It’s hard to find one memorable role in a career. Harry Morgan found two: as Bill Gannon, Joe Friday’s partner on Dragnet, and as Col. Sherman Potter on M*A*S*H. Morgan’s impression on Dragnet (he appeared in a TV movie, and the later version, which was the one most used in syndication) is such that though he came on after the show ran for nearly ten years, he’s considered the official partner. Harry Morgan (often credited as Henry Morgan) passed away on December 7, 2011.
Morgan’s career started in 1942, when he would be cast in small parts as the seventh or eighth lead. one of his biggest early roles was playing against Henry Fonda in 1943′s The Ox-Bow Incident. For much of the 40′s and 50′s he alternated between playing soldiers, cowboys and thugs. It was the life for many working actors. It also meant he could show up in a classic like 1952′s High Noon and have it be only one of the eleven roles he had that year.
By the 50′s TV moved in and Morgan got the role of Pete Porter on December Bride. It ran from 1954-1959, and he followed that with its spin-off Pete and Gladys. Together the shows ran a collected 227 episodes. Television became his home, and though he would do small parts in films like The Shootist and The Cat From Outer Space, between Dragnet and M*A*S*H he had found his niche. Morgan stopped acting in 1999.
How do you remember Harry Morgan?