Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

After 6 Decades, Jamie Farr as Busy as Ever; the Former "M*A*S*H*" Star Is Headlining the New Show at the Alhambra

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

After 6 Decades, Jamie Farr as Busy as Ever; the Former "M*A*S*H*" Star Is Headlining the New Show at the Alhambra

Article excerpt

Byline: Charlie Patton

Having spent almost six decades as a professional actor, Jamie Farr is accustomed to the feast-or-famine nature of his business.

In the early 1960s, he recalled, he spent nine months working on the movie "The Greatest Story Ever Told," which was released in 1965. Paid $450 a week to play one of the apostles, Farr felt prosperous enough to buy a home in California. Then he didn't work for almost a year.

That's the nature of the business, Farr said. "One day you're eating chicken, the next day you're plucking the feathers."

But lately, Farr said, the jobs keep coming, even though he recently turned 77. Much of the last couple of years, he's been touring Canada in a production of "Tuesdays with Morrie." When he took a break from that, it was to star in "Lend Me a Tenor" at the New Theater in Overland Park, Kan. Now he's doing "Lend Me a Tenor" in Jacksonville, at Alhambra Theatre & Dining.

"The last two years I have not had more than three months off," the affable Farr said during a break in rehearsals last week.

But he likes it that way, he said. "It keeps your mind working. You can only play so much golf. I have a lot of friends, they'd love to be working."

Farr, who grew up Jameel Farah, in Toledo, Ohio, got his first big acting job when he was cast as a juvenile delinquent in 1955's "The Blackboard Jungle," in which fellow delinquents included Sidney Poitier.

He was working as a regular on "The Red Skelton Show" when he was drafted in 1957, spending two years in the Army. When he returned, he worked fairly steadily in television and movies for the next decade.

His big break came in 1972, when he was hired for a one-day job on the as-yet-unaired series "M*AS*H." His character, Max Klinger, who dressed in drag in an effort to win a Section 8 discharge, was not intended to be a regular. "I got $250 for the day," he said.

But Klinger made enough of an impression on the producers that they brought him back for 12 episodes in the second season. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.