Mike Farrell: American actor (born: 1939) | Biography
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Mike Farrell
American actor

Mike Farrell

Mike Farrell
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American actor
A.K.A. Michael Joseph Farrell
Is Actor Film producer Activist Human rights activist Film actor Television actor Voice actor Screenwriter
From United States of America
Field Activism Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender male
Birth 6 February 1939, Saint Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota, USA
Age 84 years
Star sign Aquarius
Politics Democratic Party
Spouse: Judy Farrell (1963-1983)Shelley Fabares (1984-)
Hollywood High School
Mike Farrell
The details (from wikipedia)


Michael Joseph Farrell Jr. (born February 6, 1939) is an American actor, best known for his role as Captain B.J. Hunnicutt on the television series M*A*S*H (1975–83). He is also an activist and public speaker for various political causes.

Farrell was a producer of Patch Adams (1998) starring Robin Williams, and starred in the television series Providence (1999–2002). He appeared as Milton Lang, the father of Victor Lang (John Slattery), husband of Gabrielle Solis (Eva Longoria) on Desperate Housewives (2007–08).

He was seen in the season 10 episode "Persona" of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. He appeared as the character Fred Jones in the season 8 episode "Hunteri Heroici" of Supernatural. In 2014 he was a supporting cast member on the Sundance TV Network criminal drama series The Red Road. He portrayed Lee Miglin, a real estate baron who fell victim to serial killer Andrew Cunanan, in FX's anthology series American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace. Most recently, he appeared in NCIS, playing the role of Judge Miles Deakin in the episode "Judge, Jury..." and "...and Executioner."

Early life

Farrell, one of four children, was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, the son of Agnes Sarah Cosgrove and Michael Joseph Farrell.

When he was two years old, his family moved from South St. Paul to Hollywood, California, where his father worked as a carpenter on film sets. Farrell attended West Hollywood Grammar School in the same class as fellow actor Natalie Wood, and graduated from Hollywood High School. He served in the United States Marine Corps from 1957 to 1959. After being discharged, he worked at various jobs before his acting career.

Acting career

Early career

Mike with Judy Farrell at Knott's Berry Farm in 1966

During the 1960s, Farrell guest-starred in a few series. Notable roles included playing a young US Forest Service ranger in the Lassie episode "Never Look Back" (February 1967), Federal Agent Modell in the episode "Monkee Chow Mein" on The Monkees in 1967; as a bellhop in lobby (uncredited) in The Graduate in 1967; astronaut Arland in the episode "Genie, Genie, Who's Got the Genie?" on I Dream of Jeannie; and an Army doctor in the episode "The Bankroll" of Combat!

In 1968, he originated the continuing role of Scott Banning in the NBC soap opera 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 Studios, Farrell starred with Robert Foxworth in The Questor Tapes. During the years under contract, he guest starred in a number of shows, including Banacek, Mannix, Marcus Welby, M.D., and The New Land; and starred in a television pilot with Jane Wyman, which did not sell.

In the early 1970s, Farrell guest starred in the television western drama Bonanza and did a number of commercials as a spokesman for Maytag dryers, Plymouth automobiles among other products.

On the game show Stumpers!, 1976

M*A*S*H (1975–83) 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, along with co-series lead Harry Morgan, who replaced McLean Stevenson, also at the end of the third season, opposite Alan Alda. Both Morgan and Farrell were big fans of the M*A*S*H series during its early seasons before they both joined the cast, with Morgan having also appeared as "General Bartford Hamilton Steele" in the season-three episode "The General Flipped at Dawn" (for which he won an Emmy Award for Best Guest Role in a Primetime Comedy Series). Farrell stayed with the series for its remaining eight years on the air. During that time, he wrote 5 episodes and directed 4. Since M*A*S*H, Farrell has guest starred in Murder, She Wrote; Justice League; Desperate Housewives; and many others. Farrell voiced Jonathan Kent in Superman: The Animated Series (1996) with wife Shelley Fabares voicing Martha Kent.

Farrell hosted several National Geographic Presents specials and starred in a number of TV movies, including 1983's Memorial Day, which he co-produced. He did two one-man shows: JFK, a One Man Show for PBS and, on stage, a national tour of David W. Rintels' play Clarence Darrow.

In 1985, Farrell partnered with film and television producer Marvin Minoff to create Farrell/Minoff Productions, a production company. Together, Farrell and Minoff produced numerous television movies.

Farrell and Minoff executive produced 2 feature films during their partnership, Dominick and Eugene, a 1988 Orion Pictures film which earned actor Tom Hulce a Golden Globe nomination for best actor. The pair also produced 1998's Patch Adams starring Robin Williams. Farrell and Minoff's professional partnership lasted more than 25 years, until Minoff's death in November 2009.

Providence (1999–2002)

In 1999, Farrell was given the part of veterinarian Jim Hansen, the father of the lead character Dr. Sydney Hansen, portrayed by Melina Kanakaredes, on the NBC-TV melodrama series Providence.

In his portrayal of Sydney's father, Farrell played opposite 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 vignettes of later episodes. Farrell appeared in 64 of the 96 episodes.

Political activism

Farrell meets with Senator Debbie Stabenow in 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 was co-chair of the California Human Rights Watch for 10 years, was on the Board of Advisors of the original Cult Awareness Network, and has been president of Death Penalty Focus for more than 10 years, being the first person to be awarded its Human Rights Award, subsequently named after him in 2006. He received PETA's Humanitarian Award in 2001, and narrated a public service campaign for them about animal abuse.

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 Salvadoran doctor dared to help her, so 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 and Diaz went on to be one of the signatories of the Chapultepec Peace Accords, the peace treaty ending the war. She also served in the Legislative Assembly of El Salvador and in the Central American Parliament.

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 also serves on the advisory board of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.

In 2014, Farrell workshopped a play by George Shea which brought Dr. Charles David Keeling and his scientific work on atmospheric CO2 emissions to life. Shea videotaped and shared a performance of the play on YouTube, still available in August 2021.

In 2016, after the US presidential election of Donald Trump, Mike appeared in a commercial to urge Republican electors to block Trump from becoming president by having 37 Electors change their vote in the Electoral College from Trump to John Kasich. Farrell appeared on Tucker Carlson's show on Fox network on Dec, 16, 2016.


Farrell wrote an autobiography, Just Call Me Mike: A Journey to Actor and Activist (Akashic Books, ISBN 1-9333-5408-9), published in 2007. The book covers his working-class childhood in West Hollywood, his break into show business, his personal life, and his increasing involvement in politics and the human rights movement in the United States, Cambodia, and Latin America. His second book, Of Mule and Man (2009, Akashic Books, ISBN 1-9333-5475-5), is a journal of his five-week, 9,000-mile drive around the U.S. to promote the paperback edition of his first book.

Personal life

In August 1963, Farrell married actress Judy Hayden, who was working as a high school English and drama teacher in Laguna Beach, California. They were separated in 1980 and divorced in 1983. They have two children, Michael and Erin. On M*A*S*H, Hunnicutt's daughter also was named Erin. Also on M*A*S*H, in the episode "The Colonel's Horse" (season 5, episode 12), Hunnicutt's father-in-law is Floyd Hayden, Hayden being the maiden name of Judy, Farrell's wife. Judy Farrell also acted on M*A*S*H from 1976-1983 as Nurse Able, one of the few nurses with a recurring role.

On December 31, 1984, he married actress Shelley Fabares.

Farrell has been active in the Screen Actors Guild. In 2002 he was elected first vice president of the Guild in Los Angeles and served in the post for three years.


  • McHale's Navy (1963) (Episode: "Washing Machine Charlie") as The Gunner
  • Captain Newman, M.D. (1963) as Patient (uncredited)
  • The Year of 53 Weeks (1966) as Captain Kendall (government film)
  • Combat! (1966) (Episode: "The Bankroll") as Doctor
  • The Monkees (TV series) (1967) (Episode: "Monkees Chow Mein”) as Agent Modell
  • The Graduate (1967) as Bellhop in the Lobby (uncredited)
  • Countdown (1968) as Houston Engineer (uncredited)
  • Panic in the City (1968) as Dick Blaine
  • Targets (1968) as Man in Phonebooth
  • Dayton's Devils (1968) as Naval Officer
  • Worthy to Stand (1969) as Fred Washburn
  • Bonanza (1972) (Episode: "The Hidden Enemy") as Dr. Wills
  • Doomsday Machine (TV Movie - 1972) as 1st Reporter
  • The Longest Night (TV Movie - 1972) as Wills
  • The Six Million Dollar Man (Episode: "The Pioneers") as David Tate
  • She Cried Murder (TV Movie - 1973) as Det. Walter Stepanic
  • The Questor Tapes (TV Movie - 1974) as Jerry Robinson
  • Live Again, Die Again (TV Movie - 1974) as James Carmichael
  • Ladies of the Corridor (TV Movie - 1975) as Paul Osgood
  • McNaughton's Daughter (TV Movie - 1976) as Colin Pierce
  • Battered (TV Movie - 1978) as Michael Hawks
  • Sex and the Single Parent (TV Movie - 1979) as George
  • Letters From Frank (TV Movie - 1979) as Richard Miller
  • The Body Human: Becoming A Man (TV Documentary - 1981) Host
  • Father Damien: The Leper Priest (TV Movie - 1980) as Robertson
  • Prime Suspect (TV Movie - 1982) as Frank Steplin
  • Memorial Day (1983) as Matt Walker
  • Chances of the Heart (TV Movie - 1983) as Ambassador Robert E. White
  • J.F.K.: A One-Man Show (TV Movie - 1984) as John Fitzgerald Kennedy
  • Private Sessions (TV Movie - 1985) as Dr. Joe Braden
  • Vanishing Act (TV Movie - 1986) as Harry Kenyon
  • A Deadly Silence (TV Movie - 1987) as Atty. Gianelli
  • Incident at Dark River (TV Movie - 1989) as Tim McFall
  • The Price of the Bride (TV Movie - 1990) as Joe Roth
  • Lockdown (1990) as Prentis
  • The Whereabouts of Jenny (TV Movie - 1991) as Van Zandt
  • Silent Movie (TV Movie - 1991) as Detective Paul Trella
  • Hart to Hart: Old Friends Never Die (TV Movie - 1994} as Frank Crane
  • Matlock (Episode: "The Trial") - 1994) as Judge Bennett
  • Superman: The Last Son of Krypton (TV Movie - 1996) as Voice of Jonathan Kent
  • Vows of Deception (TV Movie - 1996) as Clay Spencer
  • Sins of the Mind (TV Movie - 1996) as William
  • The Killer Within (1997) as Congressman Clayton
  • The Crooked E: The Unshredded Truth About Enron (TV Movie - 2003) as Kenneth Lay
  • The Clinic (TV Movie - 2004) as Dr. Cyrus Gachet
  • Locusts (TV Movies - 2005) as Lyle Rierdon
  • Out at the Wedding (TV Movie - 2007) as Father of the Bride
  • Ghost Whisperer as William Jet (2009)
  • Supernatural (TV Series - 2012) as Fred Jones
  • The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story (2018) as Lee Miglin
  • NCIS (2019) (2 Episodes: "Judge, Jury...", “and Executioner”) as Judge Miles Deakin
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 28 Nov 2021. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is Mike Farrell known for?
A: Mike Farrell is best known for his role as Captain B.J. Hunnicutt on the popular TV series M*A*S*H.
Q: What is Mike Farrell's full name?
A: Mike Farrell's full name is Michael Joseph Farrell Jr.
Q: Where was Mike Farrell born?
A: Mike Farrell was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, United States.
Q: What other television shows has Mike Farrell appeared in?
A: Aside from M*A*S*H, Mike Farrell has appeared in television shows such as Providence, Desperate Housewives, and The Red Road.
Q: Has Mike Farrell ever won any awards?
A: Yes, Mike Farrell has won several awards throughout his career. He received an Emmy Award nomination for his role in M*A*S*H and won a Humanitas Prize for his humanitarian efforts.
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