gary burghoff

One actor from “MASH,” who was a central character on one of the most popular TV shows ever, chose to spend time being a father and being with his family instead of pursuing fame and fortune. Fame and fortune are the end goals for way too many people today. Landing a leading role on a popular TV show is one way for actors and actresses to achieve those goals. Still, fame and lots of money aren’t the end all be all for everyone, including Gary Burghoff.

Gary Burghoff, better known as Cp. Walter “Radar” O’Reilly, on “MASH,” didn’t seek to capitalize financially after the show ended. Instead, he chose a different route, one that would let him be more present in his family’s life, according to People. Instead of the typical 16-hour days spent filming the popular shows, Gary picked up work in local theaters and was also a pitchman for BP., the outlet reports. The Emmy-winning actor also adds that his time on the show did not make him a wealthy man. But that wasn’t what motivated him. Burghoff said, “I didn’t leave M*A*S*H a wealthy man. I could have renegotiated my contract, but money wasn’t the most important thing in my life.” After the show ended, Gary wanted to spend more time with his family, especially after his first marriage ended in divorce.

He said, “I wanted to pick the number of weeks I’d work and spend the rest of the time with my family.” But, as People reports, Gary’s decision to take a less conventional career route for an actor cost him financially. He said that at one time, he was down to his “last $500.” But when those financial struggles arrived, and his theater work dried up, Gary turned to the Lord for guidance. “A little voice said, ‘Paint,”‘ he said. That’s exactly what Gary, who up until this point had only painted in passing, began to do.

Soon enough, Gary’s paintings of animals in North America started selling, some for as much as $25,000, according to People. At the time, People reported that Gary also landed an acting job and began hosting a show about pets on public television. He said, “You either want to be rich and famous, or you want to be a daddy. You can’t do both.” Despite any financial hardships Gary might have encountered, we’re sure that he would not change his decision for the world.

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