The back-to-back disappearing acts of Patrick Adiarte

What happened to Ho-Jon? The vanishing houseboy also quietly left the spotlight.

Out of all the M*A*S*H characters we met in the show's first season, it's perhaps Ho-Jon whose character arc frustrated the show's fans the most.

If you know the show, you might even feel that Ho-Jon got robbed.

In the M*A*S*H pilot episode, the audience cheers when the camp raises enough money to send Ho-Jon to college at Hawkeye's alma mater.

It would be kind of hard to forget this introduction to Ho-Jon, as his fundraiser became the first win the camp ever achieved by banding together.

But as Ho-Jon continued appearing over a handful of times throughout the first season, his planned trip to America seems to be at first completely forgotten… and then ultimately put off indefinitely by M*A*S*H writers.

In fact, for Ho-Jon's final appearance, in the episode "Ceasefire," it's subtly suggested Ho-Jon will never leave Korea, which feels just plain wrong to anyone paying attention. Where did the money go, M*A*S*H writers? Ho-Jon was headed to college!

It's not fair to take away his happy ending.

"Ceasefire" finds the camp partying again, this time because there's a rumor that a ceasefire has been declared and their expectation is that they will all be sent home.

In this episode, Ho-Jon tells the camp how much he will miss them when they leave, with no mention of his intentions to follow them to America when school starts in the fall.

Undoubtedly many M*A*S*H fans would've liked to have seen a more proper send-off for Ho-Jon, who after "Ceasefire" abruptly disappears from the series.

In 1983, The Boston Globe echoed the common fan theory that Ho-Jon did end up in America, and that's what we at MeTV like to think, too. But the show opted to not show that departure.

Although Ho-Jon only appeared in seven episodes of M*A*S*H, the character was memorable because it was played by a flashy actor named Patrick Adiarte, a dancer-turned-actor who said that he never in his life planned to get involved in TV and movies. Perhaps that's why, soon after leaving M*A*S*H, the actor vanished from acting onscreen altogether.

Growing up, Adiarte was raised by his ballet dancer mother who taught him to dance under her own tutelage, until he was 12. By then, he was old enough to attend formal dance classes.

Even as a young boy, he was that special blend of naturally gifted and easily directed.

"My mother taught me how to dance," Adiarte told The Tucson Citizen in 1978. "I never studied acting. I suppose you could say I learned by doing."

Adiarte and his mother were very close, and she showed him that once you learned to dance tap and ballet, you could pretty much learn any dance. Taking after her, Adiarte took to dancing just as strongly, and that's where he saw his future, in dance.

But soon he got so good at dancing that he caught Hollywood’s eye and by the time he was 13, he was already doing movies, suddenly an actor and seemingly on a path to stay in that lane, as he made several movie appearances over the next decade.

However, being on the big screen was not to be. His movie career got put on hold when his fascination with sportscars unexpectedly led him to pivot to TV.

Where Harry Morgan had horses and David Ogden Stiers had cycling, Patrick Adiarte was obsessed with sports cars, and one day, he was riding along in a sports car when the vehicle drove right off a cliff.

The rising movie actor reportedly "suffered a skull fracture, assorted broken ribs, and other injuries." It was so bad, he was put on a critical list at the hospital, but at last, he healed enough that he was sent home to his mother to recover.

That's when Adiarte revived his first love: dancing.

He got cast as a dancer in 1965 on the musical variety show Hullabaloo where the story goes that his intense dancing "worried" viewers who feared all that shaking would cause even more injuries and that "before the season's end, he may shake his brains loose and tear his legs from their sockets."

Although he was doing the latest moves on Hullabaloo, like the Watusi and the Swim, Adiarte idolized dancers who graced TV and movies like Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, and he immediately realized that dancing on TV was much different from the stage. This observation helped him stand out.

"There is a difference in the way you dance," Adiarte told The Sioux City Journal. "In television, you must be very fast and very sharp, so the cameras pick it up."

Adiarte adapted, as he always did, with grace, and from 1967 to 1974, he exclusively appeared on TV, including shows like The Brady Bunch, Kojak, Bonanza, and Hawaii Five-O.

After that, not much is known about the actor. He seems to have ducked out of the public eye for good, his second vanishing act in the Seventies his last.

While acting in TV and movies didn’t end up being Adiarte's lifelong calling, we like to think he spent his life dancing, shaking his arms and hips sharply, just like his mother taught him.

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TheFanFromUNCLE 23 months ago
Ho-Jon got drafted. Hawkeye says in a later episode when somebody entered The Swamp, "You'll have to excuse us, our houseboy got drafted."
JohnGibbons 23 months ago
That first season is largely forgettable
tootsieg 34 months ago
Patrick Adiarte and Bob Banas (Joy-Boy in West Side Story) were 2 of the male dancers on Hullabaloo. Very, very good dancers.
EricFuller tootsieg 23 months ago
Wasn't Patrick in Flower Drum Song? BTW. Speaking of Hullaballoo, David Winters was the choreographer on the show played A-rab in West Side Story alongside Bobby Banas.
ValT EricFuller 23 months ago
I don't know, but he did play Prince Chulalongkorn in the movie version of The King & I.
tootsieg EricFuller 23 months ago
Yes, Patrick was in The Flower Drum Song.
JHP 34 months ago
I think he scooted with the money from the raffle and never went back:)
JHP JHP 34 months ago
Oops and he sold all the trinkets from the things he stole from the corps:)
country46 34 months ago
I don't remember the guy when the article said house boy my thoughts went to hop sing I'm slippin in old age
F5Twitster 34 months ago
Patrick's been a friend of mine for over twenty-five years. I have fond memories of the afternoon his lovely mother treated him, me and a mutual friend to lunch in a restaurant near UCLA.

Odd that the above article doesn't even mention Patrick's featured roles in such major films as "The King and I" and "Flower Drum Song," both of which required the approval of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, who were notoriously fussy about who were cast in their productions and the movies based on them (Patrick had, in fact, been just one of the King's children in the original stage run of "The King and I," but graduated to the major role of Prince Chulalongkorn in the movie, as in the intervening years he'd obviously grown into exactly the right age for the part).

It's really nice that this site's introducing Patrick to a whole new generation of fans.
CarolKelley F5Twitster 33 months ago
I was just about to mention his roles in The King and I and Flower Drum Song. I bought the DVD of Flower Drum Song off Alibris and watched with my daughter and grandddaughters. The granddaughters were adopted from China. Floor Drum Song was notable for its majority Asian cast. The Joy Luck Club was the next Hollywood film to have a majority Asian cast and the Crazy Rich Asians which came out about 25 years after The Joy Luck Club.
Tlor 34 months ago
Many a character in a season one TV storyline came and went, they were not all destined to last forever. First season has a learning curve, some actors come and go and nothing is stable until the 2nd, or even 3rd season. Even ME-TV ought to know that!
Pacificsun 34 months ago
There seems to be a whole new style of writing going on here. Why is it broken into so many paragraphs? And either stick to the linear date timeline or the MASH theme about how the Show didn’t (but should have) wrap up the storyline. But this story is all over the place. And I shouldn’t have to re-read 3 times to figure it out. The 1965 date threw me completely.
F5Twitster Pacificsun 34 months ago
Are you so easily confused by minor things like lack of precise linearity?
GoUTVols1961 F5Twitster 34 months ago
Isn't that what was said? Are you confused?
Zip 34 months ago
Plot twist: Ho-Jon did actually depart for America, but unfortunately he was on the same plane that Henry Blake was on.

Btw, I think he was good as Ho-Jon and I liked his character.
WordsmithWorks 34 months ago
Ho-Jon magically teleported ahead twenty years to Honolulu where he became a groovy native tour guide for the Brady family.
WordsmithWorks 34 months ago
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LoveMETV22 DanielZabo 34 months ago
And his friend "Oliver".
LoveMETV22 DanielZabo 34 months ago
Don't know if you'll see this in time. Vincent Price on Svengoolie tonight. just saw it on commercial.
JustGeri LoveMETV22 34 months ago
Unlike Cousin Oliver
Jon WordsmithWorks 34 months ago
At least he got to go to Hawaii w/ the Brady cast. I don't think Vincent Price did, as I'm pretty sure the scenes in the cave were filmed in the US (I've read they were in the old GILLIGAN'S ISLAND cave.) and the Luau was apparently filmed indoors in a studio.
Pacificsun Jon 34 months ago
Sounds sensible. They were probably so far over budget already, and a scene in a cave "wherever" wouldn't have mattered.
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