Interviews

 

Loretta Swit

Actress

Loretta Swit on her M.A.S.H character "Margaret Houlihan" "the best damn nurse"; on her character's relationship with "Frank Burns"

48:57

(Major Houlihan) was unique at that time and in her time, which was the 50's when it was really happening. She became even more unique I think because we allowed her to continue to grow -- we watched her evolve, I don't think that's ever been done in quite that way, on what was labeled a 'sitcom' because other was no other word for it. I never think of as a sitcom. If there was a category it was but we had to be put somewhere so we were called a comedy.

About this interview

In her four-hour Archive interview, Loretta Swit describes her early years as an actress breaking into theater and television in New York and her later move to Los Angeles. She discusses getting the role of "Margaret 'Hot Lips' Houlihan" on the acclaimed series M*A*S*H for which she appeared for its entire eleven-season run. She talks in detail about the evolution of her character, discusses landmark episodes, and vividly recounts what it was like working with the series ensemble. She describes her many other appearances on television in guest roles on series and in such television movies as Cagney & Lacey (for which she originated the role of "Christine Cagney") and Games Mother Never Taught You, about a woman who becomes the only female executive in a large firm. She also talks about some of her feature films including her work with Blake Edwards on his movie S.O.B. B-roll consists of several photographs from her stage, screen, and television career, including stills from her television movies and the series The Love Boat and Good Heavens. Gary Rutkowski conducted the interview in Beverly Hills, CA on August 13, 2004.

(Major Houlihan) was unique at that time and in her time, which was the 50's when it was really happening. She became even more unique I think because we allowed her to continue to grow -- we watched her evolve, I don't think that's ever been done in quite that way, on what was labeled a 'sitcom' because other was no other word for it. I never think of as a sitcom. If there was a category it was but we had to be put somewhere so we were called a comedy.

Interview Highlights

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Loretta Swit on her M.A.S.H character "Margaret Houlihan" "the best damn nurse"; on her character's relationship with "Frank Burns"

48:57
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Loretta Swit on the role of women during wartime and how M.A.S.H dealt with the issue

42:41
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Loretta Swit on the M.A.S.H episode "Comrades in Arms" written by Alan Alda in which the relationship between Hawkeye and Major Houlihan takes a dramatic turn 

57:36
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Loretta Swit on researching for the role of "Christine Cagney" in the original television film version; on the policewoman she modeled her role after

52:25
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Loretta Swit on the legacy of M.A.S.H

33:09