Jamie Farr, ‘M*A*S*H’s Max Klinger, Turns 89 Today
Happy birthday to actor/comedian Jamie Farr, who turns 89 years old today.
Farr was born July 1, 1934, and like his M*A*S*H character, Max Klinger, Farr is from Toledo, Ohio, is a Lebanese American, and did serve with the U.S. Army in Korea.
Farr showed acting talent at a young age, and his mentor, Danny Thomas, encouraged him to take it up professionally.
He appeared regularly on comedy/variety shows like The Red Skelton Show and The Danny Kaye Show in the late 1950s, and had bit parts in TV and movies throughout the 1960s.
But his big breakthrough came in 1972 when he was hired to play Corporal Maxwell Klinger on the M*A*S*H episode “Chief Surgeon Who?” (His character’s attempt to get discharged from the Army by wearing women’s clothes was inspired by comedian Lenny Bruce, who tried that during World War II.)
Farr was a hit, and his Klinger character returned in Season 2 and eventually became a series regular. Klinger also returned in the sequel series AfterMASH, which was much less of a hit.
Here’s a look back at a few of Farr’s other onscreen appearances:
In the 2007 Hallmark Channel original holiday movie A Grandpa for Christmas:
As a Season 5 guest star on That ’70s Show:
As recurring character Dudley on the sitcom The Cool Kids:
As Sheik Abdul ben Falafel in Cannonball Run, Cannonball Run II and Speed Zone. He’s the only character to appear in all three Cannonball Run movies:
In the 2018 fantasy/comedy Angels on Tap:
In the 1967 crime comedy film Who’s Minding the Mint?:
In a 1995 episode of comedy sketch show MADtv: