Alan Alda Auctioning Off Personal Collection From ‘M*A*S*H’
87-year-old Alan Alda is letting go of some personal memorabilia from his time on the beloved show M*A*S*H. 40 years ago, Alda starred in the show as surgeon Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce. Only Alda and Loretta Swit, who played Major Houlihan, appeared in every single episode of the series. Alda also wrote and directed the finale in 1983 which became the most-watched finale in TV history. Now, Alda is letting two items from that time go up for auction for a very good cause.
The combat boots and dog tags that Alda wore on M*A*S*H will be auctioned through Heritage Auctions and the money will go toward the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University in New York. Alda’s organization helps scientists and doctors work towards better communication strategies. Alda himself is a big proponent of science and communication and hosts a podcast called Clear+Vivid with Alan Alda.
Alda has kept both items from the show in his office and decided now is the time to “put them to work again.” On the dog tags are the names of real soldiers named Hersie Davenport and Morriss D. Levine. Alda said, “I saw those names every day. It was an interesting experience to put them on. I wasn’t dealing with props. I was dealing with something that put me in touch with real people.”
While the origin of the boot is unknown, it does say Hawkeye inside each shoe in marker. Alda added, “That feel of the leather on my foot, the comfort of being in the shoe did something … I don’t know, a mysterious thing. It makes you feel more at home in the character.”
UPDATE: The auction ended and an anonymous buyer purchased the dog tags and boots for $125,000.