Jamie Farr wouldn't even think of quitting M*A*S*H

Maybe Klinger wanted to get out of the Army, but Farr wouldn't dream of leaving M*A*S*H.

Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution

The highs and lows of fame can be swift and unpredictable. Not only do you have to be smart enough to bet on your own success, but you also need to know when it's time to call it and get out while you're still hot.

Though some might argue, M*A*S*H never really had the opportunity to cool down. Even after eleven seasons, the show was still held in high regard by viewers and critics. But over the years, cast members had decided they'd had enough of the 4077th, and left the regular cast. People like Larry Linville, Wayne Rogers, and Gary Burghoff each knew that it was their time to leave the series, and while their reasons for departure varied, they were resolute in their decisions.

For Jamie Farr, there was never a moment when he didn't want to play Klinger. According to an interview with The Chicago Tribune, while other cast members were performing in their farewell episodes, leaving M*A*S*H was inconceivable for someone like Farr.

"It never occurred to me to leave," he said. "M*A*S*H is the most exciting thing in my career. It made me famous and slightly rich and something I can be proud of."

Importantly, many actors tend to leave a show because they believe there are better opportunities elsewhere, whereas Farr seemed to believe that working on M*A*S*H was the best opportunity he'd get.

"For sixteen years I was going virtually nowhere with my acting career," he said. "I struggled to get a day's work here or there. I was lucky if I got a week's work in a movie. I spent lots of time in unemployment lines, but not a minute since I was cast as Klinger."

So while hanging onto something too long can prove to be fatal, Farr's insight teaches us that what seems to be more important is appreciating a good thing when it comes your way.

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4 Comments

Adamtwelvia 18 days ago
Thank God you never left, Jamie! You were THE best thing about the show. Without you Alan Alda would have turned it into a full-on drama!
BenSobeleone 21 days ago
Jamie Farr was in the motion picture The Greatest Story Ever Told. He played the apostle Thaddeus (St. Jude)
AgingDisgracefully 21 days ago
In a related story, Ringo never left The Beatles.
MichaelPowers 22 days ago
Jamie worked long and hard as an actor, with plenty of long dry spells between roles. I'm so glad he finally discovered the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, he deserved it so much.
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