When star Mike Farrell introduced his famous “M*A*S*H” mustache in the show’s sixth season finale in 1978, the actor wasn’t too sure about the new look.
Farrell told the Auburn Journal in 1980 that Dr. B.J. Honeycutt’s look started as “clean-cut, fresh from home, naïve.”
But after time, the former US Marine donned the new hairy look, and it was part-fashion, part-grizzled Korean War camp life look, according to MeTV.
Farrell’s ‘M*A*S*H’ Mustache Part Of Popular 70s Trend
Mustaches were taking America by storm with famous figures like actor Burt Reynolds, football player Dick Butkus, and Olympic swimmer Mark Spitz sporting them.
As the trend expanded, Farrell’s B.J. mustache was becoming a thing. The actor struggled, feeling like he didn’t want to identify with his on-screen character completely. He wanted independence from it and ultimately wanted to be seen as himself.
Farrell joked to the Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat and Chronicle in 1983 that he and his character were “not the same – although we’re almost exactly the same height. I think I’m much tougher than B.J.; I’d be much likelier to punch somebody in the nose than he would.”
Alda Asked Farrell To Grow The Mustache
So, here’s something for you. “M*A*S*H” co-star Alan Alda came up with the idea for Farrell to grow a mustache in the seventh season.
Both men played similar roles as a jokester in their show roles. To Farrell, it was a vivid memory.
“Alan said, ‘They think we’re too much alike.’ Would you mind growing a mustache,” he said.
Did M*A*S*H Character Shave During Show?
As far as we know, Farrell kept the mustache for his time on the show.
But one episode in Season 11 titled “The Joker Is Wild” had Farrell shave. Well, that is, someone else did prank Hunnicutt, shaving off half of the mustache for the show.
Fortunately, it was the last episode filmed for Season 10. It was aired during Season 11 so that Farrell could grow it back.
I Mustache Farrell a Question If The Look Paid Off
So, even though he struggled with it, Farrell’s ’stache paid off.
He became a household name, and his career quickly picked up. The actor worked in 95 movie and television productions, including “NCIS” and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” He also directed two movies, according to IMDB.
But once “M*A*S*H” ended, Farrell shaved. He told The Orlando Sentinel in 1983 that the facial hair belonged to his Hunnicutt character.
M*A*S*H Character Would Be Proud Of Movember
It’s Movember and an Australian foundation’s drive to get men to grow out their facial hair to draw attention to men’s health issues.
Since 2003, the group has made men aware of prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and men’s suicide. Go to Movember.com to find out more about the great movement.
A mustachioed Dr. Hunnicutt would have no problems with that.