R.I.P. Judy Farrell, who appeared on M*A*S*H alongside her husband, Mike Farrell
M*A*S*H fans may recognize her as Nurse Able from her multiple episodes.
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Judy Farrell, who appeared on eight episodes of M*A*S*H with her then-husband, Mike Farrell, has passed away.
Mike and Judy bonded over a shared love of acting. In the early days, before Mike would play B.J. Hunnicutt, they both began their theater careers at the Laguna Playhouse in California, alongside other future stars like Harrison Ford.
Mike eventually decided to go to Hollywood and make a go of being a professional actor. Judy was supportive, Mike wrote in his autobiography Just Call Me Mike, but the distance still caused some strain in the relationship. She had a life in Laguna, and he was spending all his time in L.A. Still, Judy was thrilled for her husband, Mike wrote.
After a disappointing start in Hollywood, Mike knew that he needed a steady paycheck to support his family. By this time, Mike and Judy had two kids and had become "doting parents," Mike wrote, the kind of devoted parents who others claim stopped being fun to be around.
Their break came when an opportunity to replace Wayne Rogers on M*A*S*H arose, and Mike said he was definitely interested.
After landing the part, the cast "came to love Judy" and it didn't take long for her to start appearing on the show herself. Her first appearance came in the fifth season episode "Out of Sight, Out of Mind". In the opening scene, two nurses, a blonde and a brunette, have entered the Swamp in the middle of the night, whispering loudly and coming to ask Hawkeye to help after the heat stopped working in their tent.
The blonde nurse is none other than Judy Farrell — who Hawkeye jokingly invites into his bed to warm up. Credited in her episodes as "Nurse Able", though she wasn't the only one to play that title, since M*A*S*H wasn't shy about having the same actors play multiple characters or giving multiple actors the same character. Kellye Nakahara would also play "Nurse Able" at one point before getting the official name of "Nurse Kellye". Still, for most M*A*S*H fans, Judy Farrell is Nurse Able.
Judy stuck around through the end of M*A*S*H, even getting to be part of the history-making finale. She would get divorced from Mike the same year; their lives had simply gone in different directions. The split was amicable, and over the years they built a "close, mutually supportive and loving extended family" as they both remarried, her to actor Joe Bratcher and him to actor Shelley Fabares.
In her career, Judy Farrell appeared in more than a dozen TV series, including Get Smart, Emergency!, The Partridge Family and Fame. She also wrote more than 100 episodes of Port Charles and an episode of Fame.
The actress and writer was 84 years old.
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While looking it up I read Jimmy Kimmel tried to crack a joke about it at the Oscar’s. Robert’s son Noah said joking for people to take out their phones and vote if Robert should be included in this years “in Memoriam” segment 3 days after someone died was in bad taste (Spoiler: He wasn’t included. Unless the joke was the inclusion). Noah also stated he thought the whole tribute to those Hollywood had lost the previous year was badly botched since several people were left out. Seems I’ve heard this complaint about the in memoriam segments over multiple years. You would think someone would want to work on that. If it truly is about time then you would think they would create a version that would be posted on their website that included everyone who passed. My only guess that MeTV didn’t list it is because they don’t play Baretta or Our Gang episodes.
Judy Judy Judy" :) again some bright class-y ness is gone leaving us with septic tank POO-POO