He played the zany Corporal Max Klinger on the antiwar TV comedy hit M*A*S*H during the 1970s and 1980s. But don't mistake him for the Soldier in the dress. Jamie Farr served with pride in the real Army. Here's how he got there and what he learned.
Fifteen years before I played the fictional Corporal Max Klinger on the long-running TV series M*A*S*H, I was a real Soldier in the U.S. Army. Just like Klinger, I was drafted. But I wore a regulation uniform, not a dress, and I served two years on active duty and six in the Army Reserve without trying to get a Section 8 discharge.
I won't try to tell you that serving in the military changed my life or opened up new career vistas. But it did help mature me. And having actually spent time as a soldier in Japan and Korea gave me some context later on for my roles in M*A*S*H and for a film version of the Broadway comedy No Time for Sergeants.