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.
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