‘M*A*S*H’ star Loretta Swit says costar Jamie Farr ‘still makes me laugh’ 41 years after show’s wrap

Loretta Swit still has a soft spot for her “M*A*S*H” costar Jamie Farr. 

The actress, who played Major Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan on the hit series from 1972 to 1983, opened up about her deep connection with Farr, who portrayed Corporal Maxwell Q. Klinger, 41 years after the show’s wrap.

“[Jamie] still makes me laugh and keeps me connected to that piece of my heart that brought so much joy to millions of viewers,” she said in a new interview with First for Women. The two friends still often participate in autograph signings throughout the country. 

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY, FEB. 28, 1983, ‘M*A*S*H’ FINALE DRAWS RECORD TV AUDIENCE OF OVER 100 MILLION

Reflecting on the show’s major success, Swit credits it to the cast’s on- and off-screen chemistry. 

“Everyone liked coming to work,” she said. “The camaraderie was unlike anything I ever experienced because we were all connected deeply. The chemistry was real, and the energy everyone brought to the set was off the charts, which was a part of the reason the show developed a huge/loyal fan base.”

Laughter was also important for the show.

“Laughter and humor were our defense against standing in blood and working on bodies that were young enough to be in school,” she said. “You needed the funniest people in the world to make this believable, and this cast exceeded that and more.”

“M*A*S*H,” which followed a team of doctors stationed in Korea during the Korean War, won 14 Emmy Awards throughout its 11-season run. 

“Initially, when we started out, everyone wondered how we were going to be able to pull off a comedy about the war, but we did,” Swit said. 

In 2023, Swit opened up to Fox News Digital about how her character’s nickname, “Hot Lips,” has since stuck with her all these years. 

“I understand nicknames come with great love and admiration for a character,” the star explained. “But it was an insult as far as I was concerned. She wasn’t just a piece of anatomy. She was a major in the United States Army, and she should not be disrespected.”

“This was a woman who had rank, who worked hard and wanted to be good at her job,” Swit shared. “She was an inspiration. I was proud of her. I was proud to represent all the service women out there. I wanted to make a change.”

Swit said she was also proud of being part of the celebrated show, so much so that she was worried the nickname would overshadow the heroic efforts of real-life service women, belittling them to a punchline.

“I didn’t want those women to be disrespected,” the actress reflected. “Obviously, people are going to see it differently. Margaret did not see [the nickname] as a compliment. She saw it as disrespect. So, yes, I would say it was never a comfort zone.”

These days, Swit continues her activism through her charity, SwitHeart Animal Alliance, and creating art. 

In 2017, she published “SwitHeart: The Watercolor Artistry & Animal Activism of Loretta Swit,” a book made up of 65 watercolor paintings and 22 photographs that also include personal stories. 

Fox News Digital’s Stephanie Nolasco contributed to this post.


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