Turning one day's bit part into an 11-year career is how Jamie Farr was drafted into M*A*S*H. Originally planned as a one-episode character, his crossing dressing Corporal Klinger proved so popular with audiences that he eventually became a regular on the hit television series.
Jamie is a Lebanese-American from Toledo, OH; a background that remained in tact for his character Klinger. Discovered at Pasadena Playhouse by an MGM talent agent, he was cast as mentally retarded student Santini in Blackboard Jungle. Initially roles were few and far between. In the 1950s he began to get more work in television, becoming a regular on The Red Skelton Show and The Danny Kaye Show. Prior to winning his role on M*A*S*H he appeared on the Dick Van Dyke Show and was a regular on The Chicago Teddy Bears.
He continued to act in film and TV during his stint on M*A*S*H appearing in Cannonball Run and Cannonball Run II with Burt Reynolds and made for TV movies such as Murder Can Hurt You, Return of the Rebels and For Love or Money.
Farr reprised his role of Klinger in the series After M*A*S*H. He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1985.
Corporal Maxwell Q. Klinger is a cross-dressing orderly, in search of a medical discharge for insanity. Despite his disdain for the Army, he refuses to accept a dishonorable discharge, opting to spend his days in "uniform" hoping to convince his superiors that he's mentally unstable.
Although consumed with efforts to get discharged, he never lets his desires get in the way of his duties. He reveals himself to be an efficient orderly and takes his work seriously. He proves he's ready for more responsibility as he steps into Radar's role procuring a much-needed generator in his new position as clerk.
For all his antics of to escape war, it's true love that makes him do an about face. Klinger falls in love with and marries girlfriend Soon-Lee, vowing to stay in Korea after the war to help her find her parents.