William Christopher, best known for playing Father Mulcahy on the hit sitcom MASH, has passed away at the age of 84.
The actor died of lung cancer at his home in Pasadena, early morning on New Year’s Eve, his agent confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter.
He was diagnosed with cancer a year and a half ago and had been responding well to treatment up until last month, when the disease reappeared. “Two weeks ago, he took a turn for the worse. Hospice began this week at his home, and he went peacefully without pain this morning,” his agent said.
His MASH co-star Loretta Swit, who played Major Margaret Houlihan on the show, shared, “Our Dear Bill and his goodness are a great argument for there being a heaven. I never heard him complain or loose his temper. Everyone adored him. A great sense of humor and a great humanitarian. He became TV’s quintessential padre as Father Mulcahy on MASH. It was the most perfect casting ever known.”
Christopher guest-starred on multiple TV shows such as The Patty Duke Show and Good Times before landing his recurring role as Private Lester Hummel on Gomer Pyle, USMC.
He later landed the part of his most recognized character, Father Francis Mulcahy, in 1972 and played the role until the sitcom’s end in 1983. He reprised his part in the sitcom’s followup series After MASH from 1983 to 1985.
Christopher’s notable film roles included The Fortune Cookie, The Shakiest Gun in the West, With Six You Get Egg Roll and Hearts of the West.
He most recently appeared in several episodes of Days of Our Lives in 2012.
The actor is survived by his wife Barbara and two sons, John and Ned.