The TV show M*A*S*H was huge in its day. Believe it or not, it still holds the record for the most-watched show finale ever. But even those who watched that last episode and held it in their hearts forever might not know what was really going on behind the scenes — especially when it came to lead actress Loretta Swit. She’s revealed some fascinating and eye-opening tidbits about what working on M*A*S*H was really like.
Loretta Swit played Major Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan — and more on that nickname later — in no less than 239 episodes of M*A*S*H. She began the series as a firm authority figure, but as the show went on, she changed and became a more well-rounded character with storylines of her own. And she was also very popular with audiences.
Swit won multiple awards for her portrayal of Margaret Houlihan and established herself as one of the biggest TV stars of her era. She got herself not one but two Primetime Emmys out of ten nominations in all, plus a People’s Choice Award and a Silver Satellite Award, among others. And she even has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
A magical thing
But perhaps even more importantly, Swit loved the set of M*A*S*H, she loved her fellow cast members, and she loved the fans. In 2023 she did an interview with the website Digital Journal and happily remembered, “There are people that can quote every joke, episode, and every piece of dialogue, and they love that they know it so well, they say the lines with us, so it’s really a bonding of an extraordinary nature. I feel like we have all been a part of a magical thing.”
But while the show was still going on, Swit wasn’t so sure if she actually had a future with it. Leaving altogether was very much on the cards for her, but eventually she opted to stick around — and she was very glad she did, because she met her husband on the show! She explained everything in a little-known interview from 1988.