“M*A*S*H” actor Jamie Farr attended a high school swarming with future Hollywood stars and behind-the-scenes bigwigs.
In an interview with the website We Are The Mighty, Farr talked about growing up in Toledo, Ohio. Both his parents grew up in the country of Lebanon and then moved to the Midwest. They settled in Toledo because of its “great Lebanese colony.” Farr eventually attended Woodward High School there with several recognizable faces and names.
“We had a lot of famous people from my high school that made it big in show business, including Danny Thomas (comedian), Andrew J Fenady (writer, producer), Georg Fenady (director/producer), Clifford David (Broadway actor), and Phillip Baker Hall (actor),” Jamie Farr said in the interview. “We were all from the same neighborhood… it must have been in the water or the Buckeye beer! Although Lake Erie was so polluted back then you could walk on it to Windsor, Ontario.”
The M*A*S*H star didn’t say whether he kept up with any of the well-known celebrities. But it’s still an incredible coincidence that they all came from the same hometown.
Which of the M*A*S*H Star’s School Pals Were On “The Andy Griffith Show?”
Most people remember comedian Danny Thomas for his self-titled show, “The Danny Thomas Show.” But few people know that Thomas in fact starred on the pilot episode of “The Andy Griffith Show” too. That’s because the first episode of the popular 1960s sitcom was actually episode 205 of “The Danny Thomas Show.”
In “Danny Meets Andy Griffith,” the comedian runs a stop sign in the small town of Mayberry. Sheriff Andy then arrests the harried Thomas and throws him in jail. The episode features several changes from the rest of “The Andy Griffith Show,” but manages to introduce the titular character in true sheriff fashion.
Though Thomas and Jamie Farr might have gone to Woodward together, Thomas apparently dropped out his junior year. He wanted to pursue show business, according to a “The Toledo Blade” article from 2000. It also reports that Thomas “may not have been born in Toledo, but it was the town he always called home. It was the place from which he drew much of his material for his comedy acts, and it was where he returned to ponder big decisions.”
Jamie Farr’s Fellow Famous High School Alumni
Aside from Thomas, Jamie Farr rubbed shoulders with several other hot Hollywood names. Phillip Baker Hall, for example, starred alongside Tom Cruise, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, and Julianna Moore in the 1999 drama “Magnolia.” He also appeared in “Boogie Nights,” “Hard Eight,” and “Rush Hour.”
Clifford David, on the other hand, took the Broadway route. Starring in nine total productions, David was praised for his incredible voice. His most notable film credits include appearing on “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” and “The Exorcist III.”
Producer Andrew J. Fenady solidified his career by producing “The Man With Boagrt’s Face,” The Rebel,” and “Branded.” Andrew’s brother Georg Fenady directed “Garrison’s Gorillas,” “Combat!” and the “Mission: Impossible” TV series.