Loretta Swit (Actress) - M*A*S*H
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Updated: 7/17/19

Name: Loretta Swit

Birth Name: Loretta Jane Swit

Born: November 4, 1937 in Passaic, New Jersey, USA

Nickname: Hot Lips

Claim To Fame: Loretta Swit is an American stage, film, and television actress known for her character roles. Swit is best known for her portrayal of Major Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan on M*A*S*H, for which she won two Emmy Awards.

Family Life: She was married to actor Dennis Holahan from 1983 until 1995.

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Info: Swit trained at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts as a singer before finding a career in the theater. She joined the national touring company of Any Wednesday in 1967, which starred Gardner McKay. She went on to play a Pigeon sister opposite Don Rickles and Ernest Borgnine in an L.A. run of The Odd Couple, and then appeared as Agnes Gooch in the Las Vegas version of Mame.

When she arrived in Hollywood in 1970, she appeared on television in Gunsmoke, Mission: Impossible, Hawaii Five-O, and Mannix. In 1972, she got her big break when she landed the role of "Hot Lips" Houlihan on the television series M*A*S*H. She ended up staying for all 11 seasons of the show, from 1972 to 1983.

During the series' occasional production layoffs, she starred in a number of made-for-TV movies, including the pilot episode of Cagney and Lacey (1981). She also had supporting roles in films like S.O.B. (1981), Beer (1985), Whoops Apocalypse (1988), Forest Warrior (1996) and Beach Movie (1998). She was the host of a cable-TV wildlife series called Those Incredible Animals for five years beginning in 1992.

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Trivia: Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1989.

In 1991, won the Sarah Siddons Award for her work in Chicago theatre.

Graduated from Pope Pius XII High School in Passaic, NJ, in 1955.

An animal rights activist, Swit now devotes most of her time to fundraising for humane organizations. She began her own jewelry line and exhibits her watercolor paintings to help raise money for these charities, and has served as a spokesperson for the Humane Society of the United States. Is of Polish descent.

Received two Emmys for her work on M*A*S*H.

Studied with Gene Frankel in Manhattan and considered him her acting coach.

Made her Broadway debut in Same Time, Next Year in 1975 opposite Ted Bessell.

Wrote a book called Needlepoint Scrapbook.

Is vegan.

Wanted to leave "M*A*S*H" (1972) after the 8th season, but FOX wouldn't let her out of her contract.

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Where Are They Now: Swit has not been in film or on television since 1998. In 2017, Swit appeared on stage in Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks. And in early 2019 she returned to acting with the role of Mrs. Kincaid in the movie Play the Flute.


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