Father John Patrick Francis Mulcahy (William Christopher), a Catholic chaplain assigned to Mobile Army Surgical Hospital during the Korean War. Initially, Mulcahy had the rank of First Lieutenant but was promoted to Captain later in the series. On the final episode of the series, Father Mulcahy went deaf.
“Dear Lord, I know there must be a reason for this, but what is it? I answered the call to do your work. I’ve devoted my life to it, and now, how am I supposed to do it? What good am I now? What good is a deaf priest? I pray to you to help me, and every day I get worse. Are you deaf, too?” – Father Mulcahy
Resigned to his loss of hearing, Mulcahy confided,”I was anxious to get back to the parish, and coaching boxing for the C.Y.O., but lately I’ve gotten kind of interested in working with the deaf. Of course, not doing parish work, I’ll miss hearing confession, but after listening to you people for so long, I think I’ve just about heard it all.”
His character reappeared in the spin-off AFTERMASH/CBS/83-84 as a hospital chaplain working at General Pershing Veteran Administration Hospital in River Bend, Missouri.
Note: The series is based on the 1968 novel “M*A*S*H: The Novel about Three Army Doctors” by Richard Hooker, and the 1970 Robert Altman film of the same name. In the film, René Auberjonois played the role of Us Army Captain, Father John “Johnny” Patrick ‘Dago Red’ Mulcahy.
William Christopher is also known for his role as Private Lester Hummel on the military TV comedy GOMER PYLE, U.S.M.C..
See also: M*A*S*H (2)