May 19, 2008
Actor/activist Mike Farrell will read May 30 for 'Live from Prairie Lights'
Actor Mike Farrell, best known as Dr. B.J. Hunnicutt on the TV series "M*A*S*H," will read from his memoir, "Just Call Me Mike: A Journey from Actor to Activist," at 7 p.m. Friday, May 30, in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. Listen live via the University of Iowa Writing University Web site at http://writinguniversity.uiowa.edu.
The event will also be recorded for broadcast on the "Live from Prairie Lights" series, originating on UI radio station WSUI-AM 910. Hour-long Iowa Public Radio "Live from Prairie Lights" productions, hosted by Julie Englander, air at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. Saturdays, and 7 p.m. Sundays on WSUI-AM 910 in Iowa City and WOI-AM 640 in Ames.
During the course of the long-running sitcom, Farrell also began to pursue an interest in politics and human rights that took him to Cambodia, Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador, and he is now considered one of Hollywood's prominent activists. He is currently co-chair of Human Rights Watch in California and president of the anti-capital punishment group Death Penalty Focus.
Farrell was born in St. Paul, Minn., but he grew up in Hollywood, where his father worked as a studio carpenter. He began his movie career with small parts in films including "The Graduate" and "The Americanization of Emily." Eventually he landed a regular role in the soap opera "The Days of Our Lives," and then leading roles in two series, "The Interns" and "The Man and The City," followed by a four-year contract with Universal Pictures.
His eight years on "M*A*S*H" included the opportunity to both write and direct several episodes, earning him nominations for Director's Guild and Emmy Awards. His first production experience outside of "M*A*S*H" was the CBS-TV film "Memorial Day," in which he starred opposite Shelley Fabares.
Farrell co-hosted "Saving the Wildlife" for PBS, hosted "The Best of the National Geographic Specials" and swam with the sharks in French Polynesia for "The World of Audubon."
Together with partner Marvin Minoff he formed Farrell/Minoff productions, resulting in projects including "Dominick and Eugene," several TV movies and "Patch Adams", starring Robin Williams.
In 1996 Farrell was presented the Valentine Davies Award by the Writers Guild of America, given to members "whose contribution to the entertainment industry and the community-at-large have brought dignity and honor to writers everywhere."
Farrell served a three-year term on the Commission on Judicial Performance, an 11-member California State Commission that adjudicates complaints against judges in the state. In 2004 he received the Donald Wright Award from California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, only the third time in its 28-year history that the award has been presented to a recipient who was neither a lawyer nor a judge.
He was also elected first vice president of the Screen Actors Guild in Los Angeles and served three years in that capacity.
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STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.MEDIA CONTACTS: Jan Weissmuller, Prairie Light, firstname.lastname@example.org; Winston Barclay, Arts Center Relations, 319-384-0073 (office) 319-430-1013 (cell), email@example.com