Mike Farrell starred in the American war comedy-drama M*A*S*H for nearly 10 years. But prior to that, he was actually in the Marine Corps.
You may remember him by his name in the show. Mike Farrell played the role of Captain B.J. Hunnicutt on M*A*S*H from 1975-1983. He’s also made appearances in several other big shows such as Desperate Housewives, Law & Order: SVU, Supernatural, The Red Road, and American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace. And most recently, Farrell even appeared in an episode of NCIS, playing the role of Judge Miles Deakin.
But prior to getting involved in the acting industry, Mike Farrell was passionate about a different industry. That would be the military — more specifically, the Marines. In an interview back in May, Farrell told We Are the Mighty that he became a Marine for two reasons. According to the outlet, he was “smitten” with the Marines ever since he was a little boy. Farrell even remembers being alive as a boy at the end of World War II.
“I was alive during World War II, but it was a distant reality for me,” he recalled. “I remember coming home, getting out of my dad’s car in 1945 when we heard on the radio the war was over.”
The M*A*S*H star recalled one specific memory that made him laugh.
“My mother having plastic coupon coins to go shopping during the war. We were told we couldn’t get bubble gum because rubber needed to be saved for the war effort.”
‘M*A*S*H’ Star Joined the Marines with His Best Friend
However, it wasn’t just Mike Farrell that was smitten with the Marine Corps. His best friend Pat was, too. They were friends from grade school through high school and into married life. So, what did they do? They joined the force together.
Before that, Farrell was a typical boy during the 1940s. Not only did he develop a love for the Marines thanks to his father, but he also developed a sense of hard work. After he purchased an old bike, Farrell got right to work. He did all kinds of small jobs like mowing lawns and delivering papers to earn money. He sold papers on the corner. Despite being just a kid, he had to contribute to help make sure his family had enough to get by.
The M*A*S*H actor also remembered another funny memory from his childhood. The actor’s mom took him and his brother to buy clothes at an “old store.” He says that nowadays it would probably be a Good Will or a Salvation Army store. But he remembers being embarrassed at having to wear used clothes, especially when he was selling papers on the corner in Beverly Hills.
“When a girl from high school drove by with her mother and saw me, boy was I embarrassed.”