Mike Farrell (71)
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This article is about the actor. For the Northern Irish civil rights activist, see Michael Farrell. For the Australian cricketer, see Michael Farrell (cricketer).
Mike Farrell (born February 6, 1939) is an American actor, best known for his role as Captain B.J. Hunnicutt on the popular television series M*A*S*H (1975–83). More recently, Farrell has starred on the television series Providence (1999–2002) and appeared as Milton Lang, Victor's father, on Desperate Housewives (2007–2008). He is also a prominent activist for politically left-wing causes. He was recently seen in the tenth season episode "Persona" of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
Farrell was born in St. Paul, Minnesota one of four children. When he was two years old, his family moved from South St. Paul, Minnesota to Hollywood, California, where his father worked as a movie studio carpenter. Farrell attended West Hollywood Grammar School with Natalie Wood, and graduated from Hollywood High School, served in the United States Marine Corps, and worked at various jobs before his acting career.
During the 1960s, Farrell guest-starred in a few series. Notable roles included Federal Agent Modell in the episode "Monkee Chow Mein" on The Monkees in 1967, and as astronaut Somewhat ironically, an Army Doctor in an episode of "Combat", Arland in the episode "Genie, Genie, Who's Got the Genie?" on I Dream of Jeannie. In 1968 he originated the continuing role of Scott Banning in the NBC soap, "Days of Our Lives." In 1970 he starred as one of the young doctors in the CBS prime-time series, "The Interns", in a cast led by Broderick Crawford. In 1971 he played the assistant to Anthony Quinn in ABC's "The Man and The City." In 1973, while under contract to Universal Studio, Farrell starred with Robert Foxworth in "The Questor Tapes." During the years under contract he guest starred in a number of shows, including Banacek and Marcus Welby, M.D. and starred in a TV pilot with Jane Wyman that did not sell.
M*A*S*H (1975-1983) and later roles
Farrell's big break came in 1975 when Wayne Rogers unexpectedly departed M*A*S*H at the end of the third season. Farrell was quickly recruited for the newly created role of B.J. Hunnicutt. He stayed with the series for its remaining eight years on the air. During that time, Farrell wrote five episodes and directed four.
Since M*A*S*H, Farrell has guest starred in Murder, She Wrote, Justice League, Matlock, Mannix, Desperate Housewives, and many others. Farrell provided the voice of Jonathan Kent in the Superman (1996) animated series, with wife Shelley Fabares playing Martha Kent. He also starred in a number of TV movies, including "Memorial Day" (which he co-produced), "Sex and the Single Parent", "Prime Suspect", "Choices of the Heart", "Private Sessions", "Vanishing Act", "A Deadly Silence", "The Price of the Bride", "Incident at Dark River", "The Whereabouts of Jenny" and "Silent Motive." He has done two one-man shows: "JFK, a One Man Show" for PBS and, on stage, a national tour of David W. Rintels' play, "Clarence Darrow."
Besides being a writer and a director, Farrell has also been an executive producer and a producer in both television and film including "Dominick and Eugene" and "Patch Adams."
In 1999, Farrell was given the part of veterinarian Jim Hanson (the father of the lead character, Dr. Sydney Hansen, portrayed by actress Melina Kanakaredes) on the NBC-TV meldorama series Providence.
In his portrayal of Sydney's father, Farrell played opposite actress Concetta Tomei, who portrayed his wife (Lynda Hansen). Tomei's character died during the first episode of the series, but continued to appear as a ghost/memory in later episodes.
The show would prove to be a big hit with the critics and in the Nielsen Ratings. Farrell appeared in 64 of the 92 episodes before its surprising cancellation in December 2002.
Farrell has worked on many activist campaigns.
Even before he was well-known, Farrell was an activist for many political and social causes. He has worked with Human Rights Watch, was on the Board of Advisors of the original Cult Awareness Network, and has been president of Death Penalty Focus for more than ten years.
In 1985, Farrell was in Central America, helping refugees from the civil war in El Salvador. A guerrilla commander, Nidia Diaz, had been taken prisoner. She needed surgery, but no Salavadoran doctor dared to help her. Amnesty International recruited a foreign doctor. Farrell was present as an observer but was, in his words, "shanghaied into assisting with the surgery" when the doctor said his help was needed. The in-prison surgery was successful. Diaz went on to be one of the signers of the Chapultepec Peace Accords (the peace treaty ending the war), and she served in the Constituent Assembly of El Salvador and in the Central American Parliament.
Farrell has also been active in the Screen Actors Guild. In 2002 he was elected First Vice President of the Guild in Los Angeles. He served in the post for three years.
In 2006 Farrell appeared with Jello Biafra and Keith Gordon in the documentary Whose War?, examining the U.S. role in the Iraq War.
He married actress Judy Farrell in 1963. They were divorced in 1983. They have two children, Michael and Erin. On M*A*S*H B.J’s daughter was also named Erin.
On December 31, 1984, he married actress Shelley Fabares.
^ Mike Farrell Online
^ Varble, Bill (March 17, 2007), "Author to share his journey of activism", Mail Tribune, http://archive.mailtribune.com/archive/2007/0317/local/stories/farrell-bv.htm
^ Farrell, Mike (October 22, 1994). "Cuba, Today". Mike Farrell Online. Retrieved on 2007-07-16.
^ "Biography". Mike Farrell Online. Retrieved on 2007-08-30.
Mike Farrell at the Internet Movie Database
Retrovisionmag includes quotes of Mike on Gene Roddenberry and on the human condition.
Mike Farrell's website
Death Penalty Focus
Audio interview of Mike Farrell by Stephanie Miller about the Guantanamo Bay play on The Stephanie Miller Show
Recording of Mike Farrell talking about his book and activities from Sacramento, CA on Sept. 28, 2008
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Farrell"
Categories: 1939 births | Living people | American voice actors | United States Marines | Irish-Americans | American activists | Minnesota actors | People from Saint Paul, Minnesota | American anti-Iraq War activists | American human rights activists | American liberal activists | American anti-death penalty activists « Torna al 6 Febbraio