M*A*S*H - Enter Max Klinger
When I arrived for my first guest shot on M*A*S*H, the producers already had a half-dozen shows "in the can." But M*A*S*H hadn't made its debut on CBS, and Maxwell Klinger - the corporal who was trying to get out of the Army on a Section 8 - still hadn't been introduced to the American people. Few of the workers on the Fox lot knew what a "Klinger" was, and that got me into some very awkward situations at first. Especially when I was brought back for my second show.
For that show, the script called for me to wear a very chic, very tight black dress, with a black hat, high heels - and pearls. The pearls were a set-up for an old gag. Alan Alda - Capt. Hawkeye Pierce - was to challenge me. The script had him saying, "Pearls? In the afternoon?" To which Klinger would reply, "Well, what else goes with basic black?"
As it turned out, they didn't get around to shooting my scene until late in the day. After we'd done it, there was
no one left in wardrobe to help me out of my dress, which was fastened with a tricky little hook in the back, and a zipper. So I ducked into a convenient men's room, where
I could use the mirror and try to figure out a way to undo the snap and the zipper. At that moment, in walks one of the maintenance people, or maybe a truck driver - a rather tough, burly guy, as I recall. He looked surprised, and he didn't try very hard to hide his surprise.
"Excuse me", I said in the straightest of voices, and with the straightest of faces. "But, would you please help me get this undone in back?"
Gingerly, and with some difficulty, he got the snap
undone and he got the zipper started. We did not talk,
we did not trade pleasantries.
M*A*S*H Reunion Photos
Originally CBS wanted to do the M*A*S*H reunion show but was only willing to offer one hour. Fox agreed to a two hour special and that is what aired. Below are my own personal photos from that great reunion.