Unmissable! Ranking the Top 5 Most Memorable Characters on 'MAS*H' 🌟📺
2024/03/05

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5 Lieutenant Kellye Yamato

Appeared in Seasons 2 to 11Of all the recurring characters, Lieutenant Kellye Yamato (played by Kellye Nakahara) is the one who has the most on-screen appearances. She's in approximately two-thirds of the show's episodes, rising from being a background character in earlier seasons to generally getting a little more to do in later seasons, eventually becoming one of the show's most endearing characters.

Many other nurse characters felt like they came and went or were consistently cycled through as extras, but Yamato managed to have sticking power, and

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appeared in more episodes than some main cast members. She also gets a spotlight episode at the start of season 11, with "Hey, Look Me Over" largely being about her calling out Hawkeye's shallowness when it comes to the nurses he tries to woo, and how she's the only nurse he hasn't pursued romantically.

4 Sergeant Luther Rizzo

Appeared in Seasons 8 to 11Sergeant Luther Rizzo ( G.W. Bailey) was more or less the replacement for Sergeant Zelmo Zale, entering the show in its eighth season, and several episodes after Zale's final appearance.

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He didn't have the exact same role within the 4077th, as Rizzo was in charge of the motor pool, which is a fleet of motor vehicles available for use by certain personnel at a military installation. He never seemed to do this job very well, but avoided getting discharged somehow.

He even stuck around until the very end of the show, appearing in its legendary and acclaimed series finale, "Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen." Rizzo was crass and lazy, overall not being the kind of person you'd necessarily want to work with in real life, but

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a fun addition to a show like M*A*S*H, being a consistent source of levity throughout some of the show's later - and oftentimes darker - episodes.

3 Rosie

Appeared in Seasons 3 to 10Most of the time, characters who weren't staff at the 4077th or affiliated with the camp in some way would be one-off characters or guest stars, making Rosie stand out. She appeared sporadically throughout seasons 3 to 10, with a total of 10 episodes, but she ran an iconic location for the show: Rosie's Bar.

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Though she was played by three different actresses ( Frances Fong, Shizuko Hoshi, and Eileen Saki), her appearances were always hard to miss, given her proximity to the establishment she ran.

As mentioned before, M*A*S*H tended to focus on white male characters, so having a recurring character of some prominence be female and a civilian during the war is significant. Regrettably, Rosie didn't make any appearances in the final season, and was absent from the otherwise jam-packed series finale as a result, but her various appearances and the bar that her name was attached to

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are undoubtedly iconic parts of M*A*S*H as a whole.

2 Major Sidney Freedman

Appeared in Seasons 2 to 11Though his character didn't entirely lack a sense of humor, whenever Major Sidney Freedman showed up, it was often a sign that M*A*S*H was going to swing more toward drama than comedy. Played by Allan Arbus across a dozen episodes between seasons 2 and 11, Freedman was a psychiatrist who visited the 4077th now and again, providing a more traditional outlet (besides joking and pranks) for people to grapple with the emotional hardships of being involved in war.

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Arbus is very convincing as an army psychiatrist, and brings a certain amount of gravitas to the character while also making him feel human and relatable. He's also a generally positive on-screen depiction of a psychiatrist in a show that aired when there was more stigma around mental health (and that's to say nothing of the likely increased stigma that would have existed during the early 1950s, when the Korean War was being fought).

1 Colonel Sam Flagg

Appeared in Seasons 2 to 7Though Colonel Sam Flagg only appeared in seven episodes across six seasons of M*A*S*H, he tended to steal the show in each and every one of them.

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It's pretty easy to label him the most iconic recurring character in the show, with Edward Winter's deadpan performance contrasting expertly with his character's wild and eccentric behavior. Flagg was an unstoppable force of chaos and calamity, but in a frequently funny way.

As such, Sam Flagg played a considerable part in making M*A*S*Hthe hilarious sitcom it's remembered as to this day. From his various aliases to his ridiculous disguises to his ceaseless ability to destroy things and make enemies, Flagg was always a highlight whenever he showed up. And though his appearances were sparse, even by recurring character standards, Winter made them all count and then some.

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