In October 1980, M*A*S*H had begun its ninth season and was humming along in the ratings. In the television world, however, there are not many shows that run beyond nine seasons. That reality was not missed by many of the M*A*S*H cast members, and in this 20th Century Fox Television Feature Story press release, we see that Jamie Farr was preparing for M*A*S*H to end by broadening his scope by appearing in several tv and theatrical release movies, and he had his sights set on Broadway. Let’s take a look at this short press release.
We know Farr as Corporal Max Klinger, who is best known for his Section-8 dodges by wearing dresses. After eight full seasons, Farr was frustrated being recognized as Klinger instead of himself. During M*A*S*H off-seasons, the press release points out that Farr starred in a TV movie called Murder can Hurt You! (1980) on ABC. In addition to Farr, the movie also starred Tony Danza, John Bynes, Gavin MacLeod, and J.J. Walker. Farr also had a role in the cult classic The Cannonball Run (1981) which starred Burt Reynolds, Roger Moore, Farrah Fawcett, Dom DeLuise, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr. It was a great movie for Farr to appear in, although given the number of headliners, it would be hard to “breakout” in that film. For example, Jackie Chan also appeared in The Cannonball Run, and he is credited as “Subaru Driver #1.” In addition to the big screen, Farr had also appeared on stage in Canada.
Farr is a talented actor, and it made sense for him to branch out beyond television as M*A*S*H was winding down. No one wants to get caught flat-footed when their job ends, and Farr was setting himself up for a future without M*A*S*H. After the series ended in 1983, Farr reprised his role in The Cannonball Run II (1984), continued to play Klinger in AfterMASH (1983-1985), guest starred in a number of television series and movies, and appeared in stage productions across the country. Today, M*A*S*H is probably was Farr is best known for, but he’s had a well rounded and impressive career. He still attends several fan conventions each year.