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Big Daddy O'Reilly

Posted:
2/15/2017 9:16:54 PM

Mark! We Need Your Help

MeTV's website recently wrote an article about William Christopher in the wake of his death, and it talked about the writers and producers considering writing Father Mulcahy out of the show altogether because Bill was so deathly ill with hepatitis during Season Five that it looked as if he wouldn't make it - but Alan Alda was having none of it, and fought to keep this from happening (hence the "Hepatitis" episode).

The article cites the source of their findings as THE NATIONAL ENQUIRER, and mentioned that the source who shared this story with ENQUIRER is "an unknown source close to the late actor." Considering that ENQUIRER is only a gossip rag and not a reliable source (and the identity of the source is "unknown"), this sounds a little far out: I know Alan wrote and directed "Hepatitis" based on Bill's actual sickness, but this is the first I've heard these claims of cutting Bill off and doing away with Mulcahy altogether.

Have you ever come across anything like this in your findings and studies? I've never heard or read anything about this from any other sources involved with the show (not even that TRUTH BEHIND THE SITCOM SCANDALS special, where Wayne, Loretta, Larry, Gary, and Mike spilled some dirt that went on behind the scenes), which is why I wanted an expert opinion about this.

BeccaLeo1972

Posted:
2/16/2017 6:10:25 PM

I never knew that Bill had hepatitis and that is what inspired the episode of the same name. Yes, i too would not rely on the National Enquirer as a reliable source.

Big Daddy O'Reilly

Posted:
2/16/2017 10:19:27 PM

Yeah, that's why even though Season 5 was his first as a regular, he was absent from a number of episodes because he was ill. As I said, I know very well that Alan wrote the episode based on Bill's sickness, but again, this sounds kind of "out there," and considering it was published by THE NATIONAL ENQUIRER, and the story was cited as coming from, "an unknown source close to the late actor," I'm taking it with a grain of salt, until Mark or somebody can either back this up with some solid evidence, or otherwise disprove it.

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