Former M*A*S*H co-star and Port Charles writer Judy Farrell has passed away. She was married to Mike Farrell during the show’s run. 84 years old. Farrell died Sunday at West Hills Hospital and Medical Center of complications from a recent stroke, her son, Michael, told The Hollywood Reporter.
Farrell was born on March 1, 1939, in Quakertown, Pennsylvania, and began her acting career in the 1960s. She appeared in several popular television shows, including “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “Happy Days,” and “Barnaby Jones.” However, she is best remembered for her recurring role as Nurse Able in the hit TV series “M*A*S*H.”
Farrell also appeared in the movie “Fame” in 1980 and the subsequent television series, where she played the role of Mrs. Sherwood. Her contribution to the entertainment industry will be remembered by her fans and colleagues.
Star of the sitcom Loretta Swit confirmed the news to EW, saying in a statement, “Judy was a most beautiful woman — inside and out. We grew up together. She was family. This has been a painful loss, but we will always have the beauty of her memory. Rest in peace, Nurse Able.”
In addition to Judd for the Defense, Get Smart, Medical Center, Quincy M.E., Emergency!, Room 222, The Partridge Family, Benson, and Fame (for which she authored an episode), Farrell has acted in a wide variety of other television programs.
On April 5, 2013, the Los Angeles Times sent out a tweet to honor her. You can look at the whole tweet below-
'MASH' actor Judy Farrell, known for playing Nurse Able, dies at 84 https://t.co/ETsD7hDVeo
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) April 5, 2023
The Oklahoma native appeared in eight episodes of M*A*S*H from 1976 and 1983. Her first was “Out of Sight, Out of Mind,” a film from 1976 in which Alan Alda’s Hawkeye is temporarily blinded while attempting to fix a gas stove in the nurses’ tent.
“Alan decided to make it so he really couldn’t see,” she told THR in 2018 in an oral history of the CBS series. “I ended up being the nurse who led him around, except I was always bumping him into stuff because I didn’t know how to lead a blind person around. At one point, Alan turned to me and said, ‘Do your children trust you?’”
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On February 28, 1983, an unprecedented 105 million Americans tuned in to watch the series finale, “Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen,” which also featured an appearance by Farrell.
Her film credits include J.W. Coop (1971), Neil Simon’s Chapter Two (1979), and Long-Term Relationship (2006). From 1998 to 2003, she also penned episodes of the General Hospital spinoff, Port Charles.
She was married to Michael Farrell from 1963 until their divorce in 1983 when she was still known as Judy Hayden. (In 1975, he started playing Captain B.J. Hunnicutt on M*A*S*H, and in 1984, he wed actress Shelley Fabares.)
Her children Michael and Erin, as well as her second husband Joe Bratcher (whom she wed in 1985), are among her survivors.
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