Gary Burghoff (Actor) - as Radar on M*A*S*H*
 
Gary Burghoff 1
Updated: 12/3/08

Name: Gary Burghoff

Born: May 24, 1940, Bristol, Connecticut

Claim To Fame: Known to millions as 'Radar' on the television series "M*A*S*H*"

Family Life: Burghoff was married to Janet Gayle from 1971 to 1979; they had one child before the marriage ended in divorce. In 1985, he married Elisabeth Bostrom; they have two children together.

Info: Burghoff got his start in both acting and drumming during his high school years in Delavan, Wisconsin. Aside from playing the character Corporal Walter Eugene "Radar" O'Reilly in the M*A*S*H series, he frequently appeared on the game show Match Game in the 1970s, both as a stand-in for regular Charles Nelson Reilly and also as the "special male guest" occupying seat one.

Burghoff left M*A*S*H after season 7 because of burnout and a desire to spend more time with his family, though he returned in season 8 to film a special 2-part farewell episode, "Goodbye Radar". His M*A*S*H character was spun off into an unsold TV show called W*A*L*T*E*R. For years he appeared in commercials for the Gulf Petroleum Company (now British Petroleum) as the "Gulf Guy".

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Trivia: Although several actors from the original MASH film made guest appearances in the television series, Burghoff was the only actor cast as a regular.

Studied acting with James Tuttle and musical comedy with Charles Nelson Reilly.

Has a deformed left hand caused presumably by a birth defect. In M*A*S*H, he is often seen carrying a clipboard or other object to conceal it.

His character on "M*A*S*H*", who showed a fondness for the care of animals, was actually inspired from Gary's true love for wildlife.

Was licensed by the State of California to care for wounded animals.

Launched a chain of ice cream/frozen yogurt stores in Hawaii in the late 1970s, which had limited success.

Originated the role of Charlie Brown in the off-Broadway musical "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown".

Holds several patents on fishing lures.

Favorite sports are baseball and fishing.

Besides recording a jazz album in the early 1980s, he wrote more than 100 songs and won the ASCAP Award for Excellence three times.

Is a born-again Christian.

In 1961 his painting "Men of Jazz" won him the Hallmark Award and represented Wisconsin in the Hallmark Student Art Exhibit in Washington, D.C.

His wife, Elisabeth, is a dentist for the developmentally disabled.

Has three animals: a dog named Sarah, an angelfish, and a cat named Connecticat.

Received the nickname "The Bird Man of Malibu" while living in Southern California. When he was younger, he had had his own little wildlife reservation in his backyard, which eventually earned him his strange nickname.

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Where Are They Now: In addition to acting, Burghoff also works as a professional jazz drummer, heading the trio The We Three, and as a wildlife painter.

His other activities include outdoorsmanship and rifle shooting. Burghoff is also the inventor of the "Chum Magic", a fishing tackle invention that attracts fish to your boat.

Burghoff is a philatelist and was the star of a United States Postal Service video for beginning stamp collectors. He was also a spokesperson for dot-com era auction aggregation site PriceRadar.com.

He currently resides in Paradise, California with his wife and pets, and appears in TV ads for local doctors.

Write To Gary Burghoff:
Gary Burghoff
13834 Magnolia Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423





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