Who is Gary Burghoff?

American actor Gary Rich Burghoff was born in Bristol, Connecticut USA, on 24 May 1943 under the zodiac sign of Gemini. He’s appeared in over 20 movies and TV series, but hasn’t been active in the film industry since 1995, returning only for a single role in 2010. Gary’s probably still best known for his portrayal of Corporal Walter ‘Radar’ O’Reilly in the critically acclaimed war comedy series “M*A*S*H”, created by Larry Gelbart, and which starred Alan Aida, Wayne Rogers and Loretta Swit. It follows the people working at an Army hospital during the Korean War, the series aired from 1972 to 1983 (Gary left the cast in 1979), and won 75 of its 228 award nominations.

Gary left the cast of “M*A*S*H” because he grew bored of shooting for the same series for so long, but also because he wanted to spend more time with his family.

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Education and early life

Gary and his older brother David were raised in Bristol by their father Rodney and mother Ann Burghoff; Ann was a professional dancer, while Rodney worked at a clock company.

Gary was born with Poland syndrome, which caused three of his left hand’s fingers to be smaller than his right hand’s fingers, however, this didn’t stop him from pursuing music while growing up – he played the drums and took tap dance lessons. He practiced acting at The Belfry Music Theatre, and upon matriculating from Delavan-Darien High School in 1961, enrolled at New York City’s HB Studio, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in acting in 1965.

Roles in TV series

Gary’s debut TV series appearance was in the 1967 episode “An Evening Journey to Conway Massachusetts” of the historical biographical drama “NET Playhouse”, and in 1969, he played Mike Butterworth in the episode “Take a Computer to Lunch” of the comedy “The Good Guys”. It was created by Jack Rose, starred Bob Denver, Herb Edelman and Joyce Van Patten, and follows Rufus Butterworth and Bert Gramus as they’re running their diner, Bert’s Place.

In 1970, Gary played Watson in the episode “Man of the People” of the adventure science fiction “The Name of the Game”, and the year 1973 saw him play two characters in the romantic comedy “Love, American Style”; it starred Stuart Margolin, Barbara Minkus and William Callaway, and follows numerous celebrities as they’re starring in short films. The series aired from 1969 to 1974, and won four of its nine award nominations.

Gary was then cast to appear in an episode or two of the drama “Insight”, the family crime drama “Ellery Queen”, and the action adventure fantasy “Wonder Woman”.

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He remained focused on shooting for “M*A*S*H” in the ‘70s, and between 1978 and 1980, Gary played Gordon Hughes and Richard C. Delaney in the adventure comedy drama “Fantasy Island”, which Gene Levitt created, and which starred Wendy Schaal, Herve Villechaize and Ricardo Montalban. It follows Mr. Roarke as he’s running a resort on an island in the Pacific Ocean, the series aired from 1977 to 1984, and was nominated for 17 awards.

The following couple of years saw Gary appear in the romantic comedy drama “The Love Boat”, the horror comedy drama “Tales of the Unexpected”, and the comedy “AfterMASH”.

His final TV series role, prior to retiring from acting, was his portrayal of Patrick Noyes in the 1995 episode “Who Killed the Hollywood Headshrinker?” of the mystery crime drama “Burke’s Law”, created by James L. Conway, and which starred Gene Barry, Peter Barton and Danny Kamekona; it follows the life of American millionaire and police officer Amos Burke.

Roles in movies

Gary’s debut film role was in the hit 1970 war comedy drama “MASH”, in which he portrayed the same character Corporal ‘Radar’ O’Reilly as in its sequel series. The movie was directed by Robert Altman, starred Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould and Tom Skerritt, and follows the patients and doctors working at a field hospital during the Korean War; the movie won 15 of its 39 award nominations, including an Oscar win for Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium.

Gary’s following three movie roles were in the 1971 romantic comedy “B. S. I Love You”, the 1975 comedy drama “Twigs”, and the 1979 drama “The Man in the Santa Claus Suit”.

The year 1980 saw him play Bill Taylor in the adventure drama “Casino”, directed by Don Chaffey, and which starred Mike Connors, Barry Van Dyke and Gene Evans – it follows gambler Mike Connors who’s also the owner of a floating hotel/casino.

In 1984, Gary starred as Walker ‘Radar’ O’Reilly in the comedy “W*A*L*T*E*R”, and his following role was his portrayal of Arnie in the 1991 comedy “Doubles”. In 1992, he played the lead character Fleck in the thriller “Small Kill”, which he also directed; the film also starred Jason Miller and Fred Carpenter, and follows the police and parents who are trying to rescue a group of kidnapped children.

Gary’s final two movie roles were in the 1995 fantasy drama “Behind the Waterfall” and the 2010 family drama “Daniel’s Lot”.

Other credits

Gary sang 11 songs in 11 episodes of the series “M*A*S*H” between 1972 and 1978.

He received special thanks for the 2000 short documentary video “Enlisted: The Story of ‘M*A*S*H’”.

Gary’s been featured in many documentaries, most recently in the 2002 movie “’M*A*S*H’: 30th Anniversary Reunion”, the 2003 series “Biography”, and the 2006 series “Gylne Tider”.

He’s worked as a panelist on many game-shows, such as “Match Game”, “Match Game PM” and “Match Game/Hollywood Squares Hour”.

Awards and nominations

Gary was nominated for seven Primetime Emmy Awards between 1973 and 1979, all for his performance in the series “M*A*S*H”; he won one in 1977, for Outstanding Continuing Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.

He was also nominated for a 2001 Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Service Show Host, for his performance in the 1999 show “Pets: Part of the Family”.

What is he doing today?

Gary’s today staying away from media, and is leading a peaceful life in Citrus County, Florida.

Love life and wife

Although not keen on sharing the details of his love life with his fans, it’s still widely known that Gary’s been married twice. He married his first wife, American TV personality Janet Gayle on 25 December 1971, in a large ceremony which numbered over 200 invites; Janet competed in the 1973 game-show “It’s Your Bet”, and in 26 episodes of the comedy game-show “Tattletales” between 1974 and 1977.

Janet gave birth to their daughter Gena Gale Burgoff on 20 July 1975, and she’s followed in her father’s footsteps, acting in the 1995 fantasy movie “Behind the Waterfall”, the 2001 episode “The Invisible Man” of the romantic series “Providence”, and the 2013 family movie “A Letter for Joe”. Gary and Janet divorced in 1979, without explanation.

He married his second wife Elisabeth Bostrom in 1985, and they have sons Miles and Jordan together, but Gary and Elisabeth divorced on 29 December 2005.

Gary hasn’t mentioned other women whom he’s dated, and he seems to be unattached as of October 2022, has been married twice and has a daughter with his first wife Janet Gayle, as well as two sons with his second wife Elisabeth Bostrom.

Interesting facts and hobbies

Gary’s passionate about protecting wildlife, and spent a couple of years working at the Animal Rehabilitation Clinic; he was mostly into caring for various kinds of birds, although he also took care of raccoons, opossums and squirrels.

He’s an avid artist, and enjoys painting wildlife the most.

Gary also tried to become a businessman in the second half of the ‘70s, having opened several ice cream and frozen yoghurt stores in Hawaii, however, these worked poorly, and were eventually closed.

Fishing is perhaps his favorite hobby. Gary’s fished in every US state but Alaska, and has patented several fishing tackles.

Back in 1968, Gary was the drummer of the band The Relatives; he’s since released a single album, and has written over 100 songs.

He’s a stamp collector, a philatelist.

Height, eyes and net worth

Gary’s age is 79. His hair’s brown and eyes are blue, his height’s 5ft 5ins (1.66m) and his weight is about 155lbs (70kgs).

Gary’s net worth’s been estimated at over $6 million, as of October 2022.

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