Gary Burghoff's life is quite interesting
Gary Burghoff is best known for his portrayal of Radar O'Reilly in the movie Mash and the television series M*A*S*H. There are some facts about the actor that his fans may not be aware of. He was born Gary Rich Burghoff on May 24, 1943, and in 1967 he originated the role of Charlie Brown in the Off-Broadway musical You're A Good Man Charlie Brown. He was a regular on the television game show Match Game from 1974 to 1975 for 140 episodes.
The actor was a stand-in for host Charles Nelson Reilly who was doing a Broadway play in New York. Once Reilly returned Burghoff continued to make guest appearances on the show. He was nominated for six Emmy Awards for M*A*S*H and in 1977 he won for Outstanding Supporting Actor. Burghoff has said that he was not available as a father because being Radar continued even when he was off-screen and said public recognition interfered when he went out with his family.
In addition to Match Game, Burgoff was also on the game shows Hollywood Squares, Tattles, and Showoffs. He was in the film PS I Love You and the television shows Ellery Queen and The Love Boat. He reprised his M*A*S*H character in two episodes of the first season of AfterMash and during the 1980s he was the TV spokesperson for IBM and BP gasoline and in 2000 he represented PriceRadar.com.
"Goodbye Radar" was supposed to be the final episode of season 7 of M*A*S*H, but CBS insisted it be extended into a double-episode for the November sweeps. Part 1 aired on October 8, 1979, with Part 2 airing one week later. The two episodes later aired as a one-hour special on May 12, 1980, during season 8 off-season reruns. Mike Farrell who portrayed BJ Honeycutt tried to persuade Burghoff to remain on the show, by emphasizing the lackluster careers of former M*A*S*H regulars Larry Linville who portrayed Major Frank Burns, and McLean Stevenson who played Colonel Henry Blake after they left the series.
Burghoff is also a self-taught amateur wildlife painter and he qualified to handle injured wildlife in California, In spite of his short fingers Burgoff became a professional jazz drummer and he actually played the drums (no dubbing) in the M*A*S*H episodes Dear Dad Again and Showtime. He is also an inventor whose inventions include "Chum Magic", a fishing tackle that attracts fish toward the user's boat, and a toilet seat lifting handle. In 2010 Gary Burgoff came out of retirement for the film Daniel's Lot.