William Christopher

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For the American artist and civil rights activist, see William R. Christopher.
William Christopher
Born (1932-10-20) October 20, 1932 (age 82)
Evanston, Illinois, U.S.
Occupation Actor/Charity spokesman
Years active 1965–2012

William Christopher (born October 20, 1932) is an American actor who is best known for playing Father Mulcahy on the television series M*A*S*H and Private Lester Hummel on Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.

Early life[edit]

Christopher attended New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois, and graduated from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, with a B.A. in drama. He also participated in fencing, soccer, and the glee club. He was initiated as a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity while in college. He met his future wife, Barbara, on a blind date. They would eventually have two sons, John and Ned.[1] Christopher is a descendant of Paul Revere.


Christopher appeared in a variety of regional productions, and eventually a number of Off-Broadway productions, such as The Hostage at One Sheridan Square. His Broadway debut came in Beyond the Fringe, a British revue.[1]

Christopher as the army doctor on an episode of Good Times.

Christopher left the New York stage for Hollywood to attempt to gain work in television, where he guest-starred in several well-known series, including: The Andy Griffith Show (he portrayed a new, young doctor scheduling Opie Taylor for a tonsillectomy) and also as IRS Agent Heathcote[2] who came to collect taxes due from Aunt Bee (who had won some prizes on a TV show), Death Valley Days, The Patty Duke Show, The Men from Shiloh and Good Times (he portrayed the military doctor examining J. J. Evans). Christopher had recurring roles on Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., That Girl and Hogan's Heroes. He also made several guest appearances on The Love Boat. In 1972, Christopher landed the role of Father Mulcahy in the television series M*A*S*H, when the actor who originated the role, George Morgan, was replaced after just one appearance in the pilot episode.

His favorite episodes are "Dear Sis" and "Mulcahy's War".[3]

Immediately following M*A*S*H, Christopher continued the role for the two seasons of the short-lived spin-off, AfterMASH.

In feature films, Christopher performed in 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. He won parts in such telefilms as The Movie Maker, The Perils of Pauline, and For the Love of It. The Doris Day film With Six You Get Eggroll is notable for fans of M*A*S*H as Jamie Farr appears along with Christopher five years before the show, both playing hippies. The film also features Herb Voland, who played General Clayton in seven episodes of the first two seasons of M*A*S*H. Farr and Christopher also had bit parts (co-pilot and radio operator respectively) in the 1958 Andy Griffith movie, No Time For Sergeants.

Christopher has appeared on various series, including Murder, She Wrote. In 1998, Christopher guest-starred in an episode of Mad About You. Christopher has also remained active in the theater, including a tour of the U.S. in the mid-90s with Jamie Farr doing Neil Simon's The Odd Couple on stage. He appeared with Jamie Farr and Loretta Swit in an episode of Diagnosis: Murder and Lois & Clark.

Christopher was seen in 2008–09 across the U.S. on stage in productions of Church Basement Ladies.[4] In the fall of 2009, he was on tour with the show.[5]

William also appeared in 7 episodes of Days of our Lives as Father Tabias between 10/06/12 and 11/30/12.

Charity work[edit]

Christopher, whose son, Ned, is autistic, devotes much of his spare time to the National Autistic Society, doing public service announcements to bring attention to autism. In 1985, he and his wife Barbara wrote Mixed Blessings, a book about their experiences raising Ned.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "Christopher biography at Best Care Anywhere". Bestcareanywhere.net. 1932-10-20. Retrieved 2011-05-17. 
  2. ^ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0160639/
  3. ^ M*A*S*H: The Martinis & Medicine Collection - Special Features: Disc 1 - "My Favorite MASH"
  4. ^ Troupe America, Inc. (1999-11-03). "TROUPE AMERICA,INC.| theatrical promotions - road shows - convention entertainment". Troupeamerica.com. Retrieved 2011-05-17. 
  5. ^ "Church Basement Ladies Tour 2008". Troupeamerica.com. Retrieved 2011-05-17. 

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