Actor William Christopher — who appeared not only on “M*A*S*H” but also on another classic sitcom about the military, “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.” — has died.
Christopher, best known for his role as Father Mulcahy on “M*A*S*H,” died on New Year’s Eve at his home in Pasadena, Calif., the result of small-cell carcinoma. He was 84.
Alan Alda, who co-starred with Christopher on “M*A*S*H,” tweeted Sunday: “His pals from #MASH miss Bill powerfully. His kind strength, his grace and gentle humor weren’t acted. They were Bill. #WilliamChristopher”
Variety notes: “Christopher was a regular and a fan favorite throughout the 1972-1983 run of the much-praised ‘M*A*S*H.’ The show’s final episode still holds the ratings record for the most watched scripted series closer with nearly 106 million viewers tuning in. Christopher was also featured in the spinoff series ‘AfterMASH,’ which ran from 1983-85 on CBS.”
The Variety report adds: “On ‘M*A*S*H,’ Christopher served as the moral compass for the show revolving around the unruly doctors and nurses running a mobile Army surgical unit, the 4077th, during the Korean War.”
A less well-known role for Christopher was on “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.,” where he played Private Lester Hummel from 1965-1968. As recently as 2012, he had a run on the soap “Days of Our Lives,” playing Father Tobias.
Christopher turned up in many guest spots on TV shows over the years, with appearances on “12 O’Clock High,” “The Patty Duke Show,” “Death Valley Days,” “The Andy Griffith Show,” “Hogan’s Heroes,” “Columbo,” “Mad About You” and many other shows.
Here’s a cameo by Christopher as Father Mulcahy in a Godfather’s Pizza commercial …