Loretta Jane Szwed was born on 4 November 1937, in Passaic, New Jersey USA of part-Polish descent, and as Loretta Swit is an actor, both in theater and on TV, probably still best known for her role during the 1970s in the long-running TV series “M*A*S*H” as Major Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan.
So just how rich is Loretta Swit, as of late 2017? Authoritative sources place her net worth at over $5 million, amassed from her 50 years in acting, from both her Broadway and screen credits.
Loretta Swit Net Worth $5 Million
Swit was born to parents Lester and Nellie Szwed. As early as age seven, she was already performing on stage, much to her parents’ dismay. She attended Pope Pius XII High School in Passaic and later matriculated from Katharine Gibbs School in Montclair. She first worked as a stenographer before going to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York to study singing. She then switched to a career in theater, doing repertory work, which proved a little difficult as Swit was found too plain to take on innocent roles, making her shift to musicals and comedy instead. In 1967, she joined the national company of “Any Wednesday” led by Garden McKay, where she gained attention in an LA run of “The Odd Couple”, playing a Pigeon sister along with Don Rickles and Ernest Borgnine. She then went on to star in several Broadway plays, such as “Same Time, Next Year” alongside Ted Bessell, “The Mystery of Edwin Drood”, “Mame” with Susan Hayward and later Celeste Holm. Her net worth was growing steadily.
In 1969, Swit began acting on television, appearing in series “Hawaii Five-O”, “Gunsmoke”, “Mission: Impossible” and “Mannix”. However, her main claim to fame came from playing the role of Major Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan in the hit series M*A*S*H, which ran for 11 seasons from 1972 to 1983. She was nominated for an Emmy from the second to the final season, and took home two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy or Variety or Music Series. Swit was intended to star as Christine Cagney for the series “Cagney & Lacey” after appearing in the movie pilot, but was unable to do so because of her contract with M*A*S*H. Her other TV credits include “Love, American Style”, “The Big Battalions”, and “The Love Boat”. All contributed to her net worth.
Being an animal rights activist, Loretta also hosted the Discovery Channel series “Those Incredible Animals”, which ran for five years. Swit was also cast in several films, including “S.O.B.”, “Beer”, “Whoops Apocalypse”, “Forest Warrior”, and “Beach Movie”. In addition, she was able to use her singing talent in the TV adaptation of the musical “It’s a Bird… It’s a Plane… It’s Superman!” in 1975. Her net worth was continuing to grow.
In 1989 she received her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
At 08 years old, Swit is still busy with projects such as the documentary “Never The Same”, her impending one-woman show “Eleanor: Her Secret Journey”, and her memoirs; she has already published a book entitled “A Needlepoint Scrapbook” in 1986. Her net worth is still increasing.
In her personal life, Swit married Dennis Holahan in 1983, who appeared in one episode of M*A*S*H. She became stepmother to his kids from a previous marriage, but had no children of her own. After 12 years of marriage, they divorced in 1995, since when Loretta has been officially single.
She is currently the 1st Vice President of Actors and Others For Animals, an honorary board member in The Wildlife Way station, and the chairperson for the Hooved Animal Rescue Protection Society (HARPS). For her active work in animal advocacy, she was awarded Woman of the Year by both the Animal Protection Institute and the International Fund for Animal Welfare.
Honored by the Pacific Pioneer Broadcaster in celebration of her career, which took place at the Sportsmen's Lodge in Studio City, California. [September 2008]
Loretta Swit is starring in the world premiere performance of a comedy written by Mark Miller. The play is being performed at the renowned Alhambra Dinner Theatre, which is the oldest and longest-running dinner theatre in America. [August 2010]
Up until Harry Morgan's death on 7 December 2011, he was her best friend and neighbor for years. Morgan co-starred with Swit on M*A*S*H (1972).
Best remembered by the public for her role as "Maj. Margaret Houlihan" on TV's M*A*S*H (1972) (1972-1983).
Has her own line of jewelry which she has sold at jewelry shows across the nation.
Her outspoken stand against the killing of fur-bearing animals for high-fashion wear has been rewarded with acknowledgments from the American Humane Society and the Animal Protection Institute of America. In addition, she teamed with Robert Redford for a PBS special centering on animal species that were threatened with extinction and is an active board member for Actors and Others for Animals, and other similar organizations.
During a M*A*S*H (1972) season hiatus, Loretta starred as "Chris Cagney" in the pilot episode of Cagney & Lacey (1981) in 1981. She wanted to leave the show, which was in its ninth season, to star as the police officer when the pilot was picked up. The "M*A*S*H" producers, however, wouldn't let her go. Meg Foster subbed in for Loretta, who in turn was replaced by Sharon Gless.
Wears a size 7 shoe.
Wrote a book on needlepoint.
Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1989.
Wanted to leave M*A*S*H (1972) after the 8th season, but FOX wouldn't let her out of her contract. She has said that she wanted to star in the series Cagney & Lacey (1981), after she made the pilot movie, but her MASH commitment prevented her from doing so.
Sometimes I would get letters from nurses saying how grateful they were that a nurse was finally being portrayed as a person, a caring human being. As far as the audience was concerned, I think it identifies with at least one or two or maybe all of us. We have become people to them and never caricatures. We're very real to them.
I mean, certain things had to remain the same. She had to remain one of the antagonists because that was the structure of the show. In the second season, we saw for the first time that she was unhappy with "Frank" and wanted more from her life. Then around the third or fourth year, in an episode called M*A*S*H: The Nurses (1976), "Hot Lips" gave the nurses a speech telling them how lonely she was because she was in charge and that's the way it was, so she couldn't really have any friends. Her marriage and her divorce changed her. Her affair with "Hawkeye" in M*A*S*H: Comrades in Arms: Part 1 (1977) changed both characters, so that they were never really rivals again.
Hot Lips changed a lot in eleven years. Initially Margaret Houlihan behaved as though a man were the only thing that could complete her life, and she didn't see what richness her life contained. She gained a lot of self-esteem through the years, and she came to realize that what she did, what she offered, was valuable. To oversimplify it, I took each traumatic change that happened in her life and kept it. I didn't discard anything. I didn't go on into the next episode as if it were a different character in a different play. She was a character in constant flux. She never stopped developing.