Kellye Nakahara, best known as Nurse Kellye on the iconic television series M*A*S*H, has died at the age of 72. Her family confirmed to TMZ that she lost her short battle with cancer passing away peacefully at her family’s Pasadena, California home.
Born on the Hawaiian island of O’ahu, Nakahara moved to San Francisco to pursue an art career. After marrying David Wallett in 1968, she relocated again to Los Angeles to try her hand at acting. In 1973, she landed a prime recurring role on the legendary TV adaptation of M*A*S*H.
Nakahara portrayed Nurse Kellye Yamato for 167 episodes of the hit show (according to IMDb). It would go on to be her largest and most memorable role. She followed it up with bit parts in television series such as At Ease, Hunter, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and with film roles in Clue (the cook, Mrs. Ho), Black Day Blue Night (as Fat Mama), and Eddie Murphy’s version of Doctor Dolittle (credited as Beagle Woman).
Following her acting career, Nakahara finally pursued art, producing works primarily in watercolor under her married name, Kellye Wallett. One of her painted Christmas ornaments even made it all the way to hang in the White House.
She leaves behind her husband, two children, and two grandchildren.
Below, revisit one of her most iconic M*A*S*H episodes, in which she calls out Hawkeye for not seeing her in favor of other women on the base who are “five-foot-nine and slinky with long blonde hair and a perky little nose that would fit in a bottle cap.”