"We will always have the beauty of her memory. Rest in Peace, Nurse Able!"
Judy Farrell, best remembered for playing Nurse Able on M*A*S*H, has passed away. She was 84 years old. Farell's son Michael verified to TMZ that his mother died on April 2 in a hospital, nine days after suffering a stroke. Judy allegedly stayed conscious after the stroke and was able to squeeze her loved ones' hands while hospitalized, even as she was unable to speak, PEOPLE reported.
Loretta Swit, who played Major Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan on M*A*S*H, confirmed the news to Entertainment Weekly, and also paid tribute to Farrell, calling her "family" after she learned of her passing.
Judy Farrell, who played Nurse Able on eight episodes of "M*A*S*H" — and who appeared in its history-making finale — has died at 84 following a stroke. https://t.co/tTMzjFcySE— ExtraTV (@extratv) April 5, 2023
"Judy was a most beautiful woman — inside and out. We grew up together," she said. "She was family. This has been a painful loss, but we will always have the beauty of her memory. Rest in peace, Nurse Able."
Farrell, who was born Judy Hayden in Quapaw, Oklahoma, in 1938, studied drama at Oklahoma State University before going on to earn a master's degree at UCLA.
Farrell played Nurse Able in eight segments of M*A*S*H, which aired on CBS for 11 seasons from 1972 to 1983. It tracked a group of doctors during the Korean War, and medical support personnel at the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital in Uijeongbu, South Korea.
Judy Farrell, who recurred on the hit series 'M*A*S*H' as the 4077’s Nurse Able, died Sunday after suffering a stroke, according to multiple media outlets. She was 84 https://t.co/qy1Bp1gQmQ pic.twitter.com/nJ0wrHBjqK— Deadline Hollywood (@DEADLINE) April 5, 2023
Alan Alda played Captain Benjamin "Hawkeye" Pierce on the show, and Farrell's first husband, Mike Farrell, who she divorced in 1983, subsequently joined the cast as Captain B.J. Hunnicutt. In September, Alda and Mike came together to celebrate the show's 50th anniversary, per PEOPLE.
Judy reflected on an especially memorable moment from filming M*A*S*H with Alda in 2018. "I did an episode where Hawkeye goes to fix a gas stove in the nurse's tent and it blows up, making him temporarily blind. Alan decided to make it so he really couldn't see," she shared with The Hollywood Reporter at the time. "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," she added, "Alan turned to me and said, 'Do your children trust you?'"
She also appeared on TV programs such as Get Smart, Fame, The Partridge Family, and Quincy, M.E. She featured in films such as J.W. Coop, Chapter Two, and Long-Term Relationship. From 1998 to 2003, she was also a writer on the serial opera Port Charles.
Judy Farrell, Nurse Able on ‘M*A*S*H,’ Dies at 84 https://t.co/wa7v8f01v1— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) April 4, 2023
Cover Image Source: CBS