Loretta Swit (born November 4, 1937)
is best-known for her portrayal of Major Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan on M*A*S*H.
When Swit arrived in Hollywood in 1970, she performed in television shows, including Gunsmoke, Mission: Impossible, Hawaii Five-O, and Mannix.
Starting in 1972, Swit played Major Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan in the television series M*A*S*H. She inherited the star-making role from actress Sally Kellerman, who portrayed Houlihan in the feature film. Swit, Alan Alda, Jamie Farr, and William Christopher stayed for all 11 seasons of the show, from 1972 to 1983.
She and Alda were the only two actors to have been on the pilot episode and the finale; she appeared in all but 11 of the total of 251 episodes. Swit received two Emmy Awards for her work on M*A*S*H. Later, she was also the first M*A*S*H star to visit South Korea, when she narrated the documentary Korea, the Forgotten War.
In 1981, Swit played the "Cagney" role in the movie pilot for the television series Cagney & Lacey, but was precluded by contractual obligations from continuing the role. Actress Meg Foster portrayed Cagney for the first six episodes of the television series with Sharon Gless taking over the role from that point on.
Swit also guest-starred in shows such as The Love Boat, Match Game, Pyramid, and Hollywood Squares. She also starred in Christmas programs such as the television version of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever and 1987's PBS Special A Christmas Calendar. Loretta's latest appearance was on GSN Live on October 10, 2008.
Swit married actor Dennis Holahan in 1983 and divorced him in 1995. Holahan played Per Johannsen, a Swedish diplomat who became briefly involved with Swit's character in an episode of M*A*S*H. Swit has not remarried and has no children.