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'M*A*S*H's Jamie Farr’s Wife Waited 13 Years for Ring He Did Not Give Her When He Proposed

Oyin Balogun
Dec 26, 2021
05:20 A.M.

Hollywood actor Jamie Farr married his wife, Jo Ann Richards, almost 60 years ago, but when he proposed to her, it was without a ring.

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It might seem like an anomaly to get married or propose without a ring, but it is not impossible. Classic actor Jamie Farr and his longtime wife Jo Ann Richards are living proof of this.

Farr did not propose to his woman with a ring, not because he was not chivalrous enough, but because he had no money to purchase a ring. Thankfully, their union did last a lifetime and more.

JAMIE FARR WAS A STRUGGLING ACTOR

At the beginning of his career, Farr was at his lowest lows because he was not getting acting gigs. He got so desperate that he was readily available to take meager sums for gigs.

Farr did not think of luxury; he just wanted to put some food in his fridge while getting by each day with his then-lover Jo Ann Richards. The actor once shared that he got so desperate for employment that he did something out of character.

Farr went to now-late Danby Thomas' studio and stuck his head out until he was noticed. Luckily for him, Thomas's crew was busy with a new show, "The Dick Van Dyke Show," and Farr could secure a part.

Jamie Farr attends the 4th annual Roger Neal Oscar Viewing Dinner Icon Awards and after party at Hollywood Palladium on February 24, 2019. | Photo: Getty Images

Jamie Farr attends the 4th annual Roger Neal Oscar Viewing Dinner Icon Awards and after party at Hollywood Palladium on February 24, 2019. | Photo: Getty Images

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At that point, he thought his career was beginning to take a better turn. He introduced Richards to Van Dyke, and it turned out that the two grew up in the same small town.

Farr appeared in "The Dick Van Dyke Show" for four episodes before being removed. The gig did not last long because another actor seemed to know more influential people.

FARR GOT A MIRACLE

After he lost the part on Van Dyke's TV show, Farr was back to the bottom again, trying all he could to secure another gig called "The Greatest Story Ever Told.". After a while, he finally got a reply, but the moviemakers wanted a serious actor, and Farr did more comedy.

Jamie Farr and wife Joy Ann Richards attend the premiere of The Four Seasons on May 21, 1981 | Photo: Getty Images

Jamie Farr and wife Joy Ann Richards attend the premiere of The Four Seasons on May 21, 1981 | Photo: Getty Images

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After he convinced them that he could take a serious role, Farr did not hear from the filmmakers because they were busy choosing the actors. Farr shared in a long time interview that he had a miraculous encounter during the waiting period.

He would often drive Richards to work every day, and Farr recalled that he once told her he would pray to St. Jude so he could get the movie gig. So from then on, he stopped at a catholic church close to Richards' workplace.

He would light a candle, throw in a quarter and pray to St. Jude. This went on for a while, and one day he finally got the call he was waiting for. However, it was a rather disappointing one.

Jamie Farr and wife Joy Ann Richards attend Creative Arts in Television Awards on September 8, 1979 | Photo: Getty Images

Jamie Farr and wife Joy Ann Richards attend Creative Arts in Television Awards on September 8, 1979 | Photo: Getty Images

The "M*A*S*H" actor did not get the acting gig. He was so angry that he drove to the catholic church and berated St Jude. By the time he got home, the star actor's phone was ringing, and it was from the same movie maker.

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Farr was told things switched up, and he got the role. He wasted no time getting ready for his new gig in the next few days. Once again, Farr received another call that showed he was given another role, and it was to play St. Jude.

Jamie Farr at Universal City Hilton & Towers on December 4, 2016 | Photo: Getty Images

Jamie Farr at Universal City Hilton & Towers on December 4, 2016 | Photo: Getty Images

FARR'S MARRIAGE TO RICHARDS

He and his girlfriend officially got married when he got the "The Greatest Story Ever Told" gig. He recalled marrying Richard at an orthodox church where the actors who played the apostles, Jesus and Mary the Mother of God, were all present.

Farr shared that their presence in that likeness was overwhelming for the minister presiding over his wedding, and he started shaking.

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He asked the priest why he was nervous, and the priest pointed at actor Max Von Sydow who played Jesus, and jokingly said, "This is the first time I ever worked in front of the boss."

In the nick of time, Farr began to gain more recognition, and as he became famous, he marveled at how far he had come. It did not matter how much the actor made a name for himself because he would often remember the "long dry years."

In this period of long-suffering, Farr also married his supportive wife. He had not proposed with a ring but promised to get her one once things got better.

It took him 13 years to be able to fulfill the promise. The actor once recalled the fateful day, noting that his family, including his wife and kids, were at their favorite restaurant, and he presented a 1.5-carat emerald ring to his tearful wife.

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