The year 2016 claimed one last celebrity on New Year's Eve as William Christopher, who appeared in the hit 70s TV series M*A*S*H as Father Mulcahy, died at age 84.

The television series about a hospital unit during the Korean War ran for 11 years from 1972 to 1983 and followed the 1970 Robert Altman film M*A*S*H.

Christopher took over the Mulcahy role after the film and also appeared as Mulcahy in the follow-up series After M*A*S*H from 1983-1985.

Christopher's son, John Christopher, told KABC-TV Los Angeles that his father died from a fast-spreading lung cancer called non-lung small cell carcinoma at his home in Pasadena, California, on Saturday (31 December).

In addition to M*A*S*H Christopher had roles in the TV shows Hogan's Heroes and Gomer Pyle, USMC.

His M*A*S*H co-star Loretta Swit, who played Major Margaret 'Hot Lips' Houlihan told KABC-TV that "everyone adored him" and that "he became TV's quintessential padre as Father Mulcahy on M*A*S*H. It was the most perfect casting ever known".

The year has become infamous for being particularly deadly for celebrities, claiming prominent figures including David Bowie, Prince, Carrie Fisher, and George Michael.

Note: This article has been changed to state that M*A*S*H was based during the Korean War.