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M-A-S-H actress Kellye Nakahara Wallett dies at 72

Publicity photo from the M*A*S*H season premiere, 1974. Pictured are: Loretta Swit, Larry Linville, Wayne Rogers, Gary Burghoff, Alan Alda (driver of jeep), and McLean Stevenson. (CBS Television/Wikimedia Commons/Released)
February 18, 2020

Film and television actress Kellye Nakahara Wallett died at age 72 Sunday after a battle with cancer.

Wallett died in her home in Pasadena, Calif., surrounded by family and friends. William Wallett confirmed his mother’s death to the Associated Press.

Wallett was born in Oahu, Hawaii on Jan. 16, 1948.

The actress was perhaps best known for her role as Lt. Nurse Kellye Yamato M-A-S-H. The sitcom, which ran from 1972 to 1983 follows the members of the U.S. Army’s 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital or “M-A-S-H,” for which the show’s name is derived. The show centered around both humorous and serious experiences associated with hospital work during the Korean War.

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Wallett’s Nurse Kellye role expanded from a background character to a more common recurring position throughout the show’s run.

Nurse Kellye’s character was notable for her crush on one of the show’s main characters, the womanizing Army surgeon Hawkeye Pierce. In one episode she scolds Hawkeye for flirting with many of the other hospital nurses while ignoring her.

“I happen to have a fantastic sense of humor, a bubbly personality and I am warm and sensitive like you wouldn’t believe. I also sing and play the guitar and I’m learning to tap dance,” Nurse Kellye says to Hawkeye. “And on top of all that, I happen to be cute as hell.”

Wallett also appeared in the 1985 film “Clue,” the 1988 John Hughes film “She’s Having a Baby,” and various other television show appearances over the years.

After moving on from acting, Wallett had reportedly worked as a watercolor artist and was involved in the arts community nearby.

Wallett is survived by her husband David Wallett and had two children and four grandchildren.

“She was a tremendous wife, mother and she was a great friend to all who knew her. The world is going to miss her,” a source close to the family told Fox News. “During her time with cancer, she always received letters from fans and everyone who watched ‘M*A*S*H,’ and she was always so shocked by all the love she received from those who loved Nurse Kellye.”