M*A*S*H star Judy Farrell dead: The iconic cast then and now

The show had a run of 11 seasons, and its final episode set a record as more than 100 million Americans tuned in to watch

The entertainment world has been struck with sorrow following the passing of Judy Farrell, a renowned actress celebrated for her portrayal of Nurse Able on the famed TV series “M*A*S*H.” At 84 years old, Farrell’s time came to an end, as confirmed by her son, Michael, in a statement to Fox News Digital.

Loretta Swit 

Loretta Swit, who graced the screen as Major Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan on “M*A*S*H,” expressed her devastation over the loss of Farrell, describing her as family. Swit recollected growing up with Farrell and noted that her passing had left a deep, unbearable pain. In a mournful tone, Swit stated that Farrell’s memory would forever be cherished, and that her inner and outer beauty would never be forgotten. May the character of Nurse Able rest in eternal peace.

The popular CBS sitcom, “M*A*S*H,” made its debut in 1972 amid the ongoing Vietnam War, showcasing dark comedic antics in a field hospital during the Korean War. With a total of 11 seasons and 256 episodes, the TV series concluded with the TV movie finale “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen.” This ending drew in over 100 million viewers and held the title of the most-watched American television program for a staggering 27 years.

The bond shared by the cast of “M*A*S*H” remained strong throughout the years, as Loretta Swit, who played Major Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan, mentioned in her statement about the passing of her co-star, Judy Farrell. Swit said, “We might as well be joined at the hip. We see each other quite frequently. Every time we lose a comrade, it’s a body blow. We feel it harshly, badly. People always ask me, ‘Do you ever see them?’ When do I not see them? These aren’t casual acquaintances from years ago. This is my family… So much of my life can be credited to my family.”

As “M*A*S*H” celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2022, star Alan Alda expressed his gratitude that the series is still on people’s minds. In an interview with People, he stated, “I still have gratitude that what we did all those years ago is still on people’s minds.”

Loretta Swit, acclaimed for her role as Major Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan, the head nurse and highest-ranking female officer in the unit, is a woman of many talents.

Her work on “M*A*SH” earned her two Emmys in the supporting actress in a comedy category, and she appeared in all 11 seasons. But Swit’s career didn’t stop there. After “M*A*S*H,” she made appearances on shows like “The Love Boat” and “Murder, She Wrote.” She even showed up on “Hollywood Squares” from 1999 to 2004.

Swit’s talents aren’t limited to acting, though. She has pursued art as well, with a book of her work titled “SwitHeart” hitting shelves in 2019. Swit also put out a book on needlepoint, called “A Needlepoint Scrapbook,” back in 1986.

Beyond her artistic endeavors, Swit is also an advocate for various charitable causes. She is a staunch supporter of animal rights and veterans, as evidenced by her extensive involvement in raising awareness for military members and veterans throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The times are challenging, but we are tough,” Swit said in an interview with Fox News Digital in 2020. “I have been networking. I have been shooting PSAs on my iPhone for New York City, the city I love, for the ASPCA and Ayla’s Acres for my love of animals, and Paws for Purple Hearts [because] I love veterans, POWs and [our] military.”

Gary Burghoff 

Gary Burghoff is best known for own role as Cpl. Walter Eugene “Radar” O’Reilly in both the 1970 film and the TV series “MAS*H,” earned six Emmy nominations and won one for his portrayal of the beloved character before leaving the series in 1979.

In a last interview, Burghoff discussed the differences between his character in the movie and the TV show. He described Radar as “a lone, darker, and somewhat sardonic character” in the film, while in the TV show, he was depicted as more innocent and naive.

After leaving “MAS*H,” Burghoff appeared on other TV shows, including the spinoff series “After M*A*S*H” and “WALTER,” as well as “Fantasy Island,” “The Love Boat,” and “Tales of the Unexpected.” Although he retired from acting in 1995, he briefly returned to the screen for the film “Daniel’s Lot.”

In addition to his acting career, Burghoff is also an inventor and has several patents, including one for “Chum Magic,” a device that attracts fish to boats, and another for an advanced fishing pole. He also holds a patent for a toilet seat lifting handle, demonstrating his versatility as an inventor.

Alan Alda 

Alan Alda, the Emmy-winning actor famous for playing the iconic character of Capt. Benjamin Franklin Pierce, aka “Hawkeye,” in “M*A*S*H,” continued to soar high in his career even after the show’s conclusion. Alda not only acted in several movies and TV shows but also directed and wrote several episodes of “MASH,” including the finale TV movie, “Goodbye, Farewell, Amen.”

In 2018, Alda revealed that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease three years earlier. Despite this, he has remained incredibly active, currently on the 20th season of his podcast, “Clear+Vivid with Alan Alda,” where he shares valuable lessons that he learned from his time on “MAS*H.”

Recently, Alda hosted a “M*A*S*H” reunion on the podcast, bringing together some of the surviving cast. Alda shared that he’s still learning interesting tidbits about the making of the show. For example, Mike Farrell had some great stories to share about the practical jokes that the cast played on one another during filming, which Alda was unaware of at the time.

Alda’s involvement in various ventures proves that his talent and drive have remained unwavering, even in the face of adversity.

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Mike Farrell 

With his unparalleled talent and unmatchable finesse, the one and only Jamie Farr, a true virtuoso of his profession, succeeded in captivating the hearts and captivating the minds of audiences far and wide, thanks to his indelible and unforgettable portrayal of the inimitable and incomparable character, Cpl.

Max Klinger, the irrepressibly quirky and zany character renowned for his hilarious antics in attempting to secure his long-awaited discharge from the military, often via the outlandish and seemingly unconventional practice of cross-dressing.

And yet, Farr’s talents extended far beyond his unforgettable performance on the classic hit series “MAS*H.” With an illustrious career spanning multiple decades, this consummate artist graced our screens in a panoply of diverse and multifarious television programs, from “Diagnosis Murder” to “Mad About You” to “That 70s Show,” each time delivering a performance that was truly second to none. But Farr was not just a fixture on the small screen, oh no.

He also made his mark in the film industry, appearing in such cinematic treasures as “Cannonball Run II,” “Scrooged,” and “A Month of Sundays,” among others. However, Farr’s true passion lay in the realm of theatre, and it was here that he truly shone.

Making his auspicious debut on the Great White Way in 1994 as the legendary Nathan Detroit in “Guys & Dolls,” Farr was hailed as a revelation, an absolute tour de force whose magnetic stage presence and incomparable talent for character work left audiences spellbound and clamoring for more. And more they got, as Farr embarked on an extensive series of touring productions, showcasing his unparalleled abilities in such beloved classics as “The Will Rogers Follies,” “Oklahoma,” and “Oliver,” to name but a few.

It can be stated without any hint of exaggeration or embellishment that the invaluable and extraordinary contributions made by the one and only Jamie Farr to the vast and diverse realm of entertainment are, to put it mildly, of a truly legendary and monumental nature, surpassing any expectation or mere appreciation, and his legacy is destined to withstand the test of time and reverberate across the numerous generations to come, inspiring and captivating audiences worldwide.


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