'MASH' Star William Christopher Dead at 84

12/31/2016 5:25 PM PST
Breaking News

1231-william-christopher-getty-03"MASH" star William Christopher -- who played Father John Mulcahy on the iconic show -- is the latest celebrity to die in 2016.

Christopher was part of one of the most spectacular ensembles ever on TV ... a cast which included Alan Alda, Jamie Farr, Mike Farrell, Loretta Swit and Harry Morgan.

Christopher, who played a Catholic priest but was actually Methodist in real life, auditioned for the role but went off script with a rambling ad lib.  Producers loved it and hired him on one condition ... that he stay on script for the series.

1231-william-christopher-getty-02He also had roles on "Gomer Pyle," "The Andy Griffith Show" and "Hogan's Heroes."

Christopher died at his Pasadena home from non-lung, small cell carcinoma.  He leaves behind a wife and 2 kids. 

He was 84.  RIP.

2016 ... almost over.