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
Years active 1965–2012
Spouse(s) Barbara O'Conner
Children 1

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.

Career[edit]

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, 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 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.[2][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.[2] He won parts in such telefilms as The Movie Maker, The Perils of Pauline, and For the Love of It. 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 M*A*S*H. Farr and Christopher also had bit parts (co-pilot and radio operator respectively) in the No Time For Sergeants.[2]

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.[2] In 2008-09, he toured with Church Basement Ladies.[4]

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]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Christopher biography at Best Care Anywhere". Bestcareanywhere.net. 1932-10-20. Retrieved 2011-05-17. 
  2. ^ a b c d William Christopher at the Internet Movie Database
  3. ^ M*A*S*H: The Martinis & Medicine Collection - Special Features: Disc 1 - "My Favorite MASH"
  4. ^ "Church Basement Ladies Tour 2008". Troupeamerica.com. Retrieved 2011-05-17. 

External links[edit]