World News

William Christopher of TV show M*A*S*H, dies of cancer at age 84

  • William Christopher succumbed to small cell carcinoma at the age of 84
  • His family confirmed the news that he died at his Pasadena, California, home
  • Christopher best known for playing Father Mulcahy on CBS hit show M*A*S*H
  • He also appeared on other hit series like The Andy Griffith Show and Good Times 

By

Ariel Zilber For Dailymail.com

and
Associated Press


Published:
21:29 EST, 31 December 2016

|
Updated:
01:47 EST, 1 January 2017

  • e-mail

10k
shares

155

View
comments

William Christopher, the actor best known for playing Father Mulcahy on the hit television series M*A*S*H, died on Saturday.

Christopher passed away at his Pasadena, California, home after suffering from cancer. He was 84 years old.

His family confirmed the news to KABC-TV in Los Angeles.

Christopher’s agent Robert Malcom said the actor died at 5:10 a.m.

He tells The Associated Press that Christopher’s wife says her husband died peacefully.

William Christopher
William Christopher

William Christopher as Father Mulcahy from the hit series M*A*S*H
William Christopher as Father Mulcahy from the hit series M*A*S*H

William Christopher (left in 2009), the actor best known for playing Father Mulcahy (right) on the hit 70s television series M*A*S*H, died on Saturday

Malcom said Christopher was diagnosed with cancer more than a year ago and had been in hospice since the beginning of the week.

He is survived by his wife, Barbara O’Conner, and his two sons. 

A native of Evanston, Illinois, Christopher began his acting career on the stage, appearing in Off-Broadway productions like The Hostage.

He made his Broadway debut in the British revue Beyond the Fringe.

Christopher left the stage and set out on a long career as a television actor, guest-starring in a number of popular shows including The Andy Griffith Show, Death Valley Days, The Patty Duke Show, The Men from Shiloh, and Good Times.

He made repeat appearances on shows like Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., That Girl, Hogan’s Heroes, and The Love Boat.

The cast of M*A*S*H is seen after the 1980 People's Choice Awards. From left: Mike Farrell, Loretta Swit, Harry Morgan, Alan Alda, Christopher, and Jamie Farr
The cast of M*A*S*H is seen after the 1980 People's Choice Awards. From left: Mike Farrell, Loretta Swit, Harry Morgan, Alan Alda, Christopher, and Jamie Farr

The cast of M*A*S*H is seen after the 1980 People’s Choice Awards. From left: Mike Farrell, Loretta Swit, Harry Morgan, Alan Alda, Christopher, and Jamie Farr

His big break came in 1972, when he was hired to portray Father Mulcahy in the hit series M*A*S*H.

The show, which starred Alan Alda and Loretta Swit and aired weekly on CBS from 1972 to 1983, is considered to be one of America’s most acclaimed written television series ever.

‘Everyone adored him,’ said Swit. 

‘A great sense of humor and a great humanitarian. He became TV’s quintessential padre as Father Mulcahy on M.A.S.H. It was the most perfect casting ever known.’

After the show went off the air, Christopher reprised the role for two more seasons in the spin-off AfterMASH.

His credits of motion pictures include The Fortune Cookie, The Private Navy of Sgt. O’Farrell, The Shakiest Gun in the West, With Six You Get Eggroll, and Hearts of the West.

Most recently, he made guest appearances on hit 90s shows like Mad About You and Murder, She Wrote.

In 2008, he did stage acting with Church Basement Ladies.  

Read more:

Most watched News videos

MOST READ NEWS

READ ALSO:   Mulberry handbag factory staff tested for TB