Loretta Swit Net Worth: A Versatile Actress

Loretta Swit Net Worth: A Versatile Actress


Loretta Swit, a talented American actress, has made a name for herself in the entertainment industry. With a net worth of $4 million, Swit has captured the hearts of audiences through her memorable performances. Best known for her role as Major Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan on the CBS television series “MAS*H,” Swit’s career spans across various platforms, including stage, film, and television.

Early Life and Education

Born on November 4, 1937, in Passaic, New Jersey, Loretta Swit is of Polish ancestry. Her parents, Nellie and Lester, raised her alongside her older brother, Robert. During her formative years, Swit attended Pope Pius XII High School, where she showcased her acting skills in theatrical productions, co-captained the women’s basketball team, and participated in cheerleading. After graduating in 1955, she pursued further education at the Katharine Gibbs School in Montclair, from which she graduated in 1957.

Career Beginnings

Following her graduation, Swit embarked on a professional journey, initially taking up clerical jobs. Her early experiences included working as a stenographer and serving as a personal secretary to writer Elsa Maxwell. Additionally, she worked as a secretary to the ambassador from Ghana to the United Nations. During this time, Swit also had the opportunity to learn dance from Rockette Elizabeth Parent-Barber and honed her acting skills through drama lessons with acting coach Gene Frankel.

Television Career

In 1969, Loretta Swit relocated to Hollywood to pursue her acting career. She made her television debut in the same year, appearing in an episode of “Hawaii Five-O.” This marked the beginning of a successful television career for Swit. Over the years, she appeared in various shows, including “Mission: Impossible,” “Mannix,” “Gunsmoke,” “Cade’s County,” “Bonanza,” and “Young Dr. Kildare.” However, it was her role as Major Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan on the iconic CBS series “MAS*H” that brought her widespread recognition. The show, based on the film of the same name, became a tremendous hit, running for 11 seasons until 1983. Swit’s portrayal of the spirited army nurse earned her multiple Emmy and Golden Globe Award nominations, and she won two Emmys during the show’s run.

Alongside “MAS*H,” Swit made appearances in other television shows and films. In the 1970s, she guest-starred in episodes of “Love, American Style,” “Ironside,” “Petrocelli,” “Good Heavens,” and “The Love Boat.” Swit also showcased her skills on game shows like “Pyramid” and “Match Game.” Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, she continued to act in television films and series, including “Murder, She Wrote,” “Burke’s Law,” and “Diagnosis: Murder.”

Film Career

Loretta Swit’s film career encompasses several notable roles. She made her big-screen debut in the 1972 comedy “Stand Up and Be Counted,” sharing the screen with Jacqueline Bisset and Stella Stevens. She went on to appear in films like “Deadhead Miles,” “Freebie and the Bean,” and “Race with the Devil.” In 1981, she acted in Blake Edwards’s black comedy “S.O.B.” Though her film credits are relatively limited, Swit left a lasting impression with her performances.

Stage Career

Swit’s talent extends to the stage, where she has delivered captivating performances. Early in her stage acting career, she appeared in productions such as “An Enemy of the People” and “The Balcony.” She also toured with the national company of “Any Wednesday” and acted alongside Don Rickles and Ernest Borgnine in “The Odd Couple.” Swit’s Broadway credits include the romantic comedy play “Same Time, Next Year” and the musical “The Mystery of Edwin Drood.” Notably, she starred in the musical “Mame” alongside Susan Hayward in Las Vegas.

In the 1990s, Swit began starring in the one-woman play “Shirley Valentine” and continued to perform the play at various venues for several decades. She also made appearances in other productions, such as the North Carolina Theatre’s production of “Mame” in 2003 and the world premiere of Mark Miller’s play “Amorous Crossings” in Jacksonville, Florida. In 2017, she acted in “Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks” in Buffalo, New York.

Personal Life

In 1983, Loretta Swit married attorney and actor Dennis Holahan. However, the couple divorced in 1995. Swit is known for her advocacy for animal rights and is a practicing vegan.


Loretta Swit’s diverse career as an actress has contributed to her net worth of $4 million. From her iconic role in “MAS*H” to her appearances on stage and in film, Swit has showcased her talent and versatility throughout the years. Her memorable performances continue to captivate audiences, solidifying her status as a respected figure in the entertainment industry.