01/01/2017 11:43 GMT

William Christopher Dead: 'M*A*S*H' Father Mulcahy Actor Dies, Aged 84

He lost his battle with cancer on New Year's Eve.

M*A*S*H’ actor William Christopher has died at the age of 84. 

The US star - best know for playing Father Mulcahy on the 1970s TV series - passed away peacefully on Saturday (31 December). 

His agent confirmed the news (via AP), adding he was at his home in Pasadena, California, with his wife Barbara Christopher at his side when he died. 

William had been diagnosed with cancer over a year ago, and was moved to a hospice at the beginning of the week. 

Michael Tullberg via Getty Images
William Christopher (seen here with Loretta Swit) has died at 84

William became a household name when he landed the role of US Army chaplain Father Mulcahy in 1972, in the series that followed a team of doctors and medical staff during the Korean War.

He took over the role from a previous actor who portrayed the character in the pilot episode.

He continued to play him until M*A*S*H’s last episode in 1983, which was also the most watched US TV show of all time, with 106 million people tuning in. 

Archive Photos via Getty Images
(L-R) Jamie Farr, Loretta Swit, David Ogden Stiers, Harry Morgan, Mike Farrell, Alan Alda, and William Christopher in 'M*A*S*H'

William also starred in the likes of ‘The Andy Griffith Show’, ‘Dead Valley Days’, ‘The Patty Duke Show’, ‘The Men From Shiloh’ and ‘Good Times’.

His former ‘M*A*S*H’ co-star Loretta Swit, who played US Army nurse Major Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan, was among the first to pay tribute. 

She said (via Daily Mail): “Everyone adored him. A great sense of humour 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.”

Christopher is survived by his wife Barbara, and his two sons.

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