Who is Mike Farrell?

American actor Michael Joseph ‘Mike’ Farrell Jr. was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota USA on 6 February 1939, making Aquarius his zodiac sign. He has 96 acting credits and is perhaps still known best for starring as Captain B. J. Hunnicutt in the critically acclaimed war comedy series “M*A*S*H”, which also starred Alan Alda and Wayne Rogers, and was created by Larry Gelbart. Set during the Korean War, the series follows the people deployed to a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital; it aired from 1972 through 1983 and won 63 of its 216 award nominations.

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Education and early life

Mike was raised alongside his three siblings by their father Michael Joseph Farrell and mother Agnes Sarah Cosgrove; the family moved to Hollywood, Los Angeles, California when Mike was two years old, as his father began working as a carpenter on movie sets.

Mike studied at West Hollywood Grammar School together with Natalie Wood, who went on to become a famous actress; he eventually progressed to Hollywood High School, matriculating in 1957. For the following two years Mike served in the US Marine Corps, then upon his discharge, worked various jobs to financially support himself while working his way up in the movie industry.

Roles in TV series

Mike’s debut TV series role was playing Young Couple Boy in the 1963 episode “The Rage of Silence” of the comedy “The Dick Powell Theatre”, and he could then have been seen appearing in an episode of various series in the remainder of the ‘60s, including the war comedy “McHale’s Navy”, the comedy “Ensign O’Toole”, and the war action “Combat!” From 1968 through 1970, he played Scott Banning in 157 episodes of the soap opera “Days of Our Lives”.

In 1971 and 1972, Mike was Andy Hays, one of the main characters in all 15 episodes of the drama “The Man and the City”, which also starred Anthony Quinn and William Schallert, and was created by Howard Rodman. It follows the life of Mayor Thomas Ascala, and the series won one of its two award nominations. The remainder of the ‘70s saw Mike appear in only a couple of TV series, including the crime action “Cannon”, the mystery horror “Circle of Fear”, and the adventure drama “The New Land”.

His only three TV series roles in the ‘80s were in single episodes, all released in 1990 of the sports comedy “Coach”, the crime mystery “Murder, She Wrote” and the action thriller “Frederick Forsyth Presents”.

From 1999 through 2002, Mike starred as Dr. James Hansen in all 96 episodes of the romantic drama “Providence”, which also starred Paula Cale and Melina Kanakaredes, and was created by John Masius. It follows plastic surgeon Sydney Hansen who’s moved from Hollywood to her hometown of Providence on Rhode Island, and the series won 14 of its 23 award nominations. The 2000s saw Mike make a guest appearance in an episode of many series, including the crime mystery “Without a Trace”, the action mystery “Miami Medical”, and the fantasy drama “Ghost Whisperer”.

His three most recent TV series roles have been in seven episodes of the 2014 crime thriller “The Red Road”, two episodes of the 2018 biographical crime drama “American Crime Story”, and two episodes of the 2019 crime action “NCIS”.

Mike hasn’t had any roles in the past four years, but hasn’t officially retired from acting.

Roles in movies

Mike’s debut film role was playing Patient in the 1963 war comedy “Captain Newman, M. D.”, directed by David Miller and starring Tony Curtis and Gregory Peck; it follows an Army Doctor working at Army Airs Corps Hospital’s neuropsychiatric ward in 1944, and the movie was nominated for 10 awards, including three Oscars for Best Sound, Best Writing and Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Bobby Darin). Some of Mike’s following roles were in the science fiction thriller “Countdown” and the  romantic comedy “The Graduate” both in 1967, and the 1968 science fiction thriller “Panic in the City”.

The year 1972 saw him appear in the drama “The Longest Night”, and he had only a couple of other roles in the ‘70s, in movies such as the 1973 action thriller “She Cried Murder”, the 1974 science fiction thriller “Love Again, Die Again”, and the 1979 comedy “Sex and the Single Parent”.

What marked the ‘80s for Mike was perhaps starring as Attorney Gianelli in the 1989 thriller “A Deadly Silence”, which co-starred Charles Haid and Bruce Weitz, and was directed by John Patterson. It follows the death of a father of three, and his neighbors as they’re learning about the man’s dark past.

Some of Mike’s notable performances in the ‘90s were in the ‘91 drama “The Whereabouts of Jenny”, the ‘94 crime mystery adventure “Hart to Hart: Old Friends Never Die” and the ‘97 drama “Sins of the Mind”.

He had roles in only five movies in the 2000s, with the most popular amongst these having been the 2006 animated action science fiction “Superman: Brainiac Attacks” (voice role), which starred Tim Daly, Powers Boothe and Dana Delany, and was directed by Curt Geda. It follows Brainiac and Lex Luthor who’ve joined forces against Superman.

Mike has since had only a single film role, playing Father of the Bride in the 2007 romantic comedy “Out at the Wedding”.

Other credits

Mike received special thanks for the 1991 documentary movie “Memories of M*A*S*H”.

He has eight producing credits, with three of the most recent amongst these being the 1997 drama movie “Sins of the Mind”, the 1998 biographical comedy movie “Patch Adams”, and the 2002 documentary film “’M*A*S*H’: 30th Anniversary Reunion”.

Some of Mike’s most recent talk-show appearances have been in “M*A*S*H* Matters”, “The Hollywood Moment at Home Edition”, and “Dystopia Tonight with John Poveromo”.

Awards and nominations

Mike’s won two of his seven award nominations: a 1993 Women in Film Humanitarian Award and a 2009 TV Land Impact Award for “M*A*S*H*”.

He was also nominated for two Primetime Emmys in 1980 and 1981, both for his performance in “M*A*S*H*”.

Love life and marriages

Mike’s married twice. His first wife was the late American actress Judy Farrell; they exchanged vows on 18 August 1963, when Judy was working as a high school English language teacher. The two separated in 1980, and their divorce was finalized on 10 July 1984; Judy gave birth to their daughter Erin Farrell on 27 March 1963, and their son Michael Farrell followed in 1970. Judy passed away on 2 April 2023, aged 84.

Mike married his second wife Shelley Fabares on 31 December 1984, and they’ve been together ever since; Shelley has 91 acting credits, but is probably still known best for portraying Mary Stone in 191 episodes of the family comedy series “The Donna Reed Show”, which aired from 1958 through 1966.

There are no other women whom Mike’s dated, that we know about; he’s married to his second wife Shelley Fabares as of June 2023, and has two children with his first wife Judy Hayden (deceased).

Interesting facts and hobbies

Mike’s autobiography “Just Call Me Mike: A Journey to Actor and Activist” was published in 2007, and was followed by his second book “Of Mule and Man” in 2009.

He was an activist for various social and political causes even before becoming popular in the film industry; Mike was the president of the Death Penalty Focus for more than a decade, was on the Cult Awareness Network’s board of advisors, and spent 10 years as a co-chair of the Californian Human Rights Watch. The animal rights non-profit organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) presented him with a Humanitarian Award in 2001.

One of his best friends is American actor and director Alan Alda, and he was also very close to the late American actor and director Harry Morgan, who died aged 96 on 7 December 2011.

Mike’s revealed that his father was an alcoholic.

Al Pacino is one of his favorite actors, and some of Mike’s favorite movies include “The Godfather Part II”, “Any Given Sunday” and “Righteous Kill”.

Height, eyes and wealth

Mike’s age is 84. He has blue eyes and grey hair, is 6ft 3ins (1.92m) tall and weighs around 190lbs (86kgs).

Mike’s net worth’s been estimated at over $10 million as of June 2023.

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