Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Judy Farrell, Actress and Writer on MAS*H, Dies at 84

  • Actress and writer Judy Farrell, known for playing Nurse Able on MAS*H, has died at 84.
  • Her former co-star Loretta Swit confirmed the news and shared a heartfelt statement about Farrell.
  • Farrell had a long and successful career in both acting and writing, and is survived by her husband and children.

Actress and writer Judy Farrell, best known for her role as Nurse Able on the hit TV series MAS*H, has passed away at the age of 84. Loretta Swit, who played Maj. Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan on the show, confirmed the news to Entertainment Weekly and shared a touching statement about her former co-star.

“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,” Swit said.

Farrell’s son Michael told TMZ that his mother passed away on April 2 after suffering a stroke that left her unable to speak nine days earlier. However, he also revealed that she was conscious and able to be with her loved ones in her final moments.

Born in Quapaw, Oklahoma in 1938 as Judy Hayden, Farrell studied theater at Oklahoma State University before earning a master’s degree at UCLA. She met her future husband, actor Mike Farrell, while at UCLA in 1961, and the two were married two years later. They had two children together, Michael and Erin, before their divorce in 1983.

Farrell made her debut on MAS*H in 1976 during the show’s fifth season, sharing the screen with her then-husband and other well-known actors like Alan Alda, Jamie Farr, and Gary Burghoff. She played Nurse Able, a role that had previously been played by several other actresses. Farrell went on to appear in seven more episodes of the show before it ended in 1983.

In addition to her work on MAS*H, Farrell also had guest roles on popular shows like Get Smart, The Partridge Family, and Fame. She was also a credited writer on the medical soap opera Port Charles.

Farrell is survived by her husband, Joe Bratcher, whom she married in 1985, as well as her children, Michael and Erin.

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