Wednesday, December 7, 2011

In Memory: Harry Morgan. (April 10, 1915 – December 7, 2011)

Harry Morgan, a favorite character actor best known for playing the kindly Colonel Potter in the TV show “M*A*S*H,” died on Wednesday morning at his home in Los Angeles. He was 96.

His son Charles confirmed his death, saying Mr. Morgan had been treated for pneumonia recently.

In more than 100 movies, Mr. Morgan, performed in the movie, Orchestra Wives as a young man pushing his way to the front of a ballroom crowd with his date to hear Glenn Miller's band play.

A few years later, he was cast in the role of pianist Chummy MacGregor in the 1954 biopic The Glenn Miller Story.

Morgan continued to perform in important roles on the silver screen in films: 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), Thunder Bay (1953), The Glenn Miller Story (1954), The Far Country (1955) and Strategic Air Command (1955); in his later film career he appeared 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) with Dan Ackroyd and Tom Hanks. Besides all of the Anthony Mann films, Morgan was in a number of movies with James Stewart, including Strategic Air Command (1955), The Mountain Road (1960), How the West Was Won (1962), The Glenn Miller Story (1954) and The Shootist (1976).

He also performed with John Wayne, in How the West Was Won, featuring Morgan portraying Ulysses S. Grant to Wayne's William Tecumseh Sherman in the John Ford-directed segment of the Cinerama film.

Morgan played Officer Bill Gannon, Joe Friday's partner in Dragnet (1967–1970).


  1. I was really sad to hear his passing. I've only ever known him for his role on MASH (which I adored) and hopefully I'll be able to get a hold of some of these films to better appreciate his talent.

  2. I enjoyed Harry in Dragnet & MASH. However, he was excellent in The OX Bow Incident with Henry Fonda. Truly he can't be replaced!

  3. I was really suprised that Harry Morgan, was in so many movies.

    I think he was also in the film, Where the Sidewalk Ends, with Gene Tierney.


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