Judy Farrell, Actress Who Played Nurse Able on ‘M*A*S*H,’ Dies at 84

Actress and writer Judy Farrell, who’s best known for her role as Nurse Able, on the long-running sitcom “M*A*S*H,” died Sunday, nine days after suffering a stroke. She was 84.

Her son, Michael, made the news public on Tuesday. He told TMZ Farrell was conscious and able to hold her loved ones’ hands but couldn’t speak due to the stroke.

In a statement Entertainment Weekly, “M*A*S*H” co-star Loretta Switt said “Judy was a most beautiful woman — inside and out. We grew together. She was our family. Although it was a difficult loss, we will always cherish her memory. Rest in peace, Nurse Able.”

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Farrell made her first appearance as Nurse Able in 1976 during the hit CBS show’s 5th season. Part dramedy, and part antiwar satire. It focused on a team consisting of doctors and medical staff working at a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital in the Korean War. It ran from 1973 to 1983.

Farrell’s acting career also included roles on “Fame” and “Quincy M.E.” She also appeared in the films “J.W. Coop,” “Chapter Two,” and “Long-Term Relationship.”

Farrell was born in Quapaw Oklahoma on March 8, 1938. After graduating from Oklahoma State University in theater, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue her UCLA degree. Farrell was a high school English teacher and drama instructor. She also performed in the local theater before becoming an actress on television.

She was married twice; to ‘M*A*S*H’ star Mike Farrell from 1963 to 1983, and to Joe Bratcher from 1985 to her death. Along with Bratcher, she’s survived by her two children with Farrell, Michael and Erin.

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