Why did Gary Burghoff leave MASH?

Answer

Gary Burghoff, who played Corporal Radar O'Reilly on the long-running TV series "M*A*S*H," left the series after seven seasons because he wanted to spend more time with his family.

During a 2006 radio interview, Burghoff said that he felt like the show interfered with his duties as a father. His marriage evidently suffered during "M*A*S*H" as well. He and his first wife, Janet Gayle, were divorced in 1979. He and Gayle had a daughter during his tenure on "M*A*S*H," and he had two sons with his second wife, Elizabeth Bostrom, whom he married in 1991. His daughter, Gena Gale Burghoff, followed her father's footsteps and is an actress.

Burghoff, who appeared in the 1970 feature film, "MASH," was the first actor hired for the television series. After leaving the series, he returned the following year to film the episode, "Goodbye, Radar." The teddy bear that Radar O'Reilly carried on "M*A*S*H" was given to the Smithsonian Institution with other show props when the series ended in 1983, although it is believed the bear has gone missing.

Burghoff turned down acting parts after he left "M*A*S*H" and today spends his time fishing, advocating for animal rights, stamp collecting and performing music. He is a Christian and has spoken openly about his deep faith.

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