Lynette Mettey played four different nurses on M*A*S*H

She was Baker, Able, Griffin and Anderson. Phew!

Read to Me

"The General Flipped at Dawn" might confuse newcomers to M*A*S*H upon first viewing. The season three premiere lightly spoofed the 1970 Academy Award sweeping military drama Patton. It also introduced Harry Morgan to the 4077th — as an entirely different character.

Before you say, "Horse hockey," remember that Morgan's beloved character Col. Potter was not introduced until the following year, in the opening of season four. "The General Flipped at Dawn" featured Morgan as the visiting Major General Bartford Hamilton Steele, giving fans the rare chance of seeing Morgan and his predecessor McLean Stevenson (Henry Blake) together.

But this is not the only instance of double casting in "The General Flipped at Dawn." There is a much more confusing case of quadruple casting here. Well, double-quadruple casting, really. Scratching your head? Let us explain.

This episode also co-stars Lynette Mettey as Nurse Baker. You can see her in a scene with Hawkeye above in the lower right. Mettey was the second of four actresses to play Lt. Baker (the others being, in order, Patricia Stevens, Bobbie Mitchell and Jan Jorden). 

Additionally, Lt. Baker was just one of four nurses that Mettey portrayed in on M*A*S*H. That's what we meant by the whole double-quadruple thing.

Eagle-eyed fans would have recognized her as Lt. Nancy Griffin from season one. That character popped up in three episodes, making her debut in "Sometimes You Hear the Bullet," wherein she shares a martini and some cuddling with Hawkeye. A year later, Mettey turned up in "Carry On, Hawkeye," playing Lt. Sheila Anderson. Knowing that viewers might be confused, the writers had the character announce her full name and rank, just to hammer home that this was not Lt. Griffin, despite being identical. 

"You look new," Hawkeye tells her. "Only one owner," she says.

Finally, after she played Nurse Baker, Mettey made one final guest appearance as Nurse Able in "Some 38th Parallels." Hawkeye, ever the ladies' man, stuffs an Oreo in her mouth, as you can see up top.

Now, to make things extra confusing, M*A*S*H featured nine — yes, nine — different actresses as "Nurse Able" over the course of the series, most notably Judy Farrell, wife of Mike Farrell (B.J. Hunnicutt). 

So you are excused if you've ever come down with a case of déjà vu or nurse confusion.

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TheDavBow3 2 months ago
Whenever I'd see her on TV back then when I was a kid, I'd get her mixed up with Barbara Eden 😉😊
WordsmithWorks 3 months ago
Except for Margaret, Nurse Kellye, Nurse Bigelow and maybe Lt. Dish, the nurses names really didn't matter.
LadyJaneFromParis 3 months ago
No matter the name of her character in M*A*S*H, she was a delightful addition to those episodes. Her intelligence, her beauty, and her sense of humor in her scenes with Hawkeye showed that her characters were handling the horrors and the surreal nature of war with grace and understanding. I think of her, as well, as Lt. Kojak's love interest in an episode of "Kojak". I thought she was in more than 2 episodes, and I did look up her TV credits, but -- she was in only two, playing two different characters. Thanks, MeTV, for this article !
MarkSpeck 3 months ago
Lynette Mettey also played Quincy's girlfriend Lee in the earliest episodes of that series.
HalPritzker 3 months ago
I always had a thing for Lynette. I just love the way she looked. Reminded me of Abby Dalton, who I also thought was great looking.
DebbieCohorst HalPritzker 3 months ago
She always reminded me of a blonde Mary Tyler Moore.
HalPritzker DebbieCohorst 3 months ago
I can't see that. In an early Van Dyke Show episode, they showed Mary with blonde hair (probably a wig). Didn't resemble Lynette at all. Mary with blonde hair looked phony. Brunette Mary and blonde Lynette were the real thing(s). Another gorgeous gal who looked terrible with blonde hair was Pamela Tiffin. Young Tiffin, with her thick, lustrous dark hair and luscious lips was one of the most gorgeous women I've ever seen. I hope she kept her natural hair shade. Women have a bad habit of changing themselves...and it usually turns out awful. Now my brother's ex-wife looked awful no matter what she did. How awful? Peeping Tom's wouldn't even look at her.
AgingDisgracefully 3 months ago
I'm pretty sure she's in The Fabulous Babe Hall of Fame.
romanmoll 3 months ago
My parents watched MASH when I was a kid, which meant I watched it too, although I didn't fully understand it. It disappeared after the the 1983 series finale, still the most watched TV episode in history. Then it came back on TV when I was in my early 20's and I remembered a lot of the episodes. Then it started showing up on different channels and I always watched when I could. I realized I had become a super fan of one of the most ground breaking shows in it's time. Fast forward to now, I'm 49 years old, and I can say it's my all time favorite TV show followed closely by Breaking Bad and The Sopranos. MASH is always on somewhere, I remember a few years ago it came on four times a day on four different channels. My point is I love MASH and always will. I hope I could meet one or all of the five remaining major cast members some time. Since I'm basically a life long fan of the show, I can honestly say whenever I have it on, MASH brings me comfort, a life long friend. I hope Alan, Loretta, Mike, Gary, and Jamie have lots of life left.
Hogansucks1 romanmoll 3 months ago
‘Damn good Joe’
Wilbur88 3 months ago
I thought she was just playin the same character. God Damn you learn something new every day.
HalPritzker Wilbur88 2 months ago
That's right. My dumb aunt just recently learned that Bigfoot was NOT a shoe size. And that the Materhorn was NOT a musical instrument. And that Sugar Ray was NOT a breakfast cereal.
Kenner 3 months ago
And happily she’s still with us at age 77!😀
Wilbur88 Kenner 3 months ago
I bet she's still pretty.
HalPritzker Wilbur88 3 months ago
Those types of chiseled, natural looks stay for a long time...unlike the Marilyn Monroe overblown beauty which quickly come to resemble melted ice cream. Now my brother's ex-wife...on her license plate, the DMV wrote "Trick or Treat". Peeping Toms won't even look at her. Her senior picture was a negative. She was voted "Homecoming King". On her driver's license, under address, they put "Area 51".
Hogansucks1 HalPritzker 3 months ago
RODNEY ? Welcome back !!! 😆
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