JAMIE FARR

 

He was born Jameel Joseph Farah on July 1, 1934, in Toledo, Ohio, the only son of Samuel, a meat cutter/grocer, and Jamelia, a seamstress.
     His acting career began at age 11 when Jamie won $2. in a local talent contest.  He graduated from Woodward High with honors and was named most outstanding student, having served as class president for three years.  He also wrote and acted in two variety shows, was editor of his school paper, president of the Radio Club, and manager of the football and basketball teams.  He became a member of the National Honor Society, and after graduation he moved with his family to Southern California where he attended the Pasadena Playhouse.  He won his first film role as Santini in “The Blackboard Jungle”, then served two years in the army in Korea and Japan.  He then proceeded to carve out a TV career by appearing as a regular on “The Red Skelton Show” and several episodes of the “The Danny Kaye Show” as well as the Chicago Teddy Bears” series.

     During the first season of M*A*S*H* Jamie was hired for one day’s work as a phony transvestite bucking for a section 8 discharge.  Something about the chomped cigar under the veil and hairy legs under the flowing skirt and the hook nose immediately clicked with the producers.  Jamie became a full member of the cast of the No.1 show on television, playing Corporal Klinger and having even directed several episodes.  The weekly show could boast of an amazing audience of 32 million regular viewers, running for eleven years, and was chosen by TV guide as the best television show of all time.  The final two and a half  hour episode aired February 28, 1983, drawing more than 125 million viewers, a record that may never be broken.

     He also has appeared on the big screen in George Stevens’ monumental “The Greatest Story Ever Told” and with Burt Reynolds in “Cannonball Run” and
”Cannonball Run II”.  He has toured with John Davidson in “Will Rogers’s Follies” and played Oscar Madison in the national tour of “The Odd Couple” with his M*A*S*H* associate, William Christopher.  Jamie’s Broadway debut was made in the long running “Guys and Dolls” for which he received rave reviews for his portrayal of Nathan Detroit.
     More recently, he appeared in “Moon Over Buffalo”, as well as the comedy-thriller play, "Catch Me If You Can."  Jamie is still hoping to get back on a successful TV series and we all hope it will be soon. One of his proudest accomplishments was in 1985 when he received a “Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and, of course, his Emmy nomination for M*A*S*H.  And in 1983 Jamie received an honorary Doctor of Performing Arts Degree from the University of Toledo.
     Jamie’s greatest passion aside from acting is golf and, as everyone knows by now, he has for over twenty years sponsored the nationally acclaimed

Home | Biography | Just Farr Fun | Hababy | MASH| Jamie Farr Classic