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The Only Co-Star Who Truly Hated Alan Alda on M*A*S*H

If you’re a fan of great television – then you’re a fan of M*A*S*H. Among the many things that made this show a huge hit are the great cast members. Among them was Alan Alda who played Hawkeye Pierce. Alan Alda is also known as one of the most liked people in the industry.

Nevertheless, there were tensions among the cast members on the set of the show. And there was one particular co-star who absolutely did not like Alan Alda!

In fact, once you learn about these tensions you’ll wonder how this show continued for as long as it did and how it became such a success. If you don’t know the story, you’ll know about it now…

Join FactsVerse to learn about the only co-star who truly hated Alan Alda on M*A*S*H…


Gary Burghoff became an absolute star when he was cast as Corporal Walter “Radar” O’Reilly in M*A*S*H. Burghoff played the character in the original film directed by Robert Altman and then reprised the role for the TV series. He played the character for seven seasons before he left the show in 1979. Since he left rather prematurely, there were many rumors and speculations about why he left – and many of these rumors persist to this day. However, the real reason behind his departure is a bit more complicated than what most people rumor about.

After many years of avoiding the subject – Gary Burghoff finally received his reasons why he left the show. He left the show because he was exhausted and burned out. After all, this was one of this first roles and he was still a new actor when he was cast in the TV series. After working on the show for 7 seasons, he was exhausted and had lost his passion for the show.

Like the other cast members, he was filming long hours. While this is the norm – the pressure of working on such a successful show was taking a toll on this relative newcomer to the acting profession. Gary Burghoff also revealed that he was going through a divorce at the time, and having to balance his personal life with his hectic work schedule was a stress.

But he also had his issues with different cast members. They felt he was difficult to work with and wasn’t easy to get along with. And in fact, one can say that the only co-star who truly hated Alan Alda on M*A*S*H was Gary Burghoff. He had a tense relationship with Alan Alda and it seemed that working on set with him was a major stressor for Gary Burghoff.

Gary Burghoff had been commuting between California, where the show was filmed, and his home in Connecticut, where his family lived. He had to make a decision – whether to stick to the show or call it quits. As he put his family first, he had to choose the latter option.

However, his departure from M*A*S*H, didn’t kill his career and he continued to work in both film and television. In fact, he later reprised his role in the television series “ W*A*L*T*E*R,” which was a spin-off of M*A*S*H – though not one that was successful. He retired from acting in 2010 which is when he had his last credit.


M*A*S*H was not only a groundbreaking show for its time but also a platform for actors to showcase their unique talents and to showcase their own creativity. Alan Alda and Mike Farrell’s friendly rivalry is rather well-known, and this translated to their on-screen chemistry. Both of them were very involved in their character arc during the series.

In fact, their rivalry even influenced one of the most memorable episodes of the show.

In the episode “Preventative Medicine,” Farrell’s character, B.J. Hunnicutt – acted out of character, according to Mike Farrell. He felt that the character had to break the Hippocratic Oath and do some unethical things. However, Mike Farrell felt that this was greatly out of character and that it wasn’t appropriate for the show.

But they moved on and the script was rewritten as needed. Despite their occasional tiffs here and there, the two of them always remained friends and a shining example of how actors can challenge themselves when working together. From an outsider’s view, it may have seemed that Mike Farrell was another actor who truly hated Alan Alda on M*A*S*H. But this couldn’t have been further from the truth.

This competitive friendship between Alda and Farrell was not limited to this episode. Throughout the show’s run, they both pushed each other and believed that this rivalry would help them give better performance on screen. And this is precisely what happened…

If you’re a newcomer to the show, you’ll be impressed by the show and by the chemistry between these two great actors…

While some of the cast members had issues on set and this ultimately caused them to leave, Mike Farrell was true to his character and also wanted Alan Alda and his fellow cast members to give their best performances – and that’s why the show became one of television’s biggest successes.


Wayne Rogers played the character of Trapper John McIntyre and he was a beloved member of the M*A*S*H cast. In fact, one could easily say that Trapper John was one of the best characters from the show. It’s no surprise that Trapper John MD – became such a successful spinoff from M*A*S*H – definitely better than W*A*L*T*E*R.

Yet his departure from the show in season 3 left fans wondering why. In fact, Trapper’s exit wasn’t properly addressed in the show. But there are several reasons why actor Wayne Rogers left the series.

According to Wayne Rogers, one of the main reasons he left M*A*S*H was due to a contract dispute. Actually, he hadn’t even signed a contract in the first place.

He didn’t particularly like the direction of his character and eventually felt that Trapper John was no more than a sidekick. He must have been thrilled when he got to reprise the role he liked but in a larger capacity on Trapper John MD.

As a result, Wayne Rogers left M*A*S*H as he wanted to pursue other opportunities. He wanted to explore other acting roles that were a lot more interesting. Rogers also had an interest in producing and directing and wanted to pursue those opportunities as well.

Rogers’ departure from M*A*S*H was a significant loss for the show, and his absence was felt by both the cast and the fans. He did briefly come back later for a few episodes and it was revealed that Trapper John had been discharged. By this time, Wayne Rogers was rather well known as an actor.

Despite leaving M*A*S*H, Wayne Rogers continued to act in other projects and remained a beloved actor in the entertainment industry. He also pursued a successful career in business, becoming a well-respected investor and financial commentator.

He continued to work in film and television until 2003 when he retired. He passed away in 2015. Upon his death, he received praise from his co-star Alan Alda. The two of them sometimes struggled on set with each other but they both had respect for each other. Alan Alda expressed his gratitude for Wayne Rogers and how much he loved working with him on the show.


Larry Linville played the role of Frank Burns on M*A*S*H, and his portrayal of the character is still remembered today – though not always favorably! He stated that Frank Burns was not the most pleasant character and that he had to make him as unlikeable as possible!

Larry Linville explained that the character of Frank Burns was someone who was deeply insecure. This was combined with a deep desperation to be liked and appreciated by others. His character was so hated that sometimes fans would write angry letters about his character!

He played the character as someone who was always trying to get approval and attention. His neediness and desperation made the character so unlikeable – that one wonders how he lasted so long on the show! Yet, he loved playing the character and he would later credit the writing team to help him create the character. He also felt that the writers gave him the opportunity to act alongside his co-stars such as Alan Alda, whom he loved working with.

One of the fondest aspects of Frank Burns was his absurd laugh. Larry Linville later explained that he came up with the laugh himself. He wanted to create something that would make the character memorable – outside of his irritable personality. This obnoxious laugh was based on the sound of a goose honking.

However, in spite of the unlikable personality of Frank Burns, Larry Linville’s portrayal of the character was widely praised by fans and critics alike. He was even nominated for an Emmy for his work on the show.

In addition to his role on M*A*S*H, Larry Linville had a successful career as an actor, appearing in numerous television shows and movies. Nevertheless, his portrayal of Frank Burns remains his most popular role – regardless of the canon of his work! Looks like he had the last laugh – the one that sounds like a goose honking!

Are you a fan of M*A*S*H and Alan Alda? The show was great and he was truly one of the most loved actors, but as we can see – he had his issues with co-stars as well.

Now, here’s what we’d like to hear from you:

Do you think that actors of yesteryear did a better job at putting their work before their personal issues? Or are today’s stars also great at putting personal beef aside to make a great film or TV show?

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