Monster M*A*S*H
Odessa Cleveland
Odessa Cleveland.jpg
Odessa Cleveland, who played Nurse Ginger Bayliss on the CBS-TV series M*A*S*H, in 2011.
Personal Information
Gender: Female
Born: (1944-03-03) March 3, 1944 (age 77)
Birthplace Louisiana, U.S.
Years active: 1971-1986
Character information
Appeared on/in: M*A*S*H
Episodes appeared in: 24 from Seasons 1-5
Character(s) played: Nurse Ginger Bayliss

Odessa Cleveland (born March 3, 1944 in Louisiana) is an film and television actress.


Odessa is best known for her role as Lieutenant Ginger Bayliss, a recurring character on the television series M*A*S*H, on which she appeared for 26 episodes from Seasons 1-4; and 1 more episode in Season 5. She appeared in guest roles on such 1970s and 1980s TV shows such as NBC-TV's Sanford and Son, The Greatest American Hero, and Simon and Simon. She also had a guest role in an episode of the CBS-TV series M*A*S*H spin-off series Trapper John, M.D. in 1986. Beginning as a receptionist and writer at the Watts Writer's Workshop/Theater under the tutelage of Budd Shulberg, Odessa began appearing in such productions as Black Girl in Search of God at Jim Wood's Studio Watts Theater in Los Angeles. Odessa is also a lifetime member of The Actors' Studio in Los Angeles.[1]

In 1974, she portrayed "Jim's" slave wife in the 1974 musical release of Huckleberry Finn. She also made a cameo appearance as a nurse in the 1976 ABC-TV Rich Man, Poor Man miniseries.


Year Film Role Notes
1974 Huckleberry Finn Jim's Wife lone film appearance,  based on Tom Saywer 1973 film

Television works[]

Year Series Role Notes
1971 The Bold Ones: The New Doctors Barbara 1 episode: "Glass Cage"
1972 M*A*S*H Lt. Ginger Bayliss Total of 22 episodes (5 uncredited)
1975 Sanford and Son [2] Audrey 1 episode: "The Over-the-Hill Gag"
1977 Something for Joey Judy TV Movie
1982 The Greatest American Hero Nurse 1 episode: " The Hand-Painted Thai"
1983 Simon & Simon Nurse 1 episode: "Room 3502"
1986 Trapper John, M.D. Second Nurse 1 episode: "The Curmudgeon"


  1. A Player's Place: The Story of The Actors Studio, by David Garfield, published by MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc., New York City, ISBN 0-02-542650-8, page 278, Appendix: Life Members of The Actors Studio as of January 1980.
  2. Odessa Cleveland at the Sanford and Son wiki

External links[]