A long time ago, Jamie Farr was a successful actor and became famous. But, he found real happiness when he discovered his faith and the woman who loved him even before he became famous and rich.
When he was a kid, Jamie Farr’s family didn’t have a lot of money. They were a happy family, and his parents, who were married and ran a grocery store, taught him important values. They showed him the importance of helping others, like the homeless in their neighborhood.
In a talk in 2022, Jamie Farr shared about his parents and how they influenced him to be a good person. They taught him important lessons that stayed with him throughout his life.
Jamie Farr’s dad used to save the leftover bits of meat and make sandwiches for hungry people in their neighborhood. These folks, who were often called tramps or hobos back then, would appreciate the help, but Jamie’s dad never asked for anything in return.
Jamie was born in Toledo and, when he was young, he faced teasing from other kids because of his nose. However, his strong belief in God inspired him to pursue acting. He thought God wanted him to be an actor and bring joy to people’s lives.
His hard work paid off in 1992 when he got a role in the play “Guys and Dolls.” He was cast as Nathan Detroit in the Broadway revival, taking over the role from Nathan Lane.
Before Jamie Farr made it to Broadway, he went to acting classes at the Pasadena Playhouse in California. He even got some small roles in movies like “No Time for Sergeants” and “The Blackboard Jungle.”
But then, he had to go to Japan and Korea because he was in the military. When he came back, his acting career had slowed down, and other actors like Clint Eastwood and Dennis Weaver had become more famous. Jamie felt really sad about his future in movies.
His fiancee, Joy Richards, who worked as a bookkeeper, supported him a lot during this tough time. Jamie couldn’t afford to buy her an engagement ring, but he would give her rides to work.
Feeling desperate, Jamie turned to God for help and went to church often. Then, he heard about a big movie being made about the life of Jesus called “The Greatest Story Ever Told,” and it gave him hope. He called his agent right away and said, “They’re making a movie about the Bible. With my great Middle-Eastern face, there has to be a part for me in it!”
Jamie Farr prayed a lot while waiting to hear if he got a role in a movie about the Bible. When they asked for a video of him acting, he prayed again. Sadly, the studio said they didn’t want him for the film. Feeling disappointed, Jamie didn’t light any candles or give money to the church on his next visit. He felt really lost.
But then, something amazing happened. The studio changed their mind and offered Jamie a part in the movie as Nathaniel Bartholomew. Jamie was so happy that he apologized to St. Jude for not believing and called his fiancee to start planning their wedding.
However, there was another surprise. The studio changed the role again, and now they wanted Jamie to play Apostle Thaddeus. Jamie learned that Apostle Thaddeus’s full name is Jude Thaddeus – Saint Jude, the Apostle of the Hopeless. This was the saint Jamie had been praying to all along!
Jamie felt really humble and amazed by this experience. It was a big turnaround, and he realized that sometimes things work out in unexpected ways.
He had only been a 27-year-old nobody when he originally proposed to his now-wife. However, this new opportunity finally set him on a path of success that allowed the two to get married and remain financially stable.
The couple was married in 1963. At their church ceremony, surrounded by friends and family, Farr looked up at Jesus’s apostles and found St. Jude.
“I like to think that he was my best man,” said Farr.
At first, Farr was often the partner to make dinner while his wife worked. Eventually, the two had two children. Farr’s true success came with his role as Maxwell Klinger on the beloved series “M*A*S*H”.
Jamie Farr could finally afford to buy a nice ring for his wife and support his family because of his most memorable role. He’s now 88 years old and had a successful career on TV, stage, and in movies. He’s been married for 60 years!
In an interview in 2011, Jamie talked about life, saying, “I enjoy life so much that I wouldn’t want to leave it.”