Best known for his role as B.J. Hunnicutt, the sensitive, moral surgeon on M*A*SH*, the role was not his first foray into playing a doctor. Starring as Doctor Sam Marsh on The Interns and appearing as one in his early days on Marcus Welby, MD, he switched over to veterinary medicine to star as a doctor later in his career on Providence.
After high school and a brief detour in the Marines he pursued acting full-time, landing bits parts in films such as The Graduate and The Americanization of Emily. TV was soon to follow and he found steady work starring as Scott Banning on soap opera
The Days of Our Lives.
The instinct about a career as an actor was obviously a wise choice, twice landing more leading roles and a four-year contract with Universal Studios all before his eight seasons on M*A*S*H.
B.J. Hunnicutt comes to replace Trapper John when Trapper is discharged. Stanford-educated, loyal family man B.J. may seem the polar opposite of his new bunkmate Hawkeye Pierce, but while Hunnicutt may be moral, sensitive and thoughtful, hes no saint. He quickly picks up where Trapper left off - collaborating with Hawkeye to create camp mischief (usually with a noble cause in mind). They spike the drink of a bloodthirsty commander to keep him from sending more troops into war and play Cupid for a confined nurse whose husband is visiting. They even show kindness towards obnoxious Major Burns, staging a fight to make him happy on his birthday.
Hunnicutt has his failings. He succumbs to temptation under the pressure of embedded life, sleeping with a nurse and being attracted to a war correspondent. Although he beats himself up for his indiscretions, he does not reveal his infidelity to his wife.
At the end of the war, B.J. finds a unique way of saying goodbye to his best friend and partner in crime, Hawkeye.