Loretta Swit is an 86-year-old American stage and television actress who started performing at a very young age. After starring in the American war comedy-drama television series M*A*S*H, which aired on CBS from September 1972 to February 1983, she became famous.
In addition to her screen career, Loretta is an Author, singer, and animal rights activist.
Who Is Loretta Swit?
Loretta Swit’s parents, Lester and Nellie Szwed (née Kassack), both of Polish descent, welcomed her into the world on November 4, 1937, in Passaic, New Jersey where she was raised alongside her older brother, Robert. She is currently 86 years old.
As a young girl, she joined the Holy Rosary Scouts, a Girl Scout group affiliated with the Holy Rosary R.C. Church in Passaic. She also attended Pope Pius XII High School in Passaic, where she graduated in 1955. During her high school years, she was involved in various theatrical productions, cheered for her school team, and co-captained the women’s basketball team.
After Pope Pius XII High School, she was admitted to the Katharine Gibbs School in Montclair, New Jersey and she graduated in June 1957.
Swit dabbled in several jobs after school while receiving dance training from a classmate, who was a Rockette and a student at the New York School of Ballet. It was also at this point that she began developing her acting career.
With her renewed interest in showbiz, she studied drama with Gene Frankel (American actor, theatre director, and acting teacher) in Manhattan in New York City. Moreover, Swit considered him her acting coach and regularly returned to Gene’s studio to interact with aspiring actors.
Additionally, Swit sings pretty well and she performed with repertory groups and received training at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She also explored light comedy and musicals and introduced her fans to the quick comedic edge that would later become the cornerstone of her long-lasting career in comedy and movies.
Loretta Swit Made Her Professional Career Debut in the 60s
As earlier stated, Loretta Swit developed her interest in entertainment at a young age and this drove her to train at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
Her first off-broadway appearance was in the Actor’s Playhouse production of An Enemy of the People. In 1961. She later landed a role in the Circle in the Square production of The Balcony.
In 1967, the American actress toured with the national company of Any Wednesday, starring Gardner McKay. She continued as one of the Pigeon sisters opposite Don Rickles and Ernest Borgnine in a Los Angeles run of The Odd Couple.
She sustained her theatrical performances until 1969 when she arrived in Hollywood and performed guest roles in various television series, including Hawaii Five-O (her first TV credit), Gunsmoke, Mission: Impossible, and Mannix.
Her breakout role eventually came as the eminent head nurse, Major Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan in the television adaptation of “M*A*S*H,” (an acronym for Mobile Army Surgical Hospital) for which she won two Emmy Awards.
The actress has wonderful memories of “M*A*S*H,” because the show was simply spectacular. According to her, there were just as many benefits as difficulties, and she nearly left after the 4th season because she thought her character had become stale. However, she would probably remember the episode most for the moment she fell in love with a character in real life.
Loretta Swit Found Love in the Line of Duty, Leading Her to a 12-Year-Long Marriage
Swit met Dennis Holahan on the set of M*A*S*H. The actress admitted it was love at first sight because anytime they bumped into each other, she would abruptly crash into the furniture and act childish.
The actress also said that she was somewhat perplexed by her feelings because she had never in her life given marriage a second consideration.
At his end, Holahan was equally astounded by how easily he fell in love with Swit. He remembers the first morning when they were filming a love scene and says that never before had something like that come to him so simply.
They quickly became inseparable and made the decision to get married in 1983.
Swit and Dennis enjoyed the earliest years of their marriage before their love soured in 1989. They became divided as a result of this development.
It’s been said that Holahan’s envy of Swit’s success is what led to their breakup and in the divorce documents, Holahan demanded at least $8,000 a month in order to maintain the lifestyle he had grown accustomed to as Swit’s spouse.
In 1995, the couple finally parted ways, and Swit never remarried. Moreover, Loretta claims that after getting married to Holahan, she finally realized why people get married. Even though it didn’t work out for her in the end, she had a clearer understanding of marriage.
5 Interesting Facts About Loretta Swit
1. She is an Animal Rights Activist
Swit is a staunch proponent of animal rights. Also, she became a fur parent as a result of her love of animals. Her pets include Sahara, a Siamese mix, and Munchkin, a tiny Yorkie. The actress has a lovely relationship with her dogs, who adore and respect her.
Meanwhile, She sees it as her responsibility to spread knowledge about animal care. The actress believes that ignorance and misinformation are the root causes of animal mistreatment. Today, Swit is the founder of Switheart Animal Alliance, which strives to care for, protect, rescue, and train animals, preserve their habitat, and raise awareness of animal cruelty and abuse issues.
2. She Rarely takes Interviews on the Claims that the Press had Abused Her
By 1995, the actress slowed down on interviews and would not discuss anything about her private life, claiming that the press had abused her. As a result, most of her private life has remained a mystery in recent years following her decision.
3. She is an Author
You will be totally right to call Swit a woman of many caps. Apart from acting, Swit is also known to be an author, especially with her book on needlepoint, titled A Needlepoint Scrapbook.
4. She Supports causes that will Advance Her Society
Loretta Swit has used her popularity and wealth to further a variety of causes, from fighting homelessness to supporting emergency medicine and lots more.
5. Her Parents would get cardiac arrest if she accepted nude scenes
Loretta has said that her father and mother would go into cardiac arrest if she takes on nude scenes. According to her, long before X-rated films came along, she was offered ‘Sweet Eros’ but had to turn them down. This is partly because of her parents and her Catholic background.