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Jamie Farr

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Corporal Klinger on M*A*S*H

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About

Jamie Farr

Corporal Klinger on M*A*S*H

Jamie Farr was hired for one day’s work during an early episode (“Chief Surgeon Who?”) of Twentieth Television’s hit comedy M*A*S*H, and he was so outrageous as phony transvestite Maxwell Q. Klinger that this day job became an eleven year career. 

Corporal Klinger wore dresses to try and convince the army that he was bucking for a “Section-8” medical discharge. For M*A*S*H’s second season, Farr was asked back for a dozen episodes becoming a regular in the third year. 

Farr’s first acting success occurred at age eleven when he won $2 in a local acting contest. After a stellar high school career when he was one of the standouts among his class, Farr attended the Pasadena Playhouse where an MGM talent scout discovered him, offering him a screen-test for The Blackboard Jungle. He won the role of the mentally retarded student, Santini. 

Although Farr was off to a promising start, roles were infrequent for the young actor, and he took jobs as a delivery person, a post office clerk, an Army surplus store clerk, an airlines reservations agent and as an employee at a chinchilla ranch. 

Farr began to carve his niche in television when, in the late 1950s, he became a regular on The Red Skelton Show before graduating to second banana with Harvey Korman on The Danny Kaye Show. Farr also appeared on The Dick Van Dyke Show and was a regular on The Chicago Teddy Bears before being asked to play the role as Klinger on M*A*S*H

After the enormously successful comedy finished its eleven-year run, Farr and co-stars Harry Morgan and William Christopher spent two years starring in AfterMASH, the sequel that explored how civilian life treated their characters. 

During his stint on M*A*S*H, Farr found time to do some work on the silver screen. He appeared in Cannonball Run and Cannonball Run II with Burt Reynolds. He also appeared in several made-for-TV movies such as Murder Can Hurt You, Return of the Rebels and For Love or Money. 

The Lebanese son of a Toledo grocer received a “Star” on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1985. He is the only actor from M*A*S*H who has written an autobiography; his autobiography is titled Just Farr Fun. Farr is still active in regional theater and guest stars occasionally on different TV series. He also has a yearly women’s golf tournament, the Jamie Farr Kroger Classic. The park where Jamie Farr used to hang out when he was younger was renamed Jamie Farr Park in his honor on July 5, 1998. “I wanted to be an actor, a famous actor, and I wanted my hometown of Toledo to be proud of me,” Farr told about 400 admirers and was quoted in The New York Post. “Jamie Farr Park is certainly a highlight of my life and career.”

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