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M*a*s*h Star, Harry Morgan Dies At 96: Beloved Character Actor From Stage And Screen
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M*a*s*h Star, Harry Morgan Dies at 96: Beloved Character Actor From Stage And Screen

One of the most beloved figures from the long running CBS series, M*A*S*H, Harry Morgan has died at his Brentwood home. According to his daughter in law, Beth Morgan, the actor had been suffering from pneumonia. He was 96 years old.

Morgan was born in 1915 in Detroit, Michigan, Originally planning a career in law, a public speaking class at the University of Chicago changed his mind and led him to the stage. Many people may be unaware, but Morgan appeared on Broadway with Karl Malden for two years in the play, Golden Boy. He would make his way out to Hollywood in 1942.

Harry Morgan appeared in ten television shows and fifty films, appearing beside John Wayne, Henry Fonda and other major stars, often cast as the sheriff or similar roles on the big screen. On television he got a bit of a wider range, starting with the December Bride, a CBS series that ran from 1954-1959. He would go on to star in the spinoff of that series, a show called Pete and Gladys.

He would come back to play the role of cop in the critically acclaimed Dragnet series, appearing alongside Jack Webb but it would be his performance on the long running CBS war show, M*A*S*H that would be the one he is best known for. The lovable but temperamental Colonel Sherman T. Potter came to the 4077th to replace the beloved Colonel Henry Blake, (played by the late McLean Stevenson) who had been discharged, only to be shot down over the Sea of Japan. Colonel Potter quickly became one of the favorite characters, with a list of catch phrases that were often uttered when he was excited or frustrated. Horses were a favorite of Morgan's, so a horse is written into the show, a gift to Potter from long time company clerk, Radar.

Fans of the show were quick to point out that Morgan had already appeared on the program, in the third season when he played a nutty Major General Bartford Hamilton Steele who arrives at the camp and then proceeds to show off just how insane he really was by making the staff move every thing a few inches so that they can still be called "mobile".

Harry Morgan is survived by three sons, eight grandchildren and nine great grandchildren. His family and friends speak fondly of the actor. His daughter in law Beth called him a gentle, loving and genuinely kind father in law. The family has not announced any arrangements.


Street Talk

Yep, I grew up in Detroit, so that was a cool fact to get to add. My Dad was always such a great fan of the show that watching the reruns on TVLand allows me to feel reconnected with him even though we are separated by a whole state these days. Colonel Potter was always one of my favorite characters and I find myself using some of his rather colorful phrases more than a time or two!

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Hey Amie, we have something in common, Detroit, Mi! Even though I was born there, my parents moved to Chicago shortly after I was born. It's been a while since I've been back for a visit. The last time I was there I had a blast. Oh, yeah I did attention a convention in downtown, but we were only there for a few hours at that time.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

96 wow! He just missed the hundred mark. But what a great life lead while here on this earth. And he was born in Detroit, MI just I was. How cool is that!

Reply
  about 6 years ago

I love watching Colonel Potter and the Mash team. Hawkeye, Radar, and the gang. And now I remember him on Dragnet, wow!

Reply
  about 6 years ago
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