One M*A*S*H actor wore his real dog tags from his military service while on the show. Jamie Farr, who played Maxwell Klinger, was drafted into the army right as his career was starting to get off the ground. It took a while after he returned to land on his feet and find M*A*S*H.
Farr was one of the actors on the show who actually served in Korea. That experience was likely vital to his role. Right before he was drafted, Farr starred in a film alongside Andy Griffith where he ironically also played a soldier.
“I was drafted into the Army and it was an inopportune time for me as my career was taking off. The last movie I could take part in before heading off to the Army was No Time for Sergeants where I played Lt. Gardelli,” he told We Are The Mighty. A concern for him was the fact that he played someone different in rank.
“My hope was that the movie took a while to come out because I was a private in the Army,” he said. “But [I was] a lieutenant in the movie so people would think I was demoted. I reported the next day after filming wrapped to the Army recruiting station.”
So when it came time to act on M*A*S*H, the actor added in a bit of realism by wearing his actual dog tags.
Farr Has Had Some Impressive Projects outside of M*A*S*H
While Farr may be best known for playing Klinger on M*A*S*H, he’s acted alongside some major celebrities. For instance, he worked with Burt Reynolds in Cannonball Run. According to Farr, Reynolds was incredibly wonderful to work with. The actor was very loyal to his friends in the business.
He liked to have the same people in a lot of his movies, and Farr was one of them, appearing in a lot of films alongside the famous actor.
Farr also had an incredibly close relationship with comedy legend Red Skelton. Initially his idol, Skelton became a mentor to Farr after they met. Farr has listed Skelton as one of his biggest influences.
However, according to Farr himself, the project he is most proud of outside of M*A*S*H is a film he acted in called The Blackboard Jungle. Farr worked on the film, and it was one of his first projects. It followed the life of an English teacher who worked at an inner-city school. It was Farr’s debut film. Farr also had roles in The Lucy Show, Scrooged, I Dream of Jeannie, The Love Boat, and many other titles.
Whether it’s his work on The Blackboard Jungle, M*A*S*H, No time for Sergeants, or any other project, Farr certainly has a lot to be proud of. And he’s been working in the industry for decades. The 87-year-old actor’s most recent acting credit was for the 2019 tv show, The Cool Kids.