William Christopher

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William Christopher

Born

10/20/1932, Evanston Illinois, USA

Birth Name

Gender

Male

Also Known As

Bill Christopher
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36 votes

Biography

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William Christopher was born on October 20, 1932 in Evanston, Illinois. After high school, William attended Wesleyan University, where he majored in drama. While in college, he met his future wife, Barbara O'Conner, on a blind date. Christopher began his television career acting several guest roles on TV…more

Credits

Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • William's grandfather was the founder of the First Methodist Church of Chicago. His grandmother also wanted William to become a minister because she felt it was a suitable profession. But his childhood dream was to become an actor.

    • Has two brothers, James and Thomas.

    • William has one grandson.

    • Several years before joining the cast of M*A*S*H both William and his M*A*S*H costar Jamie Farr played hippies in the film, With Six You Get Eggroll. In the mid-1990s, after M*A*S*H went off the air, the two appeared together in a stage production of Neil Simon's The Odd Couple.

    • William Christopher is 5'11" tall.

    • Just after graduating from college, William started working as stage manager at a theater in New Hampshire called The Barnstormers. He would later act in several plays at the theater.

    • William Christopher's feature films include "The Fortune Cookie", "The Private Navy of Sgt. O'Farrell", "The Shakiest Gun in the West", "With Six You Get Egg Roll", and "Hearts of the West".

    • William Christopher has not only performed on Broadway and television; in fact, he has performed in many off-Broadway productions. His most popular and famous production was The Hostage at One Sheridan Square.

    • Though William played an important role on M*A*S*H, he did not appear in the first episode, though his character did. His character, Father Mulcahy, had originally been played by George Morgan in the pilot episode. Afterwards, William took over the role.

    • William Christopher is a direct descendent of Paul Revere's sister and father.

    • William attended college at Wesleyan University in Middleton, Connecticut, where he was involved in fencing, soccer, singing with the glee club, and performing in dramatic productions.

    • William was enrolled at New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois from 1950-1954. The same high school attended by actors Adam Baldwin, Bruce Dern, Charlton Heston, Virginia Madsen, Ralph Bellamy, Rock Hudson, and Ann-Margret.

    • Christopher made his Broadway debut in the British revue Beyond the Fringe.

    • Though William played a Catholic Priest on hit TV show M*A*S*H, his religion is actually Methodist.

    • Christopher has given up most of his spare time to the National Autistic Society because his son, Ned, is autistic.

    • William and his wife, Barbara, wrote a book, Mixed Blessings, about autism.

    • William Christopher met his wife, Barbara O'Conner, on a blind date while in college. They married in 1957.

    • William was one of the only four M*A*S*H cast members to appear in all eleven seasons of the show.

    • William began his acting career on September 27, 1965 when he guest-starred on Twelve O'Clock High. He had the role of a patient on the episode Then Came the Mighty Hunter.

  • Quotes

    • William Christopher: (on the continued success of M*A*S*H) I'm sure everyone is surprised to see M*A*S*H continue in reruns with such strength.

    • William Christopher: (on the show AfterMASH) I was a bit disappointed with the lack of a meaningful show in AfterMASH. I think the desire to make a 'zany' comedy got the writing off track.

    • William Christopher: (on his relationship with deceased M*A*S*H costar Larry Linville) Larry was always fun and hard working. We had a good time seeing each other in the days since the show too. We all miss him, just as we miss McLean Stevenson.

    • William Christopher: (on the relationship between M*A*S*H cast members) The relationship was excellent and still continues today.

    • William Christopher: (when asked if he had much input in the development of his character, Father Mulcahey) Yes, I did have input into the development of character. Writers for television usually rely on actors greatly for this if there is a long run.

    • William Christopher: (when asked if he ever considered writing or directing an episode of M*A*S*H) I knew the writers and had constant dialog with them about Mulcahy plot possibilities. That was close enough. Regarding directing, in the live theater I would feel quite at home. Not so with film.

    • William Christopher: (on being known for his role as Father Mulcahy and not for other roles) It doesn't bother me to be to be remembered for the part. After all, I was seen in that role by millions of people. Also, I think all of us on the series are proud of it.

    • William Christopher: (on his M*A*S*H character, Father Mulcahy) I love the character. I love his imperfections especially.

    • William Christopher: (on researching the role of Father Mulcahy) I did do research, mostly by talking to priests. I found the clergy very willing to be helpful.

    • Mike Farrell: (on William Christopher) A wonderful man and a good friend. He's very droll, very funny when you get to know him. An intellectual with an in-depth understanding and appreciation of classical music and literature. He reads Homer in the original Greek and studies languages for fun. He's married to an artist with very similar tastes. They raised two adopted boys, one of whom is Autistic, so they became - and remain - very active in working to raise awareness of the problem of Autism. Lovely people.

    • William Christopher: The show has been off the air now for 20 years but people still come up to me and say 'I've just become a M*A*S*H fan'. I appreciated it but I consider M*A*S*H very much in the past.

    • William Christopher: (Talking about his book, Mixed Blessings) Edward (or Ned) is 34 years old now. He lives at a Devereux Facility near Santa Barbara. He lives in a group home that helps people with these disabilities, people with these problems. We're a pretty lucky family. We had a lot of other resources to help us. The state of California has wonderful laws in place entitling disabled people to many services. I also had M*A*S*H, going on during a great deal of Ned's growing up time. We really wanted to share our experiences with this book, as I have found that when you share your experiences with other people, you get a little bit of extra strength. You both grow stronger for the sharing.

    • William Christopher: I've often wondered about people that come to the profession late in life. I've wanted to be an actor since the first grade. I watched a play being performed by the third grade class, and it was... magic.

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