Skip to comments.Fighting for family, life after M*A*S*H ("Radar" actor Gary Burghoff is a Christian!)
Posted on 05/02/2006 5:35:23 PM PDT by DaveLoneRanger
SPRINGFIELD, MO (ANS) -- Gary Burghoff almost never gives interviews anymore. The actor, best known for his role as Cpl. Radar OReilly in both the movie and television series M*A*S*H, is 62 and long retired to private life.
But in a February interview with Canadian radio talk show host Drew Marshall on Oakville, Ontarios JOY 1250, Burghoff speaks candidly about a decision he made not long after he left M*A*S*H.
Family, to me, became the most important thing, he says of his rationale for exiting the show that defined his career. I was not available as a father because of my work. That doesnt stop when the work stops. Whenever you go out as a family, youre always torn from family to deal with public recognition.
Burghoff turned down other offers that followed. Unfortunately, leaving M*A*S*H couldnt save his marriage. In the late 1970s, Burghoff moved back to Connecticut, his boyhood home, and began life as a single parent of his 4-year-old daughter.
While dealing with the divorce, Burghoff lost his father. It was a dark time, but it forced him to ask some critical questions.
My father had said when I was in New York early on struggling as an actor that if you dont know the Bible you dont have a foundation, Burghoff says. I had told him from an agnostic point of view that the Bible was a very good book, but it wasnt the only book. But after M*A*S*H I realized he might have something. I had given my life over to the world instead of to God.
For the next two years, Burghoff pursued an intense study of the Scriptures. It was life-changing.
When you become that empty vessel that is ready to be filled, he says, the veil is lifted. You suddenly understand those words. Thats what happened. The Bible before was always an enigma to me. But now I could understand it. The Lord says, Ask and you shall receive. And I was asking.
Burghoffs second marriage blessed him with two sons, but his growing faith created a distance between him and his wife.
Id married a wonderful woman, he says, but she was not walking the same Christian walk, so there was a great communication gap in the marriage.
When they separated and she moved to California with their sons, Burghoff again put family before his own dreams. Although he had planned to return to his New England roots, he was determined to be a father to his sons.
My choice was a very easy one, he says. Im going to be a father to my kids first. Because that, like my walk with the Lord, is who I am. Im a daddy.
Burghoff moved across the country and lived down the street from his estranged wife for 12 years so they could raise their kids together.
Fathers who dont do that are sacrificing something wonderful, he says. A divorce is between two people, never between a parent and children. I know the Lord hates divorce, but He hates abandonment, I think, a lot more.
Today, Burghoff enjoys traveling and promoting wildlife-related causes. His wildlife paintings reach a growing and appreciative audience. But spiritually, he keeps two points in focus -- Christian fellowship and the Word.
Without the Word, he says, Im rootless, I have no foundation. Whenever things seem bleak, I go back to that source. If art is a personal reflection of the beauty you see in life, I want to go to the source, so I go to wildlife. I do the same thing with spiritual beauty.
Gary Burghoff today
Sorry, all I can remember when I think of Radar is the one time I saw his bare tushie in one show where the camp was getting shelled. Again. Didn't think they would allow that on TV like that, butt they did.
Butt jokes aside, it is nice to know that things seem to be working out and that Mr. Burghoff has grounded his life in the Bible.
This makes up for the story about Mr. Sulu.
good post. thanks
Maybe, he was perfect for that one character. To me, he was always humble, sweet and caring, which is what all Christians should be.
Interesting post, thanks.
He was my favorite Could not stand ferret face
Wait for it ................
Wup Wup Wup Wup
Hear, hear. No better spiritual norishment than the Word of God.
I heard he had alot of gas.
I heard he was kind of a jerk and not very well liked by the other cast members.
No he was called Rader because he could hear the choppers with wounded on board before anyone else could geeees
I also went through the pains of an unexpected divorce. Immediately I went into a 3 year pilgrimage through the word and in fellowship with other Christians. The experience that I thought would ruin my life actually wound up giving me life, eternal life that is. God's blessings have been in abundance ever since and even when struggles occur, which is happening now, I find strength in God's word. Everything is not always easy, but challenges become opportunities to find out what God wants me to learn, rather than times to panic.
Burgdorf will be COMPLETE when he drops the Wildlife issues. He should put his heart into FAMILY ISSUES and help people who are about to go thru what he did and Help THEM...not ANIMALS.
Wow. Good post.
Burghoff will be COMPLETE when he drops the Wildlife issues. He should put his heart into FAMILY ISSUES and help people who are about to go thru what he did and Help THEM...not ANIMALS.
Ah, spoken like a true Christian.
Wow, that's wonderful! Can you believe how relevent that Book is, even more so in our times?
Everything is not always easy, but challenges become opportunities to find out what God wants me to learn, rather than times to panic.
Thank you for sharing this! Testimonies like yours are so uplifting!
What's wrong with helping animals?
People use their gifts in different ways. Some help people, some help animals. I see nothing wrong with that.
I agree that it's not enough that he's happy, he should also be strongly for gun rights, and against illegal immigration.
Then he'll be COMPLETE.
In addition to acting, Burghoff also works as a professional jazz drummer, heading the trio The We Three, and as a wildlife painter. Other activities include outdoorsmanship and high-power rifle shooting.
Radar: "It was 4:30."
Trapper: "Did we say why?"
Radar: "You wanted to sacrifice a virgin."
Hawkeye: "Did we?"
Radar: "I was too sleepy."
Radar was always one of my favorite characters after Father Mulchahy. Glad to hear he's doing OK. A lot of TV stars end up a lot worse.
My parents bought me a small watercolor of a duck and turtle done by Gary as a gift.
He does mostly waterfowl and is quite accomplished.
Really, a friend of mine lives out in Paradise. Mr. Nick, the Christian radio guy who does the Saturday morning radio program "We Kids"?
I don't know what his "Wildlife issues" are. Doesn't sound like he puts them up as gods. Besides, the Bible does tell us that we are the caretakers of the animals. It's right there in the first few chapters of Genesis. We are to care for them and eat them. Best of both worlds.
What radio station does "We Kids" air on?
That Alan Alda thought he was a jerk, well, that is a pretty good recommendation to me.
Alan Alda liked him. Father Mulcahy, Corporal Klinger and Colonel Potter didn't.
Considering the rest of the cast members that would be a compliment.
Keen, Radar with a Rifle. He never seemed the type in M*A*S*H. (Putting those darn stars in there is a pain...)
He airs out of Paradise (bee-YOO-tee-full Paradise, as he says) all over the place. You can find stations here:
He's got this great deep voice. Enjoyed him as a kid, a whole lot, and woke up early on Saturdays to listen to him.
FWIW, Corporal Klinger is a Republican. Don't know about the others, aside from Alda being a nutbucket, looney-tune liberal.
If anyone's keeping track, add Colonel Potter to the list of bedwetting liberals. How did a good American like Jack Webb put up with him all those years on Dragnet?
I do a lot of work with cats, I love them and I see God's glory in them and it pleases me to no end to help them and find them loving homes.
Wasn't is Saint Assisi who is the patron Saint of animals and the environment?
I think Alan Alda thought he was the first (and only) one to realize that war sucks. I think it's funny that he played the sleazy Senator in the Aviator (and quite well I might add). Wasn't he also the evil Republican on the West Wing?
Glad to know the "real" Radar has found his comfort and security with God.
I'll read the article later, looks good Not sure if anyone posted this bit of trivia from IMBD.com:
"Has a deformed left hand that he takes great pains to hide during the run of M*A*S*H on TV. Usually hidden behind his clipboard."
How about this ferret face?
I was on ebay earlier today. Someone had put a life up for sale. You should go bid on it......you really need one!
>> Father Mulcahy, Corporal Klinger and Colonel Potter didn't. <<
Huh? That's really odd... Are you sure? those are the people he worked with after M*A*S*H.... sigh, on AfterM*A*S*H.
What really bugs me about MASH isn't the liberalism (it's natural for doctors to hate what it is that sends them so many critical-care patients... and these are draftees, mostly)... it isn't the sanctimoniousness of a drunken, promiscuous lout... it was the elitism:
The officers were always inherently good, decent and noble, no matter how loutish their behavior was; the enlisted were always cretins, no matter how dedicated their service was. The only enlisted who was "good enough" to be liked by the officiers earned their admiration by literally super-human skills. And I'm not talking merely about the military code of not fraterizing, I'm talking a genuine condescension towards "ordinary folk" that I have rarely encountered in military folk... outside the DC area, anyway.
A few other notes:
1. "Klinger" was the name of the war-hero Democrat from Pennsylvania who voted for Clinton's impeachment, and then had his military record slandered by Geraldo Rivera, who received his marching orders directly from the Clinton White House.
2. B.J. has championed extremist, loony causes, but Is Alan Alda truly a nut-job liberal? He has often protrayed liberals, but occasionally in the sickly cast which Hollywood almost never permits being thrown onto liberals. For instance, he played the evil Maine senator in "The Aviator" who attempted to slander Hughes and use the Senate's boundless power to regulate to hand a monopoly to a corrupt business friend. That has to be the most powerfully damning depiction of liberalism I have ever seen from Hollywood. And Alda played the part beautifully.
"Sweet Liberty," not only made fun of the crassness of Hollywood, but also the "hero" of the story. (Although, unlike The Aviator, this isn't a particularly political film, and also takes some pot shots at capitalism)... The stubborn progressive was also depicted by him in "The Four Seasons" which he also wrote and directed. Neither of these films are particularly conservative, but in both cases, Alda honestly explored the full nature of the characters (which he created, as writer and director of both films), progressivism, intending his characters to be generally likeable in the balance, but notably purposely providing them with plenty to hate, especially about the immaturity of their liberalism.
3. William Christopher did not play Mulcahy in the movie; Rene Auberjonois did. And he was Fr. JOHN Mulcahy, not FRANCIS Mulcahy, which is who Christopher played. But it seems to me that in the very early episodes, the ones they never show in reruns, with the red-camera gore and "Spearchucker" and various other day-time TV no-nos, that JOHN Mulcahy was in the TV series, but I don't remember if it was Rene or not.
Rene has certianly kept busy: he was a recurring character on Rhoda, the Jeffersons, Wonder Woman, Columbo, Frasier, Judging Amy, The Practice, and Boston Legal; and a fulltime cast member for six years on Deep Space Nine, and six more on Benson... and wasn't he Gargamel on the Smurfs?
Finally! On the third try!
That is a bit of a harsh reaction to my saying that someone who watches Match Game '73 (or '74) needs to get a life.....