Devoted fans of the award-winning sitcom M*A*S*H recall there was a regular cast of characters who were members of the 4077 unit that tended to wounded soldiers during the Korean Conflict in the early 1950s. Now, sadly, one of those actors has passed away.
Kellye Nakahara — Beloved Star
TMZ is reporting that Kellye Nakahara, who portrayed Lieutenant Nurse Kellye Yamato on “M*A*S*H,” has died. Nakahara passed on Sunday following a short fight with cancer. Reportedly, her family was by her side when she peacefully died at her home in Pasadena.
Born on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, Nakahara moved to San Francisco as a young woman to take on the world of art — not acting!
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Originally, a background player on M*A*S*H, Nakahara was given an expanded role as she appeared in approximately 167 episodes of the CBS sitcom. The actress is known for having appeared in one of the show’s most powerful scenes. In fact, it’s regarded as one of the show’s most touching as well.
In it, Nurse Kellye blasted Hawkeye (Alan Alda) for the way in which he treats her and for never showing the same interest in her that he did in almost every other woman. That episode, titled Hey, Look Me Over, was co-written by Alda and directed by Susan Oliver (ex-Laura, Days of our Lives) and kicked off the series 11th and final season.
After M*A*S*H, Nakahara appeared in the films Clue and Black Day Blue Night. Additional credits include The Wild Thornberrys, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, NYPD Blue, Crisis Center, Dream On, Growing Pains, Amazon Women on the Moon, Hunter, Little House on the Prairie, Hunter, and Kolchak: The Night Stalker. Following the end of M*A*S*H, Nakahara also appeared in commercials for IBM.
Nakahara was also an accomplished artist. A Christmas bulb she designed made its way to a tree that was put up in the White House in 2008. She began her art career in San Francisco where she sold her watercolors via the well-known Polk Gallery. She is known for her collected works that showcase historical landmarks, gardens, and other locales in Pasadena, Calif.
She wed husband David Wallet in 1968. The couple had two children and two grandchildren. Entertainment Hub joins Nakahara’s fans in sending deep sympathies to the actress’s family at this difficult time.