Harry Morgan, the busy actor in motion pictures and television, has died. He was cast in over 100 films, and co-starred in many television programs throughout its Golden Age.
Morgan began acting on stage in 1937 when he joined the Group Theatre in New York. He had a small part in the original production of the Clifford Odets play Golden Boy. He appeared in a number of successful Broadway roles alongside such other players as Lee J. Cobb, Elia Kazan, and Karl Malden.
In 1942, Morgan made his screen debut in To the Shores of Tripoli. What followed was a slew of memorable roles in cinema including Orchestra Wives, State Fair, A Bell for Adano, The Ox-Bow Incident, Dragonwyck, The Big Clock, The Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Bend, Madame Bovary, Bend of the River, High Noon, remakes of What Price Glory and Cimarron, Thunder Bay, The Glenn Miller Story, The Far Country, Strategic Air Command, Pete Kelly’s Blues, The Teahouse of the August Moon, Inherit the Wind, How the West Was Won, The Shootist, plus the Support Your Local Sheriff and The Apple Dumpling Gang series of pictures.
For the modern generation of television viewers, he was visible on December Bride, and its spinoff, Pete and Gladys; and most notably, as Bill Gannon on Dragnet and as Col. Sherman Potter on M*A*S*H. The versatile character actor finally retired from performing well into his eighties.
In 1980, Morgan won an Emmy for his performance on M*A*S*H. Morgan was inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in 2006.
In a bit of irony, the patriotic actor died on the day the United States honors the memory of Pearl Harbor. Harry Morgan was 96.
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