Did M.A.S.H. Really Never Show Radar O’Reilly’s Left Hand on the Show?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about TV and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the TV urban legends featured so far.

TV URBAN LEGEND: Radar O’Reilly’s left hand was never shown on M.A.S.H.

One of the few actors to star in both the film M.A.S.H. and the TV series M.A.S.H….

Gary Burghoff, otherwise known as Radar O’Reilly, the innocent supply clerk for the M.A.S.H. unit (not like the surgeons, who would do all sorts of crazy stuff, like have a casino in their tent), is one of the actors most associated with M.A.S.H. (perhaps only Jamie Farr and Alan Alda are more associated with the series than Burghoff).

Look again at the picture above. Notice anything? In the photo, Burghoff is hiding his left hand. This is because Burghoff was born with a misshapen left hand. Reader Eric P. wrote in to ask if it was true that Burghoff’s left hand was never seen on the series.
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Was Arnold Vinick Going to Win the Presidency on The West Wing Before John Spencer’s Untimely Death?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about TV and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the TV urban legends featured so far.

TV URBAN LEGEND: Arnold Vinick was originally going to win the election until John Spencer died, and the producers decided they did not want Matt Santos to lose his running mate AND the election.

The West Wing was a critically acclaimed drama that ran for seven seasons from 1999 until 2006. For the vast majority of the series, the show was about the staff of President Josiah Bartlett (played by Martin Sheen) and the President himself.

The sixth and seventh seasons of the show, though, held the spotlight a bit more to the two men running to become the NEXT President of the United States (Bartlett, of course, still had plenty of plots on the show), Matt Santos (played by Jimmy Smits)

and

Arnold Vinick (played by Alan Alda)

Santos ended up choosing as his running mate Bartlett’s long-time Chief of Staff, Leo McGarry (played by John Spencer)…

John Spencer tragically passed away before the election storyline finished.

My pal Chad, wrote in with a rumor…

Arnold Vinick was originally going to win the presidency, but John Spencer’s death meant that Matt Santos would have lost both his running mate AND the election, and producers thought that would a bit too much to lay on the character, so they changed it to a Santos victory.

True?
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Did An Impostor Accept Betty Thomas’ Emmy For Her?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about TV and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the TV urban legends featured so far.

TV URBAN LEGEND: An impostor came up on to the stage to accept Betty Thomas’ Emmy for her in 1985.

Betty Thomas is one of the few Emmy Award winners to win an Acting Emmy AND a Directing Emmy (Charles S. Dutton and Alan Alda are the only other ones that come to mind)!

Years later, Betty Thomas would become a popular Director for film and television.

She won a Directing Emmy for directing an episode of Dream On in 1993 and in 1985 she won an Emmy for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (her only win out of a remarkable SEVEN nominations!) for her role as Officer Lucy Bates on Hill Street Blues.

Sadly for Thomas, her moment in the sun did not go as she planned!
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