When asked about the acting ability of John Wayne, one “M*A*S*H” star definitely was not shy in sharing his own opinion about The Duke.
Jamie Farr, who played Cpl. Max Klinger on “M*A*S*H”, talked about Wayne in a 2020 interview for We Are The Mighty.
“A lot of my actor friends used to make fun of John Wayne where Wayne is one of the best movie actors around,” Farr said. “When he says, ‘Follow me’ in a movie whether it is the cavalry or the Marines, you are going to follow him.
“He has that command about him,” Farr said. “He may not be able to do Macbeth, but what he does he is 100% believable. He is one of our greatest film actors ever.”
‘M*A*S*H’ Never Had Wayne On As Guest But He Starred In War Pictures
Wayne never appeared on “M*A*S*H” in his career. Yet starring in military-themed movies definitely were a part of the Wayne resume’. Among them was “The Longest Day,” “In Harm’s Way,” and “The Green Berets.”
John Wayne died on June 11, 1979, at 72 years old. He’d been battling cancer on and off throughout the latter part of his life. Wayne’s final movie was not a war-themed one, though. He played a dying gunslinger looking for one more fight in “The Shootist.”
Classic TV fans know Farr from his days of playing Klinger on “M*A*S*H.” His role changed throughout the seasons on CBS. At first, Klinger wore dresses in order to get a Section 8 and leave Korea. He wanted to go home to Toledo, Ohio. But that element got toned down over the years.
It pretty much disappeared when Klinger took over as clerk to Col. Sherman Potter [Harry Morgan]. That’s because Gary Burghoff left the sitcom and “M*A*S*H” needed a replacement for the clerk’s position.
Besides his work on the TV show, Farr was a regular guest on many game shows. They included “The Gong Show,” “The $25,000 Pyramid,” “Super Password,” and “Tattletales.”
The “M*A*S*H” star is still alive at 87 years old.
Farr Worked For Famed Comedian Red Skelton In Getting His Career Started
Farr was just getting his acting career going when he got drafted by the U.S. Army for the Korean War.
But a stroke of good fortune came the “M*A*S*H” star’s way. Its name was Red Skelton, a famed radio, film, and, eventually, television comedian.
Skelton, who Farr described as a “second father,” requested Farr be his assistant when Skelton toured through Korea to entertain the troops.
“After Red’s son [Richard] passed away [from leukemia], he wanted to do a tour to entertain troops,” Farr said. “And he wanted to do his shows with me. We flew on a United Nations airplane just me and him. I had VIP status which surprised me. We went to every encampment all the way up to the DMZ in Korea.”