- Grew up in West Hollywood, the son of a movie-studio carpenter. Childhood acquaintances included Ricky Nelson and Natalie Wood.
- Served in the Marine Corps after graduating from Hollywood High School, and was a private detective before going into acting full-time.
- Played a bellhop (uncredited) in 1967's The Graduate.
- Met second wife Shelley Fabares in 1970 (14 years before their marriage) when she was a guest on his first series, The Interns.
- Directed five episodes of M*A*S*H and wrote or co-wrote four, including the 1980 Christmas episode "Death Takes a Holiday," which earned him an Emmy nomination.
- Provided the voice for Pa Kent in the 1996-2000 WB cartoon series Superman; Fabares voiced Ma Kent.
- Worked with musician Jello Biafra and director Keith Gordon on the anti-war documentary Whose War? (2006), which focused on the Iraq War.
- Published his autobiography, Just Call Me Mike: A Journey to Actor and Activist, in 2007.
- After a recurring role on ABC’s Desperate Housewives, he made guest appearances on Ghost Whisperer and Without a Trace in 2009, and on Miami Medical in 2010.
- Served on California's Commission on Judicial Performance.
- Is an avid motorcyclist.
- 1980, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy, Variety or Music Series: Nominee
- 1981, Emmy — Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series: Nominee
- Shelley Fabares — Wife
- Kathy Farrell — Sister
- Agnes Farrell — Mother
- Erin Farrell — Daughter
- Judy Farrell — Ex-wife
- Sally Farrell — Sister
- Jim Farrell — Brother
- Michael Josh Farrell — Son
- Joe Farrell — Father
- Attended Los Angeles City College, Los Angeles, CA; attended University of California, Los Angeles, CA
- Birth Name: Michael Joseph Farrell
- Birth Place: St. Paul, MN
- Birthday: February 6, 1939, Aquarius
- Profession: Actor, Director, Producer, Writer
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