2016 goes out with great sadness for fans of TV, films and music. Actor William Christopher, best known for playing Father Mulcahy on the hit sitcom M*A*S*H, died Saturday of lung cancer, his family confirmed to ABC. He was 84.
Christopher’s son told ABC Eyewitness News that he had suffered from non-lung small cell carcinoma and passed away at his home in Pasadena.
The actor 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, U.S.M.C. 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 most recently appeared in several episodes of Days of Our Lives in 2012. His death comes one year after M*A*S*H co-star Wayne Rogers died at age 82 on New Year’s Eve in 2015.
Highlight Hollywood reached out to one of his M*A*S*H costars. Miss Loretta Swit said of her longtime friend’s death, “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 M.A.S.H. It was the most perfect casting ever known. He was probably responsible for more people coming back to the church. If God is nigh, then surely he or she will welcome Bill with open arms.”
The actor is survived by his wife Barbara and two sons, John and Ned.