The Year Takes One Last Celebrity

@FourWalls (11920)
United States
December 31, 2016 8:29pm CST
It's sort of ironic. One year ago today, December 31, 2015, the entertainment world lost pop singer Natalie Cole and M*A*S*H actor Wayne Rogers. That ushered in what has been called "the year of the celebrity death." One year later, as we close out 2016, we have to bid farewell to yet another actor from M*A*S*H, William Christopher. William Christopher first came into my life on another military comedy: Gomer Pyle, USMC. He played PFC Hummel in a recurring role in the later seasons (obviously, as I wasn't paying too much attention to anything except diaper changes for the early seasons of that show). George Morgan (not the country singer, mind you) played Father Mulcahy, in the pilot episode of the classic TV series M*A*S*H. Morgan was quickly replaced by William Christopher, who played the Jesuit chaplain with such warm compassion that he probably could have passed for a chaplain. He was a little shy (frequently getting embarrassed by the sexual shenanigans of Hawkeye and Trapper), but he could stand his own when he had to. One of my favorite episodes was early in the series when Father Mulcahy confessed to Hawkeye that he (Mulcahy) didn't really know if his presence was doing any good. "I've always heard it said that 'God heals the patients but the doctors get the bill,'" Hawkeye assured him. Later Hawkeye asked for Father Mulcahy to pray over a critically-injured soldier who appeared to be dying. After Mulcahy prayed the patient recovered, leading Hawkeye to say, "What was that about 'not being sure you're doing any good' here?" "It''s not supposed to work that way," a stunned Mulcahy replied. After the series ended Christopher devoted much of his time and celebrity to raising autism awareness, given that one of his sons is autistic. According to reports, Christopher had small-cell carcinoma and passed away at his home on this final day of 2016. He was 84. Here's a great clip of Father Mulcahy reciting a prayer in Hebrew over a wounded Jewish soldier:
From M*A*S*H Season 1, Episode 8. And yes, this was recorded with a camera pointed at my computer screen. Don't judge. Just enjoy the wonder of how army chap...
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3 responses
@CoralLevang (17265)
• United States
1 Jan 17
It's been an interesting week and a half or so hasn't it?
1 person likes this
@JolietJake (46605)
• Olney, Illinois
1 Jan 17 final kick in the balls...2016 sucked.
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@teamfreak16 (39005)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
1 Jan 17
He was in a couple of Hogan's Heroes too. R.I.P. Mr. Christopher.
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