A stranger’s pair of combat boots and dog tags might not seem like a great deal to some, but for fans of the popular show M*A*S*H, they’re priceless.
After 40 years, actor Alan Alda is parting ways with his physical ties to his beloved character, Captain Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce’s dog tags and boots.
Starting off as a commentary and an open critique of war, the sitcom brought humour to overcoming hardships and put a spotlight on the importance of camaraderie.
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Alda’s character became popular with the audience with his knack for lightening the mood of working in a warzone with his quick wit and practical jokes.
The final episode of the show, directed by Alda, had more than 100 million people tune in and the show still holds the record for being the most-watched television programme of all time.
Alda’s decision to part ways with his character’s cherished items comes as he redirects his focus towards establishing a centre devoted to enhancing communication among scientists and doctors.
It’s never too late to observe Giving Day, if you’re in the mood to help the Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook U help scientists to communicate better. It helps us all. Here’s how, and thank you! https://t.co/4Tg4NFJno5
— Alan Alda (@alanalda) March 31, 2023
To facilitate Alda’s new passion, the worn combat boots and military identification tags will be up for auction through Heritage Auctions on July 28 in Dallas.
As reported by the Associated Press, the 87-year-old said he took them from the set after the iconic show ended as he couldn’t bear to part with them after wearing them for 11 years of filming.
“There’s an old belief among actors that when you put the shoes of the character on, it’s easier to believe you’re the character and I think the boots had that effect on me,” Alda said.
However, the dog tags while sentimental to him for his character, were special to the actor as they bore the real names of army veterans.
“I saw those names every day,” he said. “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.”
Throughout his career, Alda has ventured into various creative pursuits, including writing and filmmaking.
He has graced the stages of Broadway and left his mark on the silver screen with memorable performances and currently hosts a podcast titled Clear+Vivid, which revolves around the art of effective communication.