Mike Farrell (Actor) - M*A*S*H
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Updated: 2/09/21

Name: Mike Farrell

Birth Name: Michael Joseph Farrell Jr.

Born: February 6, 1939 in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

Claim To Fame: Mike Farrell is an American actor, best known for his role as Captain B.J. Hunnicutt on the television series M*A*S*H (1975-83), which garnered him a pair of Emmy nominations.

Family Life: In August 1963, Farrell married actress Judy Hayden, who was working as a high school English and drama teacher in Laguna Beach, California. They were separated in 1980 and divorced in 1983. They have two children, Michael and Erin. On December 31, 1984, he married actress Shelley Fabares.

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Info: The son of Agnes Sarah Cosgrove and Michael Joseph Farrell; one of four children.

Family moved from South St. Paul to Hollywood, California, where his father worked as a movie studio carpenter.

Farrell attended West Hollywood Grammar School with Natalie Wood and graduated from Hollywood High School.

Served in the United States Marine Corps from 1957 to 1959.

Farrell wrote an autobiography, Just Call Me Mike: A Journey to Actor and Activist, published in 2007. The book covers his childhood, breaking into show business, his personal life, and his increasing involvement in politics and the human rights movement.

His second book, Of Mule and Man, is a journal of his five-week, 9,000-mile drive around the U.S. to promote the paperback edition of his first book.

Even before his celebrity, Farrell was an activist for many political and social causes.

He was co-chair of the California Human Rights Watch for 10 years, was on the Board of Advisors of the original Cult Awareness Network, and has been president of Death Penalty Focus for more than 10 years, being the first person to be awarded its Human Rights Award, subsequently named after him in 2006. He received PETA's Humanitarian Award in 2001, and narrated a public service campaign for them about animal abuse.

In 2006, Farrell appeared with Jello Biafra and Keith Gordon in the documentary Whose War?, examining the U.S. role in the Iraq War. He also serves on the advisory board of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.

In 2016, after the US presidential election of Donald Trump, Mike appeared in a commercial to convince Republican electors to block Trump from becoming president by having 37 Electors change their vote in the Electoral College from Trump to John Kasich.

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Trivia: During the years under contract at Universal Studios, he guest starred in a number of shows, including Banacek, Mannix, Marcus Welby, M.D., and The New Land; and starred in a television pilot with Jane Wyman, which did not sell.

In the early 1970s, Farrell guest starred in the television western drama Bonanza and did a number of commercials as a spokesman for Maytag dryers, Plymouth automobiles among other products.

Farrell's big break came in 1975 when Wayne Rogers unexpectedly departed M*A*S*H at the end of the third season. Farrell was quickly recruited for the newly created role of B.J. Hunnicutt, along with co-series lead Harry Morgan, who replaced McLean Stevenson, also at the end of the third season, opposite Alan Alda. Both Morgan and Farrell were big fans of the M*A*S*H series during its early seasons before they both joined the cast, with Morgan having also appeared as "General Bartford Hamilton Steele" in the season-three episode "The General Flipped at Dawn" (for which he won an Emmy Award for Best Guest Role in a Primetime Comedy Series). Farrell stayed with the series for its remaining eight years on the air. During that time, he wrote 5 episodes and directed 4.

On M*A*S*H, Hunnicutt's daughter also was named Erin.

Also in the episode "The Colonel's Horse" (season 5, episode 12), Hunnicutt's father-in-law is Floyd Hayden, Hayden being the maiden name of Judy, Farrell's wife. Judy Farrell also acted on M*A*S*H from 1976-1983 as Nurse Able, one of the few nurses with a recurring role.

Farrell voiced Jonathan Kent in Superman: The Animated Series (1996) with wife Shelley Fabares voicing Martha Kent.

Farrell hosted several National Geographic Presents specials.

He did two one-man shows: JFK, a One Man Show for PBS and, on stage, a national tour of David W. Rintels' play Clarence Darrow.

In 1985, Farrell partnered with film and television producer Marvin Minoff to create Farrell/Minoff Productions, a production company.

Farrell and Minoff executive produced 2 feature films during their partnership, Dominick and Eugene, a 1988 Orion Pictures film which earned actor Tom Hulce a Golden Globe nomination for best actor. The pair also produced 1998's Patch Adams starring Robin Williams. Farrell and Minoff's professional partnership lasted more than 25 years, until Minoff's death in November 2009.

In 1999, Farrell was given the part of veterinarian Jim Hansen, the father of the lead character Dr. Sydney Hansen, portrayed by Melina Kanakaredes, on the NBC drama series Providence.

In 2002 he was elected first vice president of the Screen Actors Guild in Los Angeles and served in the post for 3 years.

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Where Are They Now: Farrell's most recent TV appearance was in 2019, on the hit CBS series NCIS, playing the role of Judge Miles Deakin in the episode "Judge, Jury..." and "...and Executioner." Hopefully, Farrell will soon return to television, but until then I'll just enjoy watching M*A*S*H re-runs on Me-TV.


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