Few television shows achieve the kind of notoriety that M.A.S.H. did. M.A.S.H. was one of America’s most beloved sitcoms, garnering a loyal fan-base and pulling in fourteen Emmy wins during its eleven-year run. The characters were as endearing as the storylines. Everyone remembers Hawkeye, Radar, Frank Burns, and Father Mulcahy.
Last week, William Christopher, the actor best known as Father Mulcahy, bid adieu to this world after a long battle with lung cancer. Christopher passed away in his home in Pasadena, California. He was 84 years old.
Christopher led a long life in entertainment. He got his start as a stage actor in his 20’s, and then moved into film and television in his 30’s. Before M.A.S.H., the actor held a variety of guest roles on many 1960’s shows, including The Andy Griffith Show, The Patty Duke Show, and The Men from Shiloh; and recurring roles on Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., That Girl and Hogan’s Heroes.
In 1972, the actor landed his most famous role when he replaced the actor who portrayed Father Mulcahy in the M.A.S.H. pilot. Christopher was a series mainstay throughout the show, and later reprised the character on the short-lived M.A.S.H. spinoff AfterMASH. Later in his career, Christopher made guest appearances on The Love Boat, Good Times, Murder, She Wrote, and Mad About You, among others.
Christopher was also passionate about autism awareness and education. Christopher was father to a son with autism, and he and his wife published a book in 1985 about their experiences raising their son. The late actor devoted much of his time to charitable endeavors related to autism.
Godspeed to William Christopher and his beloved alter ego, Father Mulcahy.