Mike Farrell, an accomplished actor, and producer is best known for his role as Captain B.J. Hunnicutt in the hit TV series MASH. He is also an activist and public speaker for various political causes. Farrell’s first wife, Judy Hayden, was an actress and a high school English and drama teacher whom he married in 1963. They separated in 1980 and divorced in 1983, but not before raising two children, Michael and Erin. Judy Farrell also acted on MASH, where she played Nurse Able. On the other hand, Farrell’s second wife was actress Shelley Fabares, whom he married in 1984.
Recently, Judy Farrell dies at the age of 84 following a stroke on April 4, 2023. Farrell’s son, Michael, told TMZ that his mom passed away in the hospital nine days after suffering a stroke. While the news of Judy Farrell’s death is tragic, the article highlights the life and legacy of an accomplished actress, a devoted mother, and a loving wife, who will always be remembered by those who knew her. This article delves into the life and relationships of Farrell, with a focus on his two marriages.
Who Is Mike Farrell’s First Wife, Judy Farrell?
Judy Farrell was born in 1939 in Quakertown, Pennsylvania. She grew up in Orange County, California, and graduated from Anaheim High School in 1957. After high school, she attended Fullerton Junior College, where she majored in theater. Farrell earned a bachelor’s degree in drama from San Francisco State University and a master’s degree in drama from the University of California, Irvine. She started teaching high school English and drama in Laguna Beach, California, in the early 1960s.
In August 1963, Farrell married actor Mike Farrell, who was working as a process server at the time. The couple settled in Laguna Beach, where Farrell continued teaching at the high school. They both performed at the Laguna Playhouse, where Mike Farrell got discovered and pursued acting full-time. The couple had two children, Michael and Erin, and nursed them for nine months each. The Farrells faced criticism for not farming out their children to babysitters and for not spanking them. However, they believed in not spoiling their children and wanted to provide them with continuity and stability.
Know About Judy’s Career
Judy Farrell acted in eight episodes of “MAS*H” from 1976 to 1983. She played Nurse Able, a recurring character on the show. Farrell retired from acting to focus on teaching and her family. She worked as an English and drama teacher at Laguna Beach High School and earned a reputation as a great teacher who inspired her students.
Farrell was a devoted educator who loved teaching and mentoring young people. She believed that education was crucial for personal growth and development. Farrell was a role model for her students and colleagues, who respected her dedication and commitment to teaching.
Inside Judy And Mike’s Relationship
Judy Farrell was a private person who valued her family and friends. She and Mike Farrell remained friends even after their divorce in 1983. They co-parented their children and supported each other’s careers and interests. Farrell was a loving mother who took pride in her children’s accomplishments. She was also a devoted wife who supported her husband’s acting and activism.
After her divorce from Mike Farrell, Judy Farrell focused on her teaching career and her family. She continued to act occasionally but preferred teaching and mentoring young people. Farrell believed that education was essential for personal growth and development, and she wanted to inspire her students to become lifelong learners.
Meet Mike Farrell’s Second Wife, Shelley Fabares
Mike Farrell’s second wife is actress Shelley Fabares. They met in 1970 when Fabares guest-starred on an episode of Farrell’s short-lived series “The Interns.” However, they did not begin a relationship until 12 years later. The two met again at a CBS affiliates convention and found themselves both divorced at the time. Fabares had left her marriage to record mogul Lou Adler, while Farrell had divorced his first wife, Judy Farrell, in 1983.
Farrell invited Fabares to an exhibit of photos and films he made on a trip to Central America, and within a year, he proposed to her in a Topanga Canyon health-food restaurant. Fabares said yes, and they were married in 1984 at the Pacific Palisades home of Fabares’ aunt, veteran actress Nanette Fabray.
Their early years of marriage were not without challenges. Farrell’s two children from his previous marriage, Michael and Erin, initially had difficulty accepting their new stepmother. However, with love, patience, courage, and strength, the family eventually found their way and now have two solid homes. Fabares also faced personal challenges, including the illness and eventual passing of her close friend and TV mom, Donna Reed, as well as her mother’s Alzheimer’s disease. Despite these difficulties, Farrell and Fabares have remained married for nearly four decades and have built a loving and supportive partnership.