Mike Farrell

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Mike Farrell (2007)

Michael Joseph Farrell (born February 6, 1939 in Saint Paul , Minnesota ) is an American actor and producer.



When Mike Farrell was two years old, his family moved to Hollywood, where his father Joe Farrell worked as a carpenter in a film studio. His father died in 1956. Farrell has three siblings. After graduating from Hollywood High School, he served two years in the Marines in the 1950s .

In 1963 Farrell married his first wife Judy, who works as an actress and writer and who played the nurse Able in eight episodes of the television series M * A * S * H. The marriage resulted in the two children Michael Farrell (* 1970) and Erin Colleen Farrell (* 1973), who also work as actors and costume designers in film. Farrell's marriage ended in divorce in 1983. On December 31, 1984, Farrell married actress Shelley Fabares .

In his spare time he is an avid motorcyclist .

Movie and TV

Mike and Judy Farrell at Knott's Berry Farm.

Through his father's work, he came into contact with film as a child. Therefore, a few years after his release from the Marines and several different jobs, he decided to try a career in film as well. He took lessons from the actor Jeff Corey (including Jack Nicholson , Leonard Nimoy , Barbra Streisand , Anthony Perkins , Robin Williams ). After minor roles in films (1967 in Die Reifeprüfung ) and television series, he received a role in the soap opera Zeit der Sehnsucht from 1968 to 1970 . He played larger roles in 1970/1971 in The Interns (as a doctor) and 1971/1972 in The Man and the City .

His best-known role, Captain BJ Hunnicut in the anti-war satire M * A * S * H , he played from 1975 to 1983. He was nominated for an Emmy for his portrayal in the series . He also wrote the scripts for five episodes and directed three episodes.

Later he also appeared mainly in television productions. From 1999 to 2002 he played in the television series Providence the veterinary and father of the main character, Dr. James Hansen . In 2007 he had a small guest role on the television series Desperate Housewives as the father of the new husband of Gabrielle Solis ( Eva Longoria Parker ).

Together with Marvin Minoff he founded the Farrell / Minoff Productions, whose best-known production is the film Patch Adams with Robin Williams in the leading role.

Social Commitment

Farrell at a 2007 anti-war demonstration

Since he claims to have been an opponent of the death penalty throughout his life , Farrell is also committed to its abolition. He is president of the Death Penalty Focus organization, founded in 1988, and a member of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (in Germany Initiative against the Death Penalty / German Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty ). He uses his popularity as an actor for publications and lectures on the subject of the death penalty.

Since 1979 he has been the spokesman for the organization Concern America , which advocates development aid and the protection of refugees. After visiting Somalia and Bosnia in 1990, he became the UN refugee organization's special envoy for these countries. Between 1994 and 2004, he was vice chairman of Human Rights Watch in California .

In 2002 he co-founded the group Artists United to Win Without War , which tried to prevent another Gulf War . He initiated a letter to President Bush signed by over 100 prominent figures.

Farrell is also an advocate for the environment, children's rights, animal rights and anti-discrimination. His daughter Erin works in Los Angeles for civil rights activist Jesse Jackson .


Farrell wrote his autobiography , Just Call Me Mike ; Charlie Sheen wrote the foreword for the 2008 edition . To promote the book, Farrell toured across the United States on a book tour with his Toyota Prius , which he calls Mule , and published his experiences in the book Of Mule and Men (2009). The title is based on the novel by John Steinbeck Of Mice and Men ( Of Mice and Men on).

Awards (selection)

  • 1976: The Christopher Award, Gay Rights
  • 1991: Abolitionist Award, Death Penalty Focus
  • 1992: Earl Warren Civil Liberties Awards, American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California
  • 1996: Humanitarian Award, Mary Magdalene Project
  • 2002: Gleitsman Foundation Citizen Activist Award, Gleitsman Foundation
  • 2004: Donald Wright Award, California Attorneys for Criminal Justice

Filmography (selection)




Web links

Commons : Mike Farrell  - album with pictures, videos and audio files