Kellye Nakahara Wallett, 'M*A*S*H' Actress, Dead At 72

She was best known for playing Lt. Nurse Kellye Yamato on the hit TV show.
Kellye Nakahara Wallett makes a red carpet appearance at an event in California in 2009. The actress died Sunday from cancer, her son told The Associated Press.
Kellye Nakahara Wallett makes a red carpet appearance at an event in California in 2009. The actress died Sunday from cancer, her son told The Associated Press.

NEW YORK — Kellye Nakahara Wallett, a film and television actress best known for playing Lt. Nurse Kellye Yamato on “M*A*S*H,” has died at age 72.

Son William Wallett told The Associated Press that Wallett died Sunday after a brief battle with cancer. She was at her home in Pasadena, Calif., surrounded by family and friends.

A native of O’ahu, Hawaii, who was listed as Kellye Nakahara while on “M-A-S-H,” Wallett also appeared in the film “Clue” and in John Hughes’ “She’s Having a Baby.” More recently, she worked as a watercolour artist and was involved in the local arts community. She is survived by her husband, David Wallett; two children and four grandchildren.

“M*A*S*H,” the acclaimed sitcom set during the Korean War, ran from 1972 to 1983. Nurse Kellye carries a secret crush on the show’s major character, the womanizing surgeon Hawkeye Pierce, played by Alan Alda. In a memorable scene, Kellye reveals her feelings, scolding Hawkeye for having his “eyes ... on every nurse” except her.

“For your information,” she tells him, “I happen to have a fantastic sense of humour, a bubbly personality and I am warm and sensitive like you wouldn’t believe. I also sing and play the guitar and I’m learning to tap dance. And on top of all that, I happen to be cute as hell.”

Fans who learned of her death left tributes on social media:

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