Harry Morgan

Age: 99
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan USA

Harry Morgan (born April 10, 1915) is an American actor. Morgan is perhaps best known as Colonel Sherman T. Potter on M*A*S*H (1975-83), Pete Porter on both Pete and Gladys (1960-62) and December Bride (1954-1959), Detective Bill Gannon on Dragnet (1967-70), and Amos Coogan on Hec Ramsey (1972-74). He has appeared in more than 100 films.

Early life and career

Morgan was born Harry Bratsberg in Detroit, Michigan of Norwegian heritage. He was raised in Muskegon, Michigan, and graduated from Muskegon High School in 1933, where he achieved distinction as a statewide debating champion. He originally aspired to a law degree, but began acting while a junior at the University of Chicago in 1935.

Morgan began acting on stage under his birth name, joining the Group Theatre in New York City in 1937, and appearing in the original production of the Clifford Odets play Golden Boy, followed by a host of successful Broadway roles alongside such other Group members as Lee J. Cobb, Elia Kazan, Sanford Meisner, and Karl Malden.

Screen debut

Morgan made his screen debut (originally using the name "Henry Morgan") in the 1942 movie To the Shores of Tripoli. His screen name later would become "Henry 'Harry' Morgan" and eventually Harry Morgan, to avoid confusion with the then-popular humorist of the same name. Harry Morgan can be seen as a very young man in the 1941 movie "Sun Valley Serenade". He is seen pushing his way to the front of the crowd in the ballroom to hear Glenn Miller's band play "At Last".

Screen career

Morgan continued to play a number of significant roles on the big screen in such films as The Ox-Bow Incident (1943), Wing and a Prayer (1944), Dragonwyck (1946), The Big Clock (1948), High Noon (1952), and several films in the 1950s for director Anthony Mann, including Bend of the River (1952), The Glenn Miller Story (1953), Thunder Bay (film) (1953), The Far Country (1955) and Strategic Air Command (1955); in his later film career he starred in Inherit the Wind (1960), How the West Was Won (1962), John Goldfarb, Please Come Home (1965), Frankie and Johnny (1966), Support Your Local Sheriff! (1969), Support Your Local Gunfighter! (1971), Snowball Express (1972), The Shootist (1976), The Wild Wild West Revisited (1979), and a cameo in the film version of Dragnet (1987). Besides all of the Anthony Mann films, Morgan was in a number of movies with James Stewart, including The Mountain Road (1960), How the West Was Won, The Glenn Miller Story (1954) and The Shootist (1976), also with John Wayne, with whom he also shared scenes in How the West Was Won.

1950s TV roles

Morgan hosted the NBC radio series Mystery in the Air starring Peter Lorre in 1947. On CBS, he played Pete Porter in Pete and Gladys (1960–62), with Cara Williams as wife Gladys. Pete and Gladys was a spinoff of December Bride (1954-1959), starring Spring Byington, Dean Miller, Frances Rafferty, and Verna Felton. When Miller and Rafferty died within three months of each other in 2004, Morgan became the last surviving member of the December Bride cast.

1960s: Dragnet and other roles

In the 1964–1965 season, Morgan co-starred as Seldom Jackson in the 26-week NBC comedy/drama Kentucky Jones, starring Dennis Weaver.

Morgan is even more widely recognized as Officer Bill Gannon, Joe Friday's partner in the revived version of Dragnet (1967–70). Morgan had also appeared with Dragnet star Jack Webb in two film noir movies, Dark City (1950) and Appointment with Danger (1951), and was an early regular member of Jack Webb's stock company of actors on the original Dragnet radio show. Morgan later worked on two other shows for Webb, 1971's The D.A. and the 1972–74 western Hec Ramsey. Morgan also appeared in at least one episode of Gunsmoke.

M*A*S*H (1975–1983)

Morgan's first appearance on M*A*S*H was in the show's third season (1974-75), when he played spaced-out Major General Bartford Hamilton Steele ("That's three e's, not all in a row!") in "The General Flipped at Dawn", which originally aired on September 10, 1974. Steele is convinced that the 4077th needs to move closer to the front line, to be near the action.

Morgan's memorable Emmy-nominated performance impressed the producers of the show. The following season, Morgan joined the cast of M*A*S*H as Colonel Sherman T. Potter. Morgan replaced McLean Stevenson, who had left the show at the end of the previous season. Col. Potter was a career army officer who was tough, yet good-humored and caring--a father figure to the people under his command. The picture of Col. Potter's wife, on the right side of his desk, is actually that of Mrs. Harry Morgan. He asked if he could use the picture of his wife, and the producers had no objections.

In 1980, Morgan won an Emmy award for his performance on M*A*S*H. After the end of the series, Morgan reprised the Potter role in a short-lived spinoff series, AfterMASH.

Movie Character Year
8ajttktjixmgdsq2juaae31cd0g To the Shores of Tripoli Mouthy (as Henry Morgan) 1942
8ybktrwwqmthhgmof1lqxg4m1sp Crash Dive Brownie 1943
Kao9rplqunpj80hodzkegitb97e Wing And A Prayer Ens. Malcolm Brainard (as Henry Morgan) 1944
U1lanc1odlxncbs0uqbijlgb8gi The Big Clock Bill Womack 1948
Hqwqevx2yfhttrtuiuvjh84cc6l The Saxon Charm 1948
A0ixyoolhbov5msj9xoy2ujfb1p Yellow Sky Half Pint 1948
1caonyitlg2ic4pilymaivszzux Down to the Sea in Ships Britton (as Henry Morgan) 1949
Vqk38nt9qxptjrexwjcske5oase Madame Bovary Hyppolite 1949
Zq90a8if3p3v0qutptf2jb13ugc Red Light Rocky (as Henry Morgan) 1949
6m8dcugsc7eqexdkubtdexjlcxb Holiday Affair Police Lieutenant (as Henry Morgan) 1949
Qigwu9tjy7glbjjuzqv99rawxsj The Showdown Rod Main (as Henry Morgan) 1950
W1siziisijiwmtqvmdevmtavmtkvmtqvndavntcyl3dndzveynp2cehlymjlvnfcsmjsqtgyaeh3ai5qcgcixsxbinailcj0ahvtyiisiju1edc1iyjdxq Boots Malone Quarter Horse Henry 1952
3di0xfttn8e9lmiyl7icpyonjmc Scandal Sheet Biddle (as Henry Morgan) 1952
40vq42aozrbo1yikfpie4uuwa2d High Noon Sam Fuller 1952
4qfeynectoc8y4wxflt3jb4noin Apache War Smoke Ed Cotten 1952
W1siziisijiwmtmvmdmvmtqvmtyvmjcvmdkvnjawl3kxdedwawdsedc3a1rvsnlcnnvgd0juvkjwci5qcgcixsxbinailcj0ahvtyiisiju1edc1iyjdxq Stop, You're Killing Me Innocence 1952
Tiwztmhahvi1xibyt8j84fcey3 The Far Country Ketchum (as Henry Morgan) 1954
Nztne5nqkhgrhc57fpfsaox5jf8 About Mrs. Leslie Fred Blue 1954
3xpdklisvvg4eosbnbuw8no50y3 Strategic Air Command Sgt. Bible 1955
2knlu9c7qjxmoymz54ephrjljjz Inherit the Wind Judge Mel 1960
Mfasnfvzeol1lqyi637cepncvdq What Did You Do in the War, Daddy? Major Pott 1966
Vbu4ey4xa5asd1tg9v4hlxjuqj6 Support Your Local Sheriff Olly Perkins 1969
Wz5mygfqyvmccikz8rysbfwgk8y Snowball Express Jesse McCord 1972
Ueervup8pzk4rjulcpmvw29dng4 The Apple Dumpling Gang Sheriff McCoy 1975
Jrdn2o1rinuh1cfsm3bzarwgfab The Cat from Outer Space Gen. Stilton 1978
Aaxgrrciqstwkdx6cvqpjaddhlu Dragnet Captain Gannon 1987