My New York City friends, Karen Biehl and her adorable and always dabber Chihuahua, Eli recently had the opportunity to meet and chat with actress and animal advocate Loretta Swit. You remember her as Major Houlihan from the long-running TV show, MASH. Karen is a correspondent for Examiner.com. Here is her posting of this tail-wagging get-together:
As a fan of the show MASH, I was always particularly fond of Major Houlihan, whose banter with Hawkeye Pierce giddied me into watching every episode of the show. (That, plus Radar’s fondness towards creatures of all kinds that he would rescue and care for.) In real life, however, Loretta Swit is the caretaker of the animals.
Eli and I met her last fall at a book signing for “Don’t Dump the Dog” held at Barnes and Noble Lincoln Triangle, which she attended in support of the author Randy Grim, who runs the much needed Stray Rescue in St. Louis, Missouri. Loretta wrote the forward for his book and spoke at his book signing out of the kindness of her heart, and in support of one whose cause to rescue animals is as strong as her own.
When Loretta met Eli, she told us of a portrait she had done of a Chihuahua and asked for our email address. A few hours later, she sent me a jpeg of a lovely portrait of a white Chihuahua, entitled “Bossy Nova.” You wouldn’t expect such a busy person to take the time to actually email you, but Loretta is down to earth and real, despite being an angel. She has a mission and a passion.
We have since found out all that she has done to help animals, including being the First Vice President of Actors and Others for Animals and an honorary Board member of Wildlife Waystation, acting as chairperson for the Hooved Animal Rescue Protection Society and as spokesperson for Farm Sanctuary and the Humane Society of the U.S. For all her efforts, she has been awarded the title “Woman of the Year” by both the Animal Protection Institute and the International Fund For Animal Welfare. This is in addition to two Emmy Awards, the People’s Choice Award, The Genie Award, The Silver Satellite Award, The Jean Golden Halo Award, the Pacific Broadcasters Award, plus six nominations for the Golden Globe.
A true animal advocate, her many credits even include performances with Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy in the TV musical special “The Muppet Show” and being the host of “Those Incredible Animals,” a wildlife series which aired on the Discovery Channel for five years and was also seen on Animal Planet.
In addition to being a brilliant actor, singer and dancer, Loretta is also a talented artist, and donates proceeds from her artwork to the organizations she supports. Interested buyers can order prints of her portraits of dogs and animals, or even commission original creations. A large portion of the proceeds – if not all, depending upon the situation – goes to one of the following organizations: Actors & Others for Animals, Farm Sanctuary, Wildlife Waystation, Hooved Animal Rescue & Protection or St. Louis Stray Rescue. This is a wonderful way to have a one of a kind piece of art created by a star with a heart of gold, while also helping animals of all breeds in unfortunate situations.
When she isn’t performing in a show, Loretta splits her time between Los Angeles and New York. If you would like to order a print or commission a portrait, you can email us and we’ll help you connect with her. (Out of respect of privacy, we are not posting her email address publicly.)