Harry Morgan (April 10, 1915 – December 7, 2011) a prolific character actor who is best known for his roles in “M*A*S*H” and “Dragnet,” died Wednesday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 96.
He starred as Pete Porter, in the situation comedy “Pete and Gladys” (1960-62), he played Officer Bill Gannon opposite to Jack Webb’s Sgt. Joe Friday in “Dragnet,” from 1967 to 1970. To millions of fans he was Col. Sherman T. Potter, commander of the 4077th M*A*S*H in Korea (1978-83).
In 1980 his received av Emmy Award as best supporting actor in a comedy series for “M*A*S*H”.
Mr Morgan played in more then 100 movies as sheriffs, loyal sidekicks, soldiers, thugs, police chiefs and judges. One of my favorites court room dramas he was Judge Mel Coffey in “Inherit The Wind,” the judge who presided over the fictionalized account of the 1925 Scopes “Monkey Trial” in Tennessee, where a young teacher was convicted of the crime of teaching the theory of evolution. What a role.
He was born Harry Bratsburg, in Detroit and grew up in Muskegon, Michigan. He made his professional acting debut in a production of “At Mrs. Beam’s” in Mount Kisco, N.Y., Morgan made his way to Hollywood in 1942.
It was once estimated that in one show or another, he was seen in prime time for 35 straight years.
Morgan is survived by his second wife, Barbara, whom he married in 1986, and three sons, Christopher, Charles and Paul, from his first marriage, to Eileen, who died in 1985; eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. His son Daniel predeceased him.