Jamie Farr is an American television, film, and theater actor. He is best known for playing the role of cross-dressing Corporal (later Sergeant) Maxwell Q. Klinger in the television sitcom M*A*S*H.
Farr was born Jameel Joseph Farah in Toledo, Ohio, to Lebanese American parents Jamelia M. (née Abodeely), a seamstress, and Samuel N. Farah, a grocer. He was raised in the Antiochian Orthodox religion. Farr's first acting success occurred at age 11 when he won $2 in a local acting contest. After Woodward High School, where 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 Blackboard Jungle. He won the role of the mentally challenged student, Santini.
Farr's autobiography is titled Just Farr Fun.
After his role in the 1955 film, Blackboard Jungle , he entered the United States Army for two years serving overseas in Japan and Korea. His tour of Korea was after the hostilities ended. In his M*A*S*H role as Max Klinger he can be seen wearing his actual issued set of U.S. Army dog tags.
The park where Farr used to hang out when he was younger was renamed "Jamie Farr Park" in his honor on July 5, 1998. About the park, he said, "I wanted to be an actor, a famous actor, and I wanted my hometown of Toledo, Ohio, 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."
Further exemplifying Farr's love of Toledo was his frequent mention of Tony Packo's hot dogs on M*A*S*H, a Toledo staple. He also was shown in two episodes as a Toledo Mud Hens fan.
Since 2000 Farr has frequently donated to the Republican National Committee. Farr is married to Joy and has two children, Jonas and Yvonne. He is also the grandfather of Dorian. Since the early 1990s, Farr has battled severe rheumatoid arthritis in his hands.
- Appeared in a first season episode of I Dream of Jeannie.
- Four early episodes of The Dick Van Dyke Show as a restaurant delivery boy.
- Two appearances in the first season of F Troop. An uncredited role as a lackey of Geronimo the episode "Our Hero. What's His Name?" and a credited role as Standup Bull, a bumbling Native American stand up comic, in the episode "Too Many Cooks Spoil The Troop."
- An episode of Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C had Farr in a bit part as a special effects man.
- Episode "Boot" of Emergency! (2nd season) had Farr as a patient who has a curse on him and couldn't move his right arm. Dr. Early was able to remove the curse.
- Played a gypsy named Gracos in an episode of The Andy Griffith Show The Andy Griffith Show titled The Gypsies.Starred in two episodes of The Rifleman, the first time under his own name and the second under his adopted name.
- Guest appearance on The Love Boat.
- Guest appearance on That 70's Show on the season 5 episode "The Girl I Love."
- Attended the Miracle on Ice 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey defeat of the Soviet Union (ABC Sports).
- Hosted the unsold game shows pilots Oddball, Double Up, and Surprise, Surprise, and guest hosted Wordplay for a week in Summer 1987
- In the 1988 movie Scrooged had a cameo as himself, acting in a movie directed by Bill Murray's character.
- Played himself in the Family Guy episode "Believe It Or Not, Joe's Walking on Air" as a video instructor for leg surgery.
- Appeared in Diagnosis Murder episode Drill for Death (#5.15) along with several other actors from the movie and TV versions of M*A*S*H.
- Currently starring in Lend Me a Tenor at the New Theatre, a dinner theater in Overland Park, Kansas, where he has starred in several plays the last several years.
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