Actor William Christopher, who made his name playing Father Mulcahy in the legendary Korean War-set sitcom “M*A*S*H,” has died at the age of 84 in his home in Pasadena, California, after a long battle with lung cancer. His son John made the announcement of his father’s passing yesterday.

Christopher has been acting since the 1950s

Christopher, a native of Evanston, Illinois, was born way back in 1932, and his acting career began in theatre in the 1950s where he made a splash on stage before being noticed and making the leap into Film and television.

In addition to his iconic role in “M*A*S*H,” Christopher made himself known throughout the 1960s with his guest spots on other huge, high-profile Television series, such as “The Patty Duke Show,” “The Men From Shiloh,” and “The Andy Griffith Show,” before moving on to playing recurring characters in other famous shows like “Hogan’s Heroes,” “That Girl,” and perhaps his second most iconic role after Father Mulcahy, Private Lester Hummel on “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.”

Finally, in 1972, Christopher gained the legendary status he deserved when he landed the role of Father Mulcahy in the television spinoff of Robert Altman’s seminal comedy classic “M*A*S*H.” He wasn’t the first actor to play Father Mulcahy, but replaced the actor as the character in the original pilot for the full series, which was had massive ratings and critical success throughout its entire run of eleven seasons.

He reprised the role in “AfterMASH,” the ill-fated sequel series.

Christopher’s post-’M*A*S*H’ career thrived

After “M*A*S*H” ended and received record-breaking viewership for its two-hour finale “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen,” which was viewed by an audience of over 120 million people, Christopher maintained a career acting on television, with guest spots popping up in shows like “Murder, She Wrote,” “Good Times,” “Mad About You,” and “The Love Boat.”

Christopher’s son Ned is autistic, which led him to become a notable and outspoken advocate for the autistic, working closely with the National Autistic Society and using his status to catch eyes in public service announcements.