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Wayne Rogers of ‘M*A*S*H’ Agreed to a DNA Test to Prove Paternity of Alleged Love Child after Actress Sued Him

Olawale Ogunjimi
Jan 29, 2022
11:40 P.M.
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Wayne Rogers, who found career success on the classic comedy series "M*A*S*H," was married twice but had an alleged love child from an affair. The actor would have taken a paternity test before his death in 2015 but got sued.

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Wayne Rogers, born in Birmingham, became a household name in his late thirties after bagging the role of Trapper John, a Korean war surgeon in the humorous TV show, "M*A*S*H." 

Before his success in 1972, the actor had to toil for many years on Broadway; He co-starred and produced a film. This was made possible after studying under the tutelage of the notable Sanford Meisner, his acting teacher, and Martha Graham, a dancer. 

Wayne Rogers as Captain "Trapper" John McIntyre in "M*A*S*H" | Photo: Getty Images

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Rogers enjoyed fame briefly on the hit series before moving on to other works. Eventually, he gave up his acting career to establish a business in banking. He owned a bank in San Jose and was an advocate for laws that aided some bank policies.

ROGERS'S EARLY YEARS

The Birmingham native studied history at Princeton and did not have acting in his plans until he joined the Navy. Once Rogers became affiliated with theater, he wanted to be the best, so he learned from the best.

He was consistent with his A-game, even though it did not get him on the list of renowned stars; however, it got him jobs in plays and TV. They were minor roles in productions like "Bus Stop," "The Edge of The Night," "The Glory Guys and "Cool Hand Luke."

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Wayne Rogers at the 7th Annual TV Land Awards held at Gibson Amphi theatre on April 19, 2009 . | Photo: Getty Images

Rogers's role in "M*A*S*H" was loved by the show's audience, but as time went by, the likeness passed on to a co-star, Alan Alda's character. So he felt undervalued by the network, leading to a contract dispute that removed him from the popular series.

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In the years that followed, the actor was a frequent face in movies like "The Hot Touch," "The Gig," "American Harvest," "The Lady From Yesterday," and "One Terrific Guy." He got a Golden Globes nomination after his appearance in "House Calls" but didn't win.

Rogers later left the acting business as it proved challenging to enjoy the overwhelming success he wanted — the only time he was swooped into stardom was during his "M*A*S*H" days.

The Cast and Crew of "M*A*S*H" at the 7th Annual TV Land Awards held at Gibson Amphitheatre on April 19, 2009. | Photo: Getty Images

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He found joy in acting and produced a few works before dabbling into business and investments while managing the affairs of top-notch celebrities like Peter Falk and James Caan. He lived his older years doing what made him happy before succumbing to pneumonia in 2015, at age 82.

WHAT WAYNE ROGERS THOUGHT ABOUT ACTING 

A Princeton University alum, Rogers set aside his dream to become a lawyer even after falling in love with acting. However, he made it apparent that he was not in the showbiz for fame and fortune but to make his audience happy while exhibiting the project.

In 2010, he told a journalist that the mere fact that acting required a high level of attention was intriguing. However, he also observed that many actors were drawn to the craft for money.

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Wayne Rogers with \Sherry Lansing at a formal event; circa 1970 | Photo: Getty Images

WAYNE ROGERS'S LIFE AWAY FROM CAMERA

Before finding fame, the actor met a woman named Mitzi McWhorter in New York. They tied the knot a few years later and welcomed two kids. However, the couple was estranged before their divorce in 1983; they lived apart for four years.

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McWhorter was also interested in the entertainment industry, and like her ex-husband, she appeared in a few on-screen productions like "Kaiser Aluminium Hour," "Michael Shayne," and "Deadline."

By 1988, Rogers found another lover. This time, it was Amy Hirsch, whom he married. They never welcomed a child, and very little is known about Hirsch.

Actors Christopher Atkins, Charlton Heston and Wayne Rogers at a party honoring Heston as the host of a tennis tournament benefiting the American Film Institute, on June 17, 1982 | Photo: Getty Images

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INFIDELITY AND LOVE CHILD DEBACLE

While Rogers was married to his wives, he had an affair with an actress named Melinda Naud. Naud, who starred in "Operation Petticoat," met the actor in 1978 while attending a celebrity tennis tournament. 

According to the actress's account, the pair connected and became intimate into the 1980s while he married wife number two. However, the romance became tough when Naud declared that she was pregnant and would welcome their son.

Rogers was scared of letting his wife get wind of the situation, so he decided to keep it under wraps, pretending his illegitimate son never existed. 

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Actor Wayne Rogers on January 28, 1981 | Photo: Getty Imagss

Claims from the alleged mother of his child revealed that the actor begged Naud to keep the news a secret because his wife was desperate to have a child, and he had a vasectomy before their marriage. According to the statement:

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"Rogers also begged Naud to keep their son's identity a secret as Rogers explained that his wife Hirsch would go crazy if she knew he had a child, as Hirsch desperately wanted a child, as Rogers had a vasectomy before his marriage with her."

In the end, the parties reached an agreement with Rogers paying seventy-five thousand dollars and future upkeep, including college funds for their child, Luigi.

Actor Wayne Rogers dines at Jimmys' Restaurant in Beverly Hlils, California on January 28, 1981 | Photo: Getty Images

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THE PROMISED PATERNITY TEST

Naud later married, and it was not until her husband died in 1997 that she resurfaced, asking Rogers for child support. The pair had in and out court sessions that continued after his death, with the actor's attorney representing his estate.

They agreed on a paternity test in the oaths leading to his death, but unfortunately, Rogers died three months before the scheduled date. However, since the actor couldn't take the paternity test, he was automatically deemed the boy's father.

The defendant asked for decency and maintained that his client was a caring man who helped those in need without having a personal relationship with them.

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Loretta Swit, Wayne Rogers and Alan Alda of MASH at the 7th Annual TV Land Awards held at Gibson Amphitheatre on April 19, 2009 | Photo: Getty Images

Naud admitted that when their son underwent surgery in 2007, his father phoned inquiring about his condition, but he never called again. In her statement, she added that the deceased agreed to give his mini-me a house, set up a one million dollar trust fund, and pay up the child support he owed.

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Following the failed promises, Naud requested nearly four million dollars, derived from her calculations of a five-hundred thousand trust, one million dollars life insurance policy, college fees, and child support.

Wayne Rogers during Wayne Rogers Honored with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for His Achievements in Television at 7018 Hollywood Boulevard | Photo: Getty Images

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CAPTAIN TROOPER'S DEATH

After Rogers died in 2015, fans and former co-stars mourned the loss. Alan Alda from "M*A*S*H" shared a touching tribute, where he expressed his sadness over the news.

Despite the controversy surrounding the actor towards the end of his life, he will forever be remembered as the notorious physician on "M*A*S*H," a dedicated actor with a star on the Hollywood Walk of fame, a business executive, and an investment expert.

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