Saturday, December 18, 2010

Jamie Farr who played Corporal Max Klinger in the TV show M*A*S*H

Jamie Farr was born Jameel Joseph Farah in Toledo, Ohio in 1934.  He is most famous for playing "the guy who wore dresses" or Corporal Maxwell Klinger in the TV show "M*A*S*H".

Jamie Farr  dressed in drag as (Corporal Max Klinger) in the TV show "M*A*S*H"

In 1955, Farr got his first film role in "Blackboard Jungle" under his real name Jameel Farah.  He co-starred with Glenn Ford, Anne Francis, Louis Calhern, Richard Kiley, Sidney Poitier, and Vic Morrow.  Farr then managed to land a couple of uncredited roles in "Kismet" starring Howard Keel, Ann Blyth, Jack Elam and Dolores Gray (1955) and "Diane" starring Lana Turner, Pedro Armendáriz and Roger Moore (1956).

Jamie Farr in his younger years

Jamie landed another role credited as Jameel Farah in "Three Violent People" sharing the screen with Charlton Heston, Anne Baxter, Gilbert Roland, Forrest Tucker, and Robert Blake in 1956.  It was that same year that he began appearing in "The Red Skelton Hour".  He appeared in five episodes until 1960.  During that time he again appeared in an uncredited role this time in the film "No Time for Sergeants" starring Andy Griffith, Myron McCormick, and Don Knotts (1958).

Jamie Farr the early years

Jamie appeared in a couple of episodes of "The Rebel" in 1959 and 1961. It was in 1961 that Farr began using the name Jamie Farr instead of Jameel Farah.  That same year, Farr landed a role in the TV movie "Las Vegas Beat" co-starring Peter Graves and William Bryant as well as four appearances on "The Dick Van Dyke Show" with Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore and Rose Marie.  The year after, Jamie appeared in "Ensign O'Toole" with Dean Jones, Jack Albertson, and Beau Bridges.

In 1963, Farr appeared on "The Danny Kaye Show" Danny Kaye, Harvey Korman and Joyce Van Patten.  Then the following year came a role on the show "Hazel" with Shirley Booth as well as the show "My Three Sons" with Fred MacMurray, Stanley Livingston and Don Grady.  A year after Farr landed the role of Thaddaeus in the film "The Greatest Story Ever Told" co-starring Max von Sydow, Dorothy McGuire, Charlton Heston, Carroll Baker, Victor Buono, José Ferrer, Martin Landau, Angela Lansbury, Pat Boone, Sidney Poitier, John Wayne, Shelley Winters, and Robert Blake.

Jamie Farr

Farr then appeared in "Ride Beyond Vengeance" with Chuck Connors, Michael Rennie, Kathryn Hays, Bill Bixby, and Claude Akins (1966), "The Lucy Show" with Lucille Ball, Vivian Vance and Gale Gordon (1966), "I Dream of Jeannie" with Barbara Eden, Larry Hagman, Bill Daily, and Hayden Rorke (1966), "Laredo" (1966), "The Andy Griffith Show" Andy Griffith, Ron Howard and Don Knotts (1966), "My Favorite Martian" with Ray Walston, Bill Bixby and Pamela Britton (2 episodes, 1965-66), "F Troop" with Forrest Tucker, Larry Storch, Ken Berry, and Melody Patterson (2 epipisodes, 1966), and Farr rounded out 1966 with a film role in "Out of Sight" co-starring Jonathan Daly, Karen Jensen and Robert Pine.

Jamie went on to star in "Who's Minding the Mint?" with Jim Hutton, Dorothy Provine, Milton Berle, Bob Denver, Joey Bishop, Jack Gilford, Victor Buono, and Walter Brennan (1967), and "With Six You Get Eggroll" co-starring Doris Day, Brian Keith, Pat Carroll, Barbara Hershey, and George Carlin (1968).

Jamie then began a string of TV show appearances such as "Get Smart" starring Don Adams, Barbara Feldon and Edward Platt (1968), "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C." starring Jim Nabors, Frank Sutton and Ronnie Schell (1965-68), "The Flying Nun" with Sally Field, Marge Redmond and Madeleine Sherwood (1968-69), "Family Affair" starring Brian Keith, Kathy Garver, Anissa Jones, Johnny Whitaker, and Sebastian Cabot (1969), "Room 222" with Lloyd Haynes, Denise Nicholas, Michael Constantine, and Karen Valentine (1970), and the TV movie "Class of '55" co-starring Alan Alda, John Archer, Sharon Cintron, and Louise Lasser (1972).

Jamie Farr  dressed in drag as (Corporal Max Klinger) in the TV show "M*A*S*H"

Jamie Farr as Corporal Maxwell Q. Klinger in the TV show "M*A*S*H"

It was then in 1972 that Farr was cast again with Alan Alda in the hit TV show "M*A*S*H" which would stay on the air for a 10 year run.  Farr played the cross-dressing Corporal Maxwell Klinger who was bucking for a section 8 discharge by making everyone think he was crazy by wearing dresses to compliment his combat helmet.  The show co-starred in addition to Alda, Loretta Swit, Harry Morgan, Gary Burghoff, David Ogden Stiers, Mike Farrell, William Christopher, Larry Linville, Wayne Rogers, McLean Stevenson, and Kellye Nakahara.  Farr would play the role of Corporal Klinger for 215 episodes of the 256 episodes that were taped.  Farr actually served in the Army in post-war Korea.  The dog tags he wore on the set of "M*A*S*H" were his very own actual Army issued tags he wore while he served in Korea.

Cast of "M*A*S*H" in the early years Front: Larry Linville (Frank Burns), Loretta Swit ("Hot Lips" Houlihan), Alan Alda ("Hawkeye" Pierce), Wayne Rogers ("Trapper" John McIntyre), Gary Burghoff ("Radar" O'Reilly), Jamie Farr (Corporal Max Klinger)  Rear: McLean Stevenson (Lt. Colonel Henry Blake), William Christopher (Father Francis Mulcahy)
Jamie Farr  dressed in drag as (Corporal Max Klinger) in the TV show "M*A*S*H"

During his run on "M*A*S*H", Farr would also star in "Love, American Style" (1972), "Banacek" with George Peppard (1973), "The Streets of San Francisco" with Karl Malden, Michael Douglas (1973), "Emergency!" with Randolph Mantooth, Kevin Tighe and Julie London (1972-73), "The Blue Knight" William Holden, Lee Remick, Joe Santos, Eileen Brennan, Vic Tayback, and Sam Elliott (1973), "Arnold" Stella Stevens, Roddy McDowall, Elsa Lanchester, and Victor Buono (1973), "The New Scooby-Doo Movies" with Casey Kasem (voice, 1972–1973), "Kolchak: The Night Stalker" with Darren McGavin (1975), "Amy Prentiss" with Jessica Walter and Helen Hunt (1975), "Barnaby Jones" with Buddy Ebsen, Lee Meriwether (1975-75), and "Amateur Night at the Dixie Bar and Grill" co-starring Victor French, Candy Clark, Louise Latham, Don Johnson, Tanya Tucker, Ed Begley Jr., and Rick Hurst (1979).

Jamie Farr sporting the Toledo Mudhens baseball jersey that he sometimes wore on the TV show "M*A*S*H"
One of the many funny moments on the TV show "M*A*S*H" involving actor Jamie Farr as Corporal Max Klinger who liked to dress in drag to try and convince the Army he was crazy so he could go home
Jamie Farr  dressed in drag as (Corporal Max Klinger) in the TV show "M*A*S*H"

Into the early 80s and the waning years of "M*A*S*H", Jamie Farr made appearances such as "Murder Can Hurt You" co-starring Victor Buono, Tony Danza, Gavin MacLeod, John Byner, Buck Owens, Connie Stevens, Jimmie Walker, Burt Young, and Marty Allen  (1980), "The Cannonball Run" co-starring Burt Reynolds, Roger Moore, Farrah Fawcett, Dean Martin, Dom DeLuise, Sammy Davis Jr., Jack Elam, Adrienne Barbeau, Terry Bradshaw, Jackie Chan, Bert Convy, Peter Fonda, and George Furth (1981), "Return of the Rebels" co-starring Barbara Eden, Don Murray, Christopher Connelly, and Patrick Swayze (1981), and "The Love Boat"
starring Gavin MacLeod, Lauren Tewes, Bernie Kopell, Fred Grandy, Jill Whelan, and Ted Lange.

Cast of "M*A*S*H" in the later years Front:  William Christopher (Father Francis Mulcahy),  Jamie Farr (Corporal Max Klinger), David Ogden Stiers (Major Charles Winchester), Harry Morgan (Colonel Sherman T. Potter), Alan Alda ("Hawkeye" Pierce), Loretta Swit ("Hot Lips" Houlihan), Mike Farrell (B. J. Hunnicut)

Jamie Farr  dressed in drag as (Corporal Max Klinger) in the TV show "M*A*S*H"

Jamie Farr (Corporal Max Klinger) in the TV show "M*A*S*H"

After "M*A*S*H" came the spin-off aptly named "After M*A*S*H" starring Harry Morgan, Jamie Farr and William Christopher along with Rosalind Chao.  Farr was able to extend his role as Corporal Klinger, this time without a dress, for another two years.  In addition to an episode of "M*A*S*H", Farr actually directed an episode of "After M*A*S*H" as well.

The cast of "After M*A*S*H"

Then in 1984, Farr starred in the star studded sequel "Cannonball Run II" reviving his character "The Sheik".  The film featured stars such as Burt Reynolds, Dom DeLuise, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr. along with Marilu Henner, Telly Savalas, Shirley MacLaine, Susan Anton, Catherine Bach, Sid Caesar, Tim Conway, Foster Brooks, Jackie Chan, Tony Danza, Don Knotts, Jim Nabors, Richard Kiel, Ricardo Montalban, Charles Nelson Reilly, Alex Rocco, Abe Vigoda, Fred Dryer, Cheech Marin, and Arte Johnson.

Jamie Farr as "The Sheik in the "Cannonball Run"

After a one year hiatus, Farr returned to the film world appearing in "Combat Academy" aka "Combat High" co-starring Keith Gordon, Wallace Langham, George Clooney, Dana Hill, Danny Nucci, Sherman Hemsley, and Robert Culp (1986), "Happy Hour" co-starring Jim Parrott, Richard Gilliland, Eddie Deezen, Rich Little, and Tawny Kitaen (1987), "Run Till You Fall" with Fred Savage, Shelley Fabares, and Beatrice Straight (1988), "Murder, She Wrote" with Angela Lansbury (1988), "Scrooged" co-starring Bill Murray, Karen Allen, John Forsythe, John Glover, Bobcat Goldthwait, David Johansen, Carol Kane, Robert Mitchum, and Buddy Hackett (1988), "Out of This World" with Donna Pescow, Maureen Flannigan and Burt Reynolds (1988), "The Bite" co-starring Jill Schoelen, J. Eddie Peck, and Terrence Evans (1989), and that same year Farr sort of reprised his role as "The Sheik" from the "Cannonball Run" films in the similar themed "Speed Zone!" co-starring Peter Boyle, Donna Dixon, John Candy, Tim Matheson, Mimi Kuzyk, Dick Smothers, Tom Smothers, and John Schneider of "Dukes of Hazzard" fame.

Jamie Farr in "Combat Academy" aka "Combat High"

Farr appeared in the limelight again after a four year abscense by appearing in the film "Fearless Tiger" co-starring Jalal Merhi, Monika Schnarre and Lazar Rockwood (1994), "You Snooze You Lose" co-starring Darrel Guilbeau and Johanna Watson (1995), "Diagnosis Murder" with Dick Van Dyke, Barry Van Dyke and Victoria Rowell (1998), "Mad About You" with Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt (1999), and "Port Charles" David Holcomb, Lisa Lord and Jay Pickett (1999).

Jamie started off the new millennium starring in "Just Shoot Me!" with George Segal, Wendie Malick, Laura San Giacomo, and David Spade (2000), and "A Month of Sundays" co-starring Rod Steiger, Sally Kirkland, Michael Paré, Sally Struthers, Dee Wallace, and Corina Marie (2001).

Farr was rather inactive in the past decade with only a few appearances such as "The War at Home" with Michael Rapaport, Anita Barone, Kaylee DeFer, Martin Mull, and Lindsay Wagner (2007) and "A Grandpa for Christmas" co-starring Ernest Borgnine, Katherine Helmond, Juliette Goglia, Tracy Nelson, (2007).

Jamie Farr in 2008

Farr then starred on-stage in the off-Broadway play "Flamingo Court" in Florida with Anita Gillette, Lucy Martin, Herbert Rubens, and Joe Vincent. 

Jamie Farr and Anita Gillette in the off-Broadway play "Flamingo Court"
Jamie Farr today

Recently he has made a few personal appearances in award shows and TV series as himself such as "The Hour" and "The TV Land Awards" in 2010.  However, it is rumored that Jamie Farr will be replacing Simon Cowell in the 2011 talent show "American Idol".

Jamie Farr at the 2010 TV Land Awards

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