whenever changes to scripts were made, he did not show up for filming.

Graduated from Delavan-Darien High School in Delavan, Wisconsin, Class of 1962.

His left hand had 3 fingers that were significantly smaller than those on his right hand. He was born with a condition called Poland syndrome, named after British surgeon Alfred Poland, that is a rare birth defect. His version of Poland Syndrome was more specifically Brachydactyly (Short fingers).