Gary Burghoff and his wife almost froze to death on their honeymoon

Leave it to Gary Burghoff to have a life just as interesting as Radar O'Reilly.

There's a lot of nerves involved with shooting the pilot of a television series. Oftentimes, you're working with people who are practically strangers trying to come up with the most interesting episode of television you can fit into under thirty minutes, and then send it off and spend the next few weeks praying that the network will throw you a bone and pick up the series.

Of course, for someone like Gary Burghoff, pilots were no problem. In fact, while the rest of the cast and crew were sweating it out waiting to see if M*A*S*H would be given a first season after they had shot the first episode, Burghoff decided to use the break to take his first wife, Janet, on a proper honeymoon.

According to an interview with The News and Advance, Burghoff confessed that he took the money he made off of the pilot to take his new bride on a rather unusual trip to celebrate their marriage.

He said, "We took off on our honeymoon to the backcountry of British Columbia. I bought an old International milk truck, made a bed in it, put in a stove, icebox, an original oil painting, a Persian rug, and an antique chair."

Already, this road trip sounds strange, to say the least. However, we trust Gary Burghoff to know romance. Moreover, Burghoff and his first wife, Janet, had a rather unconventional relationship. Burghoff revealed that the two had met while was building an aviary for his birds.

Burghoff, passionate about ornithology, had started his own bird sanctuary for sick and injured birds, and it was there that he met Janet. He said, "She [Janet] was visiting next door and heard my banging. She was looking for a cat she'd lost."

The two fell in love and eventually were married. However, there was a problem with this romantic honeymoon Burghoff had planned, and it had to do with his milk truck.

He said, "We didn't have any heat. It got down to 19 degrees. We nearly froze to death."

Luckily, the two survived, and shockingly, their marriage did too. However, it seemed that Burghoff seemed to like an unorthodox life, as he was comfortable in his own skin. He said, "You've got to learn to feel O.K with yourself and independent of others."

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7 Comments

Avie 1 month ago
"Luckily, the two survived, and shockingly, their marriage did too. However, it seemed that Burghoff seemed to like an unorthodox life, as he was comfortable in his own skin."

The marriage survived? That seems rather at odds with your telling us that Janet was Burghoff's first wife not once, but twice.
MichaelPowers 1 month ago
I read that Gary drove a milk truck as a struggling actor. Must be where he got the idea to purchase one and refit it for his honeymoon.
SDWriter 1 month ago
The marriage to Janet Gayle lasted from 1971-79; they had a daughter, but the marriage was failing in the late 1970s, which is one reason he left “MASH.”
Burghoff tried again in 1985 when he married Elisabeth Bostrom, with whom he has two sons. They divorced in 2005.
MrsPhilHarris 1 month ago
I wonder where in the back country he went. I can’t see a milk wagon going off a highway and onto a logging road or something.
Lantern MrsPhilHarris 1 month ago
Guess it was unusual at the time. However, today people are outfitting all kinds of surplus vehicles - school buses, delivery vans, even ambulances - for camping. Today's technology, such as solar power, makes it easier than ever.
MrsPhilHarris Lantern 1 month ago
That is true.
Andybandit 1 month ago
That doesn't sound like a good honeymoon.
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