MASH Star Alan Alda Donates Beloved MASH Memorabilia for a Noble Cause
Famed actor Alan Alda, who captivated audiences as the wisecracking surgeon Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce in the hit television show MASH, has decided to part ways with his precious mementos from the series for a benevolent cause.
The 87-year-old actor is set to auction off his combat boots and dog tags from his time on MAS*H, with all proceeds directed towards the Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University, New York. Alda, a staunch advocate for enhancing communication in science, helped establish the center in 2009.
Alda donned the boots and dog tags throughout the iconic 11-season run of MASH, a show that launched in 1972 and focused on the trials and tribulations of a medical unit stationed during the Korean War. The character of Hawkeye became a household name, offering light relief through humor and pranks amidst the war's harsh realities. Alda's stellar performance garnered him five Emmy awards and the opportunity to write and direct the show's final episode.
According to Alda, the costume department gifted him the boots and dog tags, and they deeply impacted his portrayal of Hawkeye. "There’s an old belief among actors that when you put the shoes of the character on, it’s easier to believe you’re the character and I think the boots had that effect on me,” Alda shared.
Adding another layer of authenticity, the dog tags bore the names of Hersie Davenport and Morriss D. Levine, who Alda believes were actual soldiers discharged in 1945. These tangible reminders of real people and their experiences added a profound element to Alda's portrayal of Hawkeye, further grounding his performance in reality.
With the upcoming auction, fans now have a chance to own a piece of television history, and at the same time, contribute to a cause close to Alda's heart. These cherished items hold a special place in both the annals of television and in Alda's own career, marking a unique intersection of art, history, and real-life experiences."