Loretta Swit, best known for her Emmy-award winning role of Major Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan of television’s most honored series, “MASH,” is a stage and television actress and animal rights activist. She was born in Passaic, New Jersey, of Polish descent to parents Lester and Nellie Swit.
Swit has received recognition at the People’s Choice Award, The Genie Award, The Silver Satellite Award, The Jean Golden Halo Award, the Pacific Broadcasters Award, and two Emmy Awards. With 10 Emmy nominations and four nominations for the Golden Globe, she most recently has received her third Career Achievement Award.
She made her Broadway debut in “Same Time, Next Year” opposite Ted Bessell. She has appeared in over 1,200 performances of “Shirley Valentine” – a role for which she won Chicago’s most prestigious theatrical honor, the Sarah Siddons Award.
In 2010 she revisited “Shirley Valentine” in Canada for a highly successful 3-month engagement. Swit toured in the musical spoof, “Song of Singapore,” while continuing to perform select dates of “Love Letters” with Anthony Franciosa. She appeared in “The Vagina Monologues” in New York, Chicago, and the West End in London. Her television career boasts over 25 movies including “Games Mother Never Taught You,” “Hell Hath No Fury,” “The Execution with Rip Torn,” “Dreams of Gold,” and “A Killer Among Friends.” Swit has sung and danced her way through most of television’s musical specials, most notably “The Muppet Show” and the Broadway musical “It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Superman.”
She is as impassioned about animals as she is about the Arts. For her ceaseless humanitarian efforts, Swit has earned the respect of both the general public and the philanthropic world including such awards as: Woman of the Year by both the Animal Protection Institute and the International Fund For Animal Welfare (IFAW); The Advocate for Farm Animals Award, 2007 (The Farm Sanctuary); Compassion in Action Award (Ayla’s Acres); Westminster Animal Welfare & Leadership Award; International Red Cross Humanitarian Award, 2016; Global Wildlife Conservation Champion Award, 2016 (GES Africa Conservation Fund); and The Betty White Award, 2016 (Actors and Others for Animals).
She released her book, SwitHeart: The Watercolour Artistry & Animal Activism of Loretta Swit, in 2017 and offers copies to those who donate to her nonprofit, Loretta Swit’s Animal Alliance.
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