William Christopher Biography

William Christopher is an American actor, known for playing Father Mulcahy in popular TV series ‘M*A*S*H’. This biography profiles his childhood, life, career, achievements and timeline.

Quick Facts

Birthday: October 20, 1932

Nationality: American

Famous: Actors American Men

Age: 87 Years, 87 Year Old Males

Sun Sign: Libra

Born in: Evanston, Illinois, U.S.

Famous as: Actor

Height: 5'9" (175 cm), 5'9" Males

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Spouse/Ex-: Barbara Christopher (m. 1957)

children: John Christopher, Ned Christopher

U.S. State: Illinois

More Facts

education: Wesleyan University, New Trier High School

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William Christopher is best known for playing the character of Father Mulcahy in the popular television series, ‘M*A*S*H’. Talented and outgoing, he was bit by the acting bug at a young age. As such, with an aim to make it big in the entertainment industry, he graduated with a degree in drama and acting. Christopher started his career as a theatre actor, starring in a number of productions. It was only eventually that he found himself roles in Off-Broadway and Broadway. However, this was just the beginning of a glorious future as he relocated to New York to try his luck at the small screen. Various guest appearances and supporting roles later, Christopher got his big breakthrough with the television series, ‘M*A*S*H’. Lasting for about two decades, the series was a major hit and so was Christopher for perfectly portraying the role of Father Mulcahy. In his career, he has also appeared in a number of feature films including, ‘The Fortune Cookie’, ‘With Six You Get Eggroll’,‘The Private Navy of Sgt. O'Farrell’, ‘The Shakiest Gun in the West’ and ‘Hearts of the West’.

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Childhood & Early Life
  • Post-college, he landed himself in his first acting job with the Barnstormers Theatre group in New Hampshire. It was New England’s oldest summer theatre.
  • He then moved to New York City to be at the helm of entertainment affairs and provide himself complete exposure and opportunity. However, after much struggle, he found for himself several roles in only regional productions.
  • After a string of appearances at local productions, he found himself a role in an Off-Broadway Productions at One Sheridan Square for ‘The Hostage’. Eventually, he made his Broadway debut with the theatrical, ‘Beyond the Fringe’, a British revue.
  • Banking on the ever widening scope of entertainment, he moved base to New York and tried his luck at the small screen which promised agood future. He starred in a guest role in ‘The Andy Griffith Show’.
  • Later on, he made guest appearances in several shows including, ‘Death Valley Days’, ‘The Patty Duke Show’, ‘The Men from Shiloh’, ‘The Love Boat’ and ‘Good Times’. He even bagged a recurring role in ‘Gomer Pyle’, ‘U.S.M.C.’ and ‘That Girl and Hogan's Heroes’.
  • While his television career was going great, he took up a couple of roles in feature films, starting with, ‘The Fortune Cookie’ and ‘With Six You Get Eggroll’, a Doris Day film.
  • Other films that he worked on include, ‘The Private Navy of Sgt. O'Farrell’, ‘The Shakiest Gun in the West’ and ‘Hearts of the West’. Furthermore, he played supporting actor in telefilms ‘The Movie Maker’, ‘The Perils of Pauline’, and ‘For the Love of It’.
  • It was his spectacular performance in ‘Hogan’s Heroes’ and ‘That Girl’ that eventually led him to audition for a role in the television dramedy, ‘M A S H’. The series was inspired after a 1970 film of the same name and a Korean War novel by Richard Hooker.
  • Interestingly, during the audition, instead of sticking to the script, he ad-libbed his own lines completely ignoringthe monologue prepared. As such, the role of U.S. Army Chaplain Captain John Francis Patrick Mulcahy was offered to George Morgan.
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  • Due to lack of competency and spontaneity, Morgan was ousted from the show. The role was then offered to Christopher but on the condition that he adhered to the lines that were given to him.
  • What started as a recurring role in the ‘M A S H’ series eventually grew up to become a full-fledged cast member. During the initial days, the personality of Malcahy’s was not completely developed and thus he portrayed the character as a soft-spoken, naïve and squeamish person.
  • It was only after being a permanent member that Mulcahy’s character was developed further and he was portrayed as a confident and respected personality. The show lasted for 11 years with the final episode being aired on February 28, 1983. His favourite episodes of the ‘M A S H' includes, ‘Dear Sis’ and ‘Mulcahy’s War’.
  • Following the end of the ‘M A S H’, he reprised his role for two more seasons for the CBS short-lived spin-off series called ‘After MASH’. His role included serving as the chaplain suffering the emotional aftermath of his wartime experience.
  • Throughout the 80s and the 90s, he appeared in a number of small screen shows, including, ‘Lois & Clark: The New Adventure of Superman’, ‘Diagnosis Murder’, ‘Mad About You’ and ‘Love Boat’.
  • While continuing his stint at the big and small screen, he did not give up on theatre completely and starred in a number of productions including, ‘Run for your Wife’, ‘Move Over Mrs. Markhan’, ‘It Runs in the Family’, ‘Don’t Dress For Dinner, ‘Rumors’ and ‘Lend Me A Tenor’.
  • Furthermore, he teamed up with Neil Simon for the show, ‘The Odd Couple’ in 1997. Two years later, he starred in a challenging role depicting Vincent van Gogh and Theo.
  • In 2012, he starred in seven episodes of the television series, ‘Days of our Lives’ playing the character of Father Tabias.
Personal Life & Legacy
  • He met his to-be wife, Barbara on a blind date. The two struck it well and eventually tied the nuptial knot. They were blessed with two sons, John and Ned.
  • His younger son is autistic. He is a social activist and dedicates much of his time working for the National Autistic Society to bring attention to autism.
  • He serves as honorary chairman of the National Autistic Society and a member of the board of trustees at the Devereux Foundation, which provided facilities for adults living with autism and other developmental disorders.
  • Other than acting, he gave a shot at writing as well and came up with a book, which was co-authored by his wife, titled, ‘Mixed Blessings’. The book dealt with the emotions, reactions and actions of a family while diagnosing, treating and understanding a complex disease.
  • This Methodist actor is best known for playing the character of a Catholic priest Father Mulcahy in the popular television series, ‘M A S H'

1. The Fortune Cookie (1966)

  (Romance, Comedy)

2. Hearts of the West (1975)

  (Comedy, Western)

3. With Six You Get Eggroll (1968)

  (Comedy, Romance, Drama, Family)

4. The Shakiest Gun in the West (1968)

  (Western, Comedy)

5. The Private Navy of Sgt. O'Farrell (1968)

  (Comedy, War)

6. The Perils of Pauline (1967)


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How To Cite

Article Title
- William Christopher Biography
- Editors, TheFamousPeople.com
- TheFamousPeople.com
Last Updated
- November 03, 2017
William Christopher

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