About Loretta Swit
Few actresses can capture the imagination of generations of television viewers with the certainty and charm of Loretta Swit.
As quick-witted, impassioned Major Margaret Houlihan of television’s most honored series, “M*A*S*H….Ms. Swit became an American icon, and as its popularity grows thanks to worldwide syndication, new fans continue to enjoy her lavish portrayal of the sensuous, sensitive, comedic Major Houlihan.
There’s more to Loretta Swit than mere prime-time perfection. She was honored with such recognition as the People’s Choice Award, The Genie Award, The Silver Satellite Award, The Jean Golden Halo Award, the Pacific Broadcasters Award, and two Emmy Awards. With 10 Emmy nominations and six nominations for the Golden Globe, her career has teamed her with some of the most memorable names in the world of entertainment.
She made her Broadway debut in Same Time, Next Year opposite Ted Bessell, and again with Don Murray. After M*A*S*H wrapped, she replaced Cleo Laine in The Mystery Of Edwin Drood. She has toured with national companies of Any Wednesday, and with two companies of Mame, starring as Agnes Gooch alongside two illustrious “Mames,” Susan Hayward and Celeste Holm, playing the title role of MAME herself years later in New York and Pennsylvania.
She has appeared in over 1,000 performances of Shirley Valentine, a role for which she won Chicago’s most prestigious theatrical honor, The Sarah Siddons Award. In 2010 she revisited Shirley Valentine in Canada for a highly successful 3-month run.
Ms. Swit appeared in touring companies of the musical spoof, Song of Singapore, while continuing to perform select dates of Love Letters with Anthony Franciosa. She appeared in The Vagina Monologues in New York, Chicago and the West End in London.
Her television career boasts over 25 movies, including the original “Cagney and Lacey,” in which she created the role of Chris Cagney, with obligations to M*A*S*H preventing her from shooting the series. A few other films include Games Mother Never Taught You, with Sam Waterston, Hell Hath No Fury, with Barbara Eden, The Execution, with Sandy Dennis and Rip Torn, Dreams of Gold, with Cliff Robertson and A Killer Among Friends with Patty Duke (the highest rated movie of that year).
Ms. Swit has sung and danced her way through most of television’s musical specials, most notably The Muppet Show, with Kermit and Miss Piggy and the Broadway musical It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Superman.
Every year she can be seen in the annual specials The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Miracle At Moreaux and A Christmas Calendar, aired worldwide during the holidays.
Her dynamic acting range has placed her in some heady company on the big screen as well. Ms. Swit has starred in such films as Stand Up and be Counted with Jacqueline Bisset; Freebie and the Bean with James Caan and Alan Arkin; Race with the Devil with Peter Fonda; Beer opposite Rip Torn; Blake Edwards’ S.O.B. with Julie Andrews and William Holden; Whoops Apocolypse with Peter Cook and Herbert Lom; Forest Warrior with Chuck Norris; and Boardheads in which she co–starred with Bronson Pinchot.
She has just completed a highly successful tour of Forty-Second Street playing the diva, Dorothy Brock, and ended that season with the role of Sister Aloysius Beauvier in Doubt. She began the next season with a highly successful production of Cactus Flower at the New Theatre, after which she segued to Jacksonville, Florida, at the Alhambra Theatre for the debut of Amorous Crossing. At the top of 2011, she joined the cast of Love, Loss, and What I Wore, in New York City.
Ms. Swit’s wildlife series, Those Incredible Animals, was shown twice weekly on the Discovery Channel for an amazing five–year run, and was viewed on Animal Planet, as well as being aired in over 30 countries. As impassioned about animals as she is about the theatre, Ms. Swit is 1st Vice President of Actors and Others For Animals, is an honorary Board member of The Wildlife Waystation, serves as Chairperson for the Hooved Animal Rescue Protection Society (HARPS) and has acted as spokesperson for The Farm Sanctuary as well as the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS).
For her ceaseless humanitarian efforts, she has been named Woman of the Year by both the Animal Protection Institute and the International Fund For Animal Welfare.