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Judy Farrell, who portrayed Nurse Able on M*A*S*H opposite her then-husband Mike Farrell and later served as a writer on the ABC soap opera Port Charles, has died. She was 84.
Farrell died Sunday at West Hills Hospital and Medical Center of complications from a recent stroke, her son, Michael, told The Hollywood Reporter.
Farrell also appeared on such other shows as Judd for the Defense, Get Smart, Medical Center, Quincy M.E., Emergency!, Room 222, The Partridge Family, Benson and Fame, for which she also wrote an episode.
From 1976-83, the Oklahoma native showed up on eight installments of M*A*S*H. Her first one was 1976’s “Out of Sight, Out of Mind,” where Hawkeye (Alan Alda) attempts to fix a gas stove in the nurses’ tent and it blows up, rendering him temporarily blind.
“Alan decided to make it so he really couldn’t see,” she told THR in 2018 in an oral history of the CBS series. “I ended up being the nurse who led him around, except I was always bumping him into stuff because I didn’t know how to lead a blind person around. At one point, Alan turned to me and said, ‘Do your children trust you?'”
Farrell also appeared on the series finale, “Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen,” which attracted a mind-blowing 105 million-plus viewers in the U.S. on Feb. 28, 1983.
Her big-screen résumé included J.W. Coop (1971), Neil Simon’s Chapter Two (1979) and Long-Term Relationship (2006), and she wrote for the General Hospital spinoff Port Charles from 1998-2003.
Then known as Judy Hayden, she met Mike Farrell in a musical-comedy class at UCLA, and they were married from 1963 until their 1983 divorce. (He joined M*A*S*H at the start of its fourth season in 1975 as Captain B.J. Hunnicutt and in 1984 married actress Shelley Fabares.)
Survivors include her second husband, Joe Bratcher (they married in 1985), and her children, Michael and Erin.
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