Actor William Christopher, who played Father Francis Mulcahy on the television series “M.A.S.H.”, died Saturday at age 84.
His family confirmed his death to KABC in Los Angeles and said the actor died of non-lung, small cell carcinoma at his home in Pasadena, California.
Christopher was born in Evanston and grew up in several north suburbs, including Wilmette and Glencoe. He attended New Trier High School, where he told the Chicago Sun-Times in a 2008 interview he was bitten by the acting bug.
“I date it from my appearance in a third-grade play when I played a groundhog. . . . Although when you’re in the third or fourth grade, there’s not much opportunity. When I got to high school, there were a lot of plays being done,” Christopher said.
Christopher most recently appeared on television in 2012 playing Father Tobias on the daytime soap opera “Days of Our Lives,” according to his filmography on the Internet Movie Database.
Christopher’s agent Robert Malcom told The Associated Press that Christopher’s wife says her husband died peacefully.
Malcom said Christopher was diagnosed with cancer more than a year ago and had been in hospice since the beginning of last week.
He is survived by his wife, Barbara, and his two sons.
“Everyone adored him,” said fellow “M.A.S.H.” actor Loretta Swit. “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.”