Gary Richard Burghoff
(born May 24, 1943) is an
American actor, best known for playing the character Corporal Walter Eugene
in the M*A*S*H
series and Charlie Brown
in the 1967
off-Broadway musical You're a Good Man, Charlie
Life and career
was born in Bristol,
Connecticut and got his start in both acting and drumming during his high school years in Delavan,
Although several actors from the original MASH
film made guest appearances in the
television series, Burghoff was the only actor cast as a
He 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
. Castmate Mike Farrell
tried to convince Burghoff to stay
on the show, citing the lackluster careers of former M*A*S*H
regulars Larry Linville
and McLean Stevenson
after their departures.
Burghoff was nominated for 6 Emmy Awards for the show in the
category of Outstanding
Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
and of those 6 nominations,
he only won one Emmy in 1977.
Episode 24 Season 1 of the M*A*S*H television series
" features Radar
playing a solo on the drums. It is a misconception that the sound
was dubbed in; it is Gary Burghoff's actual performance.
Burghoff on Match Game
Burghoff also frequently appeared on the game show Match Game
in the 1970s, both as a stand-in
for regular Charles Nelson
and also as the "special male guest" occupying seat one.
He sat in
for Reilly from 1974 until Match Game episode 471 when
Reilly returned in 1975 from Broadway.
appeared in 248 episodes of Match Game
through its daytime
run, syndicated run, and the nighttime version of the show. 215
episodes daytime, 18 episodes on Match Game PM
(nighttime), and 15 episodes during the syndicated version.
Burghoff appeared regularly on TV, making appearances on other game
shows as well like Tattletales
. He also appeared in
the film B.S. I Love You
, as well as an episode of
The Love Boat
character Radar O'Reilly
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".
In addition to acting, Burghoff also works as a professional
the trio The We Three
, and as a wildlife painter
. His other activities include
outdoorsmanship and rifle shooting. Burghoff is also the inventor
of, and holds a patent on, 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
video for beginning stamp collectors. In 2000,
Burghoff was also a spokesperson for dot-com era auction
aggregation site PriceRadar.com.
Burghoff's left hand is withered and misshapen with the fingers
being very short—no cause is known about it, though it is presumed
to be a birth defect known as a localized dysmelia
. In M*A*S*H
, he is often seen
carrying a clipboard or other object to conceal the defect. The
first time this was brought to light was in the mid 1980s in a
public broadcasting special about various impairments and how
people with them cope in the world.
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. Burghoff currently
resides in Paradise,
Through 2009, he appears as a "doctor" in
TV ads for a local construction company.
- "Gary Burghoff: To M*A*S*H and Back: My Life in Poems and
Songs," by Gary Burghoff. BearManor Media, Albany, 2009. ISBN #
- M*A*S*H: Showtime - TV.com
- , Enhanced fish attractor device, August 17, 1993,
Gary Burghoff, inventor.
- PriceRadar.com Home Page