Kellye Nakahara Wallett of 'M-A-S-H' dies at age 72

The film and television actress best known for playing Lt. Nurse Kellye Yamato passed away Sunday after a brief battle with cancer.
MASH (aka M*A*S*H), from left: Loretta Swit, Kellye Nakahara, 1972-83. TM and Copyright (C)20th Centur
Kellye Nakahara played Nurse Kellye, who carried a secret crush on the show's major character, the womanizing surgeon Hawkeye Pierce, played by Alan Alda.Courtesy Everett Collection

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, California, surrounded by family and friends.

Kellye Nakahara in 2003.Mark Sullivan / WireImage

A native of O'ahu, Hawaii, who was listed as Kellye Nakahara while in “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 watercolor 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 1972-83. 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 humor, 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.”

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