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Alan Alda Opens up about M*A*S*H Costar Kellye Nakahara Following Her Recent Death

Junie Sihlangu
Feb 20, 2020
07:00 P.M.
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Over the weekend, “M*A*S*H” actress Kellye Nakahara Wallett passed away at the age of 72. In order to honor her, her co-stars from the show are opening up about the actress.

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Wallett passed away at her home on Sunday in Pasadena, California after battling cancer. She was well-known for her role on “M*A*S*H” as Lt. Nurse Kellye Yamato. She played the role from 1973 until the series finale in 1983.

On the much-loved series, the actress worked alongside Alan Alda, 84, who starred as "Hawkeye" Pierce and Loretta Swit, 82, who played the role of Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan. Speaking about Wallett, Alda said: "Nakahara was a beautiful person and a natural as an actor."

Kellye Nakahara Wallet at the 7th Annual TV Land Awards held at Gibson Amphitheatre on April 19, 2009, in Universal City, California | Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Kellye Nakahara Wallet at the 7th Annual TV Land Awards held at Gibson Amphitheatre on April 19, 2009, in Universal City, California | Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

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Wallett’s acting role on M*A*S*H

He revealed that the late star had started on the show as a “background performer” before getting a chance to play the lead in an episode Alda wrote for her. The director and screenwriter recalled the actress as being “adorable and brilliant in the part."

However, the actor explained how Wallett’s real-life personality “beat” the character she played. The mourning star shared how everyone had “loved her” on the series.

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Alda mourns Wallett’s death

Alda further lamented how they were “heartbroken” by her death and further described her as “a treasure." Swit also remembered her co-star in a fond way.

Alan Alda at the "Sylvia" opening night held at Cort Theatre on October 27, 2015, in New York City | Photo: D Dipasupil/Getty Images

Alan Alda at the "Sylvia" opening night held at Cort Theatre on October 27, 2015, in New York City | Photo: D Dipasupil/Getty Images

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Swit recalls actress with fondness

She called the actress a "jewel, a treasure." Swit also shared how Wallett had “radiated sparkle and goodness and joy."

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Kellye’s other acting credits

The actress confessed that she would “forever” miss the late star’s "light.” Besides acting on “M*A*S*H,” Wallett also appeared in 1985’s "Clue" and 1998's "Doctor Dolittle.”

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Where the actress was born

The actress featured in 167 episodes of “M*A*S*H.” She was born in Oahu, Hawaii, before moving to San Francisco as a young adult to pursue a career in art.

Her work as an artist

She was a professional watercolor artist who married David Wallett in 1968 before moving to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. The couple had two children, Nalani and William, who survived her along with her husband.

She was also survived by two grandchildren.

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