December 7, 2011

Goodbye to Harry Morgan.

He died today, at the age of 96. Maybe you think of him in "M*A*S*H" or "Dragnet," but I liked him in "Pete and Gladys":

45 comments:

MadisonMan said...

Duh duh duh duh.

Duh duh duh duh DAAAAA!

(Theme from Dragnet).

Long, full life, but I'm sorry he's passed.

ndspinelli said...

A great character actor. I love those type actors. They're comfortable w/ not being the star. They don't have the "look @ me" personality so many actors and stars in other realms have. They care about the movie, tv show, play, more than themselves. They're consummate team players.

Who here wouldn't be staisfied w/ 96 years. RIP

E.M. Davis said...

Also the Judge in Inherit the Wind

edutcher said...

A great character actor who had a remarkable career.

And character actors always seem to be the ones who have the 40, 50, or even 60 year careers.

Ann Althouse said...

...but I liked him in "Pete and Gladys":

Which was a spinoff from his role on the old "December Bride" show - and that's going back a loong way.

The Drill SGT said...

There were only 2 Officers portrayed in the Mash episodes.

yeah, there were a lot of doctors and nurses wearing bars, but only 2 officers.

Colonel Potter was one.

Major Hoolihan was the other

I understand that the Potter role was his favorite.

purplepenquin said...

He brought a lot of smiles (some unintentionally, I'm sure!) via quite a few different roles.

Goodbye, farewell, and amen

Patrick said...

One of the first movies I recall seeing as a kid was "The Apple Dumpling Gang," with Harry Morgan as the town judge/barber. Now, it's one of my kids favorite movies. Morgan seems to have put the same effort into a Disney kids movie as he did in his more serious type roles, and he made them all seem effortless. RIP.

Scott M said...

Wow. I actually surprised to hear he was still around.

As I got older, MASH got more preachy and less watchable. Morgan was the best thing on the show.

Patrick said...

I can still hear Klinger, doing an imitation of the Major, while trying to forge the Major's signature:

Sherman T. Potter.
Sherman T. Potter.
Sherman T. Potter

Psychedelic George said...

Pismo Beach, Joe. Pismo Beach.

Sorun said...

Sigh. The good old days when men wore suits 24/7 and could order their wives around. Just kidding about the suits.

Bob Ellison said...

He had a great voice.

Nobody Knows That I Am A Dog!!! said...

RIP Harry.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

Dragnet.

Goodbye Harry.

Jack would like to share this for old times sake.

Robert Cook said...

I do remember PETE & GLADYS from my early childhood.

Tibore said...

Re: Harry Morgan.

I admit, I was a bit surprised he was still alive. But I'm glad to see that he had a good, long life. While IMDB shows that his last role was in the late 90s, it's good to know that he had a nice, long career.

And I liked that last paragraph quoting his son. Even the most self-effacing actors of today are positively self-centered compared to celebrities from the past. It's great to see a guy who was all about the craft instead about the self.

RIP and Godspeed, Mr. Morgan.

Thorley Winston said...

I think that when Harry Morgan joined the cast of MASH, he brought so much gravitas to the show that it seems like the writers and other actors started bringing their A-game. Instead of just going for cheap laughs (like in the movie), the characters became far more human and complex and it was much a better show for it.

traditionalguy said...

Harry had that character he developed that was a combination of a smart man who was submitted to authority which also gave him authority.

Most men's role since the 1970s have morphed into silly children in grown ups bodies with half a brain and no sense of authority/weight to their personalities.

But then there was Clint Eastwood.

Joe Schmoe said...

There were only 2 Officers portrayed in the Mash episodes.

Wrong. Potter replaced Colonel Blake. MASH was before my time, but I saw lots of reruns.

The Drill SGT said...

Joe Schmoe said...
There were only 2 Officers portrayed in the Mash episodes.

Wrong. Potter replaced Colonel Blake. MASH was before my time, but I saw lots of reruns.


fine, there were only two real officers portrayed in any given episode.

My teaching point was that the Docs (absent Potter/Blake) were not officvers, but rather Docs with bars

gadfly said...

@The Drill SGT:

There were only 2 Officers portrayed in the Mash episodes.

yeah, there were a lot of doctors and nurses wearing bars, but only 2 officers.

Colonel Potter was one.

Major Hoolihan was the other.


Hotlips Houlihan was the Head Nurse, but 1st Lt Francis Mulcahy was the Catholic Chaplain and the only other non-medical officer at the 4077.

John Burgess said...

He's the second half of Dragnet for me, though Ben Alexander still holds a faint presence.

Joe Schmoe said...

Drill Sarge:
fine, there were only two real officers portrayed in any given episode.

My teaching point was that the Docs (absent Potter/Blake) were not officvers, but rather Docs with bars


Gadfly:
Hotlips Houlihan was the Head Nurse, but 1st Lt Francis Mulcahy was the Catholic Chaplain and the only other non-medical officer at the 4077.

When do I get to fill out the course evaluation forms, cuz as an instructor you blew this one.

Bill White said...

I'd never heard of "Pete and Gladys" (born in 1966). That was the creepiest thing I've ever seen on youtube. It was a sitcom?

TML said...

Is that The Great Gildersleeve?

Saint Croix said...

Support Your Local Gunfighter! One of my faves.

rhhardin said...

I remember Henry Morgan, I've Got a Secret, as the dour panelist. Harry I don't know.

Chip S. said...

I thought he was a pirate.

grackle said...

A movie I like that he was in: The Oxbow Incident

pawtuck said...

Major Burns, too.

Jay Vogt said...

Seemed like a really good guy.
Via con Dios Harry.

Traditional guy mentioned Clint Eastwood - My memories of HM are mostly from Dragnet and MASH. He did have a pretty well developed "squint-stare". I wonder if C. Eastwood might owe him anything on that.

Just wonderin . . .

Jay Vogt said...

Also, I respectfully disagree with T. Winston about the quality of the writing of MASH improving on the arrival of HM.

The quality of writing on the show fell steadily over the years from "Exceptional" in its earliest years to "Just-Above-Average" at the end.

No proof of this, but I think that you can feel Larry Gelbart loose interest in the show with every passing year and it shows up clearly in the writing.

In the end, I'm sure that he must have been handing it off to an intern.

AJ Lynch said...

"Horse's patoot" was Colonel Potter's favorite epitaph.

Joe Schmoe said...

Major Burns, too.

That's true. Winchester was a major, and Hawkeye and Honeycutt were captains. Drill Sgt, can you explain how these doctors all had rank titles but only Houlihan, the head nurse, was an official officer?

WestVirginiaRebel said...

Hawkeye, B.J. and Trapper were all apparently draftees.

Potter, Burns, and Houlihan were regular army and career officers, as was I believe Charles. Ergo, they could have been considered "Official" while Hawkeye and his Swampmates were, as B.J. once said, temporarily missassigned civiliams. (ironically, Klinger's serial number was preceded by "RA" or regular army when he was a draftee).

Anyway, RIP to Detective Bill Gannon/Colonol Potter (he was also the Sheriff in The Shootist.)

harkin said...

I liked him in The Ox-Bow Incident, Yellow Sky and The Flim-Flam Man.

wild chicken said...

OMG, Pete and Gladys...I don't remember the actual show, just the name.

I agree that M.A.S.H. got too preachy at the end, and dragged the Korean War out much too long.

But that wasn't Col. Potter's doing.

jeff said...

"Drill Sgt, can you explain how these doctors all had rank titles but only Houlihan, the head nurse, was an official officer?"

You are seriously missing his point. Hint- Compare and contrast the behavior of the Doctors vs Col Potter in a military setting.

Jason said...

COL Potter was a terrific fictional role model for any young officer. The other officers portrayed - not so much.

Only COL Potter acted like a commander... and Harry Morgan understood that very well.

cassandra lite said...

edutcher,

I loved December Bride. Spring Byington was great. And you're right about Pete and Gladys as a spinoff. My friend Jay and I were skateboarding down a residential street on a day when they were shooting exteriors for the pilot. We didn't want to wait for the traffic being held up, so like dick kids, we skated through. At first they prod asst got mad, then the asst director asked us to turn around and go back the other way, to get us in the shot.

The Crack Emcee said...

Goodbye, Harry.

It's so nice to think of good people,...

ironrailsironweights said...

It was a short performance, but his part as a crooked carnival barker in 1945's State Fair (billed as Henry Morgan) is quite memorable.

Peter

A. Shmendrik said...

I can just vaguely remember Pete & Gladys.

It's Dragnet that was the classic role. Jack Webb got to do all those time-compressing voice over narratives which would feature Friday and Gannon usually talking to a character played by Virginia
Gregg
, and they would gesticulate and nod in exaggerated fashion. They had to know those were the voice over sequences, I'd love to have heard what they said to each other.

Most of what gets traffic from that show is Joe Friday "schooling" [fill-in-the-blank], but Friday wouldn't have been effective without Gannon.

The "Pismo Beach" episode, classic.

Joe Schmoe said...

"Drill Sgt, can you explain how these doctors all had rank titles but only Houlihan, the head nurse, was an official officer?"

You are seriously missing his point. Hint- Compare and contrast the behavior of the Doctors vs Col Potter in a military setting.

No I wasn't, plus you are inferring your own point about behavior. I was asking Drill Sgt a legit question about ranks, and WestVirginiaRebel kindly answered it.

rcocean said...

"The "Pismo Beach" episode, classic."

Yes, it is. Morgan was the perfect sidekick to Friday, since he brought some humor in without going overboard.

Can't say I was a fan of Col Potter, I thought he was kinda of a bore although Morgan did as well as he could with the role.