Jamie Farr (born July 1, 1934) is an American television, film, and theater actor. He is best known for having played the role of cross-dressing Corporal (later Sergeant) Maxwell Q. Klinger in the television sitcom M*A*S*H.
Farr was born Jameel Joseph Farah in Toledo, Ohio, to Lebanese-American parents Jamelia M. (née Abodeely), a seamstress, and Samuel N. Farah, a grocer. He was raised in the Antiochian Orthodox religion. Farr’s first acting success occurred at age 11, when he won US$2 in a local acting contest. After Woodward High School, where he was one of the standouts among his class, Farr attended the Pasadena Playhouse where an MGM talent scout discovered him, offering him a screen-test for Blackboard Jungle. He won the role of the mentally challenged student, Santini.
Farr’s first film roles were in 1955, in Blackboard Jungle (billed as Jameel Farah) and as a fruit vendor in Kismet (uncredited).