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Mike Farrell Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trivia (28) | Personal Quotes (11)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 6 February 1939St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
Birth NameMichael Joseph Farrell
Height 6' 3" (1.91 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Mike is one of four children. His father, Joe, who died in 1956, was a carpenter at Hollywood studios. Mike attended grammar school with Natalie Wood and Ricky Nelson. He entered the Marines in the 1950s for two years. Later, he attended the University of California at Los Angeles and studied acting at the Jeff Corey Workshop. He started getting big parts in movies, which led to a regular role on Days of Our Lives (1965) and, ultimately, to M*A*S*H (1972). When M*A*S*H (1972) went off the air, he resisted series TV for many years until he was offered Providence (1999). In the meantime, he formed his own production company, which made the Robin Williams vehicle, Patch Adams (1998), based on Mike's own acquaintance with the doctor. Mike is very politically involved. He lobbied against the firing of gay teachers. He was outspoken about the US involvement in Ecuador in the 80s. He served as a member of California's Commission on Judicial Performance from February 2, 1998 to February 28, 2001.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: John Sacksteder <jsack@ka.net>

Spouse (2)

Shelley Fabares (31 December 1984 - present)
Judy Farrell (18 August 1963 - 10 July 1984) (divorced) (2 children)

Trivia (28)

He has two children by screenwriter Judy Farrell - Michael Farrell, a martial arts teacher, and Erin Farrell, who works in the Los Angeles office of Jesse Jackson.
Works with Greenpeace.
Named Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Attended West Hollywood Grammar School with Natalie Wood and Ricky Nelson. Graduated from Hollywood High School.
Served in the U. S. Marines
Spokesperson for CONCERN/America; co-chair of Human Rights Watch in California; board president of Death Penalty Focus; member of the California State Commission on Judicial Performance
Elected first Vice-President of the Screen Actor's Guild in 2002 and served for three years.
Presides over Family Motion Pictures, an organisation which strives to promote films suitable for family viewing.
Provided voice of Jonathan Kent on the animated Superman (1996) series with real life wife Shelley Fabares providing the voice of Martha Kent.
While he was a cast member on M*A*S*H (1972) as Captain BJ Hunnicut, his first wife, Judy Farrell, also appeared on M*A*S*H (1972) playing various nurse characters.
It was Alan Alda's idea for him to grow a mustache in the seventh season, which he kept for the rest of the show's run.
Tried to talk Gary Burghoff out of leaving M*A*S*H (1972), citing the lackluster careers of McLean Stevenson and Larry Linville after their departures, but to no avail.
Appeared in a 1970's television commercial for Schmidt's Big Mouth Beer.
Best remembered by the public for his role as "Captain B.J. Hunnicut" on the television series M*A*S*H (1972).
Formed his production company, "Farrell-Minoff Productions", in 1985, with Marvin Minoff.
His acting mentors were the late Harry Morgan, William Broderick and Anthony Quinn.
Starred in a pilot with Jane Wyman that didn't sell.
Best friend of Alan Alda.
Was close to Harry Morgan.
Is an animal rights activist.
His family moved to Hollywood, California, in 1941, where Farrell's father worked as a movie studio carpenter.
Of Irish descent.
His father was an alcoholic.
His father, Michael Joseph Farrell, Sr., died when Michael Jr. was only age 17.
Attended the funeral of Marvin Minoff when the producer died in 2009.
Release of his book, "Just Call Me Mike: My Journey from Actor to Activist".
Release of his book, "Of Mule and Man".
As Mr. Farrell was sowing seeds in the early years of what would be his long acting career, he starred in 1967 as Federal Agent Modell on juvenile sitcom, The Monkees; in the episode of Monkees Chow Mein.

Personal Quotes (11)

I think alternative sentencing, if I understand your use of the term, is a good idea for some offenders, who can then continue to be useful members of society at the same time as they are having their activities restricted by law, but is not appropriate for those who have demonstrated, for example, a propensity for violence against others.
(On joining the cast of M*A*S*H (1972)): "I began to sweat at the [thought] that if this show fails in the fourth season, I'm going to wear it around my neck for the rest of my life: the guy who sank M*A*S*H (1972).
(On the final episode of M*A*S*H (1972)): It was one of the hardest things I've ever done as an actor, because there were times when it wasn't appropriate to be crying.
I was a bouncer in a bar. That was a terrible, terrible, terrible job. And I used to be a private investigator. I'd have to find people that didn't want to be found. I was shot at, and chased with knives. Most of the cases were really sad more then anything else.
(Who presided over the largest C.I.A. station in the world, which was Honduras): I mean it's just a pathetic thing. I laugh about it now, but Honduras was the base for the Contras against Nicaragua. Honduras was also the repository of a great number of refugees from the horror in Guatemala and the terrible brutality in El Salvador. We were there trying to deal with the needs of the people who were refugees and who were being treated abominably by their own governments and by the United States if every way they could be. I remember coming back from Honduras and talking to the Assistant Secretary of State for Latin American Affairs. I told him about the brutality that was being visited on these people.
(On besides playing somebody else other than "BJ Hunnicut," he was offered another role): The script. I liked the fact that it was serious and a bit wacky and I liked the idea of dealing with family issues. After reading it I told my agent it would be worth a meeting with them and I liked it even better after meeting the people involved. Meeting Melina was the icing on the cake.
(On the effect of the programs today): I think there's a terrible dumbing- down of the American consciousness, the drumbeat of ugliness and stupidity and sensationalism, and thoughtlessness and propaganda that is in these stations. I think it's across the border. It's not just in the right wing media. Takings across the board, the dumbing- down that's going on. I worry about it greatly, because I think we have listened to - loosened connections that people feel toward this country and the values of this country. It's as though as took freedom and liberty and the kinds of concepts that built America and put them on a shelf somewhere and said we won them now. As long as they're back there, we can do anything that we want. Forgetting that those have to be living - living values that we practice on a daily basis rather than just having them on a shelf that we polish periodically.
(On David Ogden Stiers, who was being reduced by one Harry Morgan, for ridiculous reasons): David was like a rock, when he was concentrating, when he was being Charles Emerson Winchester III, you just couldn't get him, except for Harry Morgan. Harry could look at David and reduced him to a puddle of tears, without turning an eye. David said, 'When he [Harry] looks at me and flare those nostrils; and he would be gone.' It would be such a wonderful thing to see this great big guy just reduced to a giggling idiot by Harry, but unfortunately, all I could tell you, we had great fun doing the show; and much of it was laughing at some silly gag that one of us had pulled on the others.
(On his on- and off-screen chemistry with Harry Morgan, who played Col. Sherman Potter): It's harder for me to separate Harry and Col. Potter because I adore them both so much. Col. Potter was the father figure we all loved and admired. A straight-arrow, regular army, by the book type who, just beneath the surface, was a marshmallow. Harry Morgan is a wonderful guy and a good friend. He's full of stories, jokes, wry humor and is a delight to be around. He is and ought to be a motion picture and television legend.
(On the death of Harry Morgan): He was an imp. As Alan once said, 'There's not an un-adorable bone in the man's body.' He was full of fun, and he was smart as a whip.
[Of Harry Morgan]: He was a treasure as a person, an imp at times, and always a true professional. He had worked with the greats and never saw himself as one of them. But he was. He was the rock everyone depended on and yet he could cut up like a kid when the situation warranted it. He was the apotheosis, the finest example of what people call a 'character actor.' What he brought to the work made everyone better. He made those who are thought of as 'stars' shine even more brightly. The love and admiration we all felt for him were returned tenfold in many, many ways. And the greatest and, most selfless tribute to the experience we enjoyed was paid by Harry at the press conference when our show ended. He remarked that someone had asked him if working on M*A*S*H had made him a better actor. He responded by saying, 'I don't know about that, but it made me a better human being. It's hard to imagine a better one.'

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