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Emmy Award-winning actor Harry Morgan, who played the crusty but loveable Colonel Sherman T. Potter on the sitcom “MASH” and hard-nosed LAPD officer Bill Gannon on the television drama “Dragnet,” died Wednesday. He turned 96.

How Did Harry Morgan Die

Morgan died at his home in Brentwood after a bout of pneumonia, his daughter-in-law, Beth Morgan, told the Associated Press.

Harry Morgan, 1915 2011: Actor Most Remembered As Col. Potter Of ‘m*a*s*h’

Morgan’s eight-year run on “MASH,” the pinnacle of his seven-decade acting career, began when he was 60 and had already appeared on the Broadway stage, appearing in dozens of television shows and more than 50 movies.

Three years after it debuted, he joined the show in 1975 as commanding officer of the unorthodox 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, which bandaged the wounded during the Korean War.

When the 2 1/2 hour “MASH” finale aired in 1983, 77% of people watching television tuned in, making it the most watched show in history.

Shortly before the final episode aired, Morgan told The Times, “There will never be another ‘MASH’. There’s nothing stopping you from doing your best work on this set, absolutely nothing.”

M*a*s*h’ Star Harry Morgan Dies At Age 96

Although he wanted to be a lawyer, Morgan fell into acting and stayed. The son of an auto mechanic, he was born Harry Bratsberg in Detroit on April 10, 1915. He grew up in Muskegon, Michigan, played high school football despite his short stature, and was a member of the school’s championship debating team.

Morgan attended the University of Chicago, but left in the 1930s to sell office equipment in Washington, D.C. As a salesman during the Depression, he had free time, so he joined a theater troupe. He performed on a hotel stage and had success in ‘The Front Page’ and ‘The Petrified Forest’.

He left his office equipment job to appear in summer stock. In the fall of 1937, he went to New York City and appeared in several Broadway productions, under the name Harry Bratsburg.

“In my ignorance I thought to myself, ‘Hey, this acting business is a great life!’ I didn’t know! From that moment on it got harder. If I had to struggle in the beginning like most actors… I never would have lasted. But because I had such great success in the beginning, I was on it bound to be an actor for life,” Morgan said in the 1983 book “‘MASH’: The Exclusive, Inside Story of TV’s Most Popular Show.

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Harry Morgan Movies

In 1941, he and his actress wife, Eileen, left for Hollywood, and Morgan hit something of a rocky outcrop – he didn’t work for five months.

After appearing in a Santa Barbara one-act film titled ‘Hello Out There’, he was offered a contract with 20th Century Fox and, in the name of Henry Morgan, promptly made six films, beginning with ‘To the Shores or Tripoli’.

Morgan went on to appear in such films as “High Noon” (1953), “The Glenn Miller Story” (1954), “Inherit the Wind” (1960), “Support Your Local Sheriff!” (1969) and his personal favourite, ‘The Ox-Bow Incident’ from 1943.

One of his early TV credits was “December Bride,” in which he played Pete Porter, the wry-tempered, underhanded neighbor who made fun of his wife, the never-seen Gladys. It was then that Morgan started using Harry as his first name to avoid being confused with television comedian Henry Morgan.

John Thomas Morgan Age 69

After seven years on “December Bride,” Morgan appeared opposite Cara Williams in an early 1960s spin-off, “Pete and Gladys.” His TV career continued with the anthology series “The Richard Boone Show” and with “Kentucky Jones”, in which Morgan played a ranch handyman who works for the title character, played by Dennis Weaver.

Until “MASH,” Morgan was best known for his role as Agent Bill Gannon on “Dragnet,” a show he first appeared on radio in the 1940s. In 1967, Morgan replaced Ben Alexander as partner on Jack Webb’s Sgt. Joe Friday on the show that targeted the Los Angeles Police Department. He remained a regular for four seasons.

The intense two-day shooting schedule challenged Morgan, as did Webb’s insistence that they speak in a flat monotone so that they would not seem emotionally involved with the other characters. (Morgan later had a cameo in the 1987 Dan Aykroyd-Tom Hanks “Dragnet” spoof and provided the voice of Gannon for a 1995 episode of “The Simpsons.”)

In the early 1970s, Morgan worked on another of Webb’s creations, the courtroom drama “The D.A.”, and appeared opposite Richard Boone in “Hec Ramsey,” a Western that was part of the “NBC’s Sunday Mystery Movie” series.

Stars: Harry Morgan Stock Photo

The role of Colonel Potter in “MASH” came about when the fictional surgical unit needed a new commander after McLean Stevenson left the show in 1975. It wasn’t Morgan’s first appearance on the program – his portrayal of a demented general on the show. earned him an Emmy nomination the same year he joined the series.

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The anti-war comedy, based on the 1970 film starring Donald Sutherland and Elliott Gould, debuted in 1972. The TV series, starring Alan Alda, had already won an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series and had long been acclaimed by The Times to smash.

Still, Morgan was nervous about replacing Stevenson’s Lt. Col. Henry Blake, who was “one of the guys.” Morgan’s Colonel Potter was much more spit and polished, but had a sentimental side that was evident in his oil paintings and interactions with others on base outside of Seoul at the height of the Korean War.

He received eight Emmy nominations for the role, winning once, in 1980, the same year he was nominated for directing an episode of ‘MASH’.

Harry Morgan, ‘m*a*s*h’ And ‘dragnet’ Actor, Dies At 96

Morgan also co-starred in a spin-off sitcom, “AfterMASH”, which was set in a veterans hospital in the United States and aired from 1983 to 1984.

He then appeared in about 20 other TV productions, including a few episodes of “3rd Rock from the Sun” in the late 1990s.

As “MASH” came to an end in 1983, he told The Times: “The sadness will go away after a while. The cup is so damn full you can’t really be sad you don’t have any more. We all have so much more than we ever would have done otherwise. That will take a long, long time.”

With his first wife, Eileen, Morgan had four sons. She died in 1985 after 45 years of marriage. A son, Daniel, died in 1989. While every effort has been made to follow the rules for citation styles, there may be some discrepancies. Consult the appropriate style manual or other resources if you have any questions.

Harry S. Morgan

Richard Pallardy Richard Pallardy earned a B.A. in English from Illinois State University in 2005. He was a research editor at Encyclopaedia, Inc. from 2008 to 2016 and worked on Blog from 2010…

The Editors of Encyclopaedia The editors of Encyclopaedia oversee topics in which they have extensive knowledge, either through years of experience gained from working on that content or through study for an advanced degree. They write new content and verify and edit content received from contributors.

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Harry Morgan, original name Harry Bratsburg, (born April 10, 1915, Detroit, Michigan, USA – died December 7, 2011, Los Angeles, California), American actor best known for his television work, especially as the gruff but kind-hearted Col. Sherman T. Potter on M*A*S*H.

He grew up in Muskegon, Michigan. He enrolled at the University of Chicago in 1933, but lacking the funds to continue, found work selling office supplies. He began acting in summer stock productions while working in Washington D.C., debuting professionally opposite Frances Farmer in

Harry Morgan And A Moustache!

At the Westchester Playhouse in Mount Kisco, New York, in 1937. He joined the Group Theater in New York City that year and re-entered the boards opposite Farmer in Clifford Odets’s

After appearing in several other Broadway productions, he moved to California in 1942 and was signed by 20th Century Fox after a scout saw him in a staging of

, a World War II recruiting film, under the name Henry Morgan. He later acted as Harry Morgan to avoid confusion with another actor. In 1943, he starred opposite Henry Fonda in the gritty western

(1960), about the Scopes Trial, Morgan spent much of the latter part of his career on the small screen. He had a recurring role in the comedy TV series

Actor Harry Morgan, Best Known For Iconic & Beloved Role As Colonel Sherman Potter On M*a*s*h, Passes Away At 96! Rip

(1960-1962), a spin-off centered on the marriage of his character, Pete Porter. Morgan then starred in the police procedural

As the short-tempered Colonel Potter, for which he won an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1980, was his defining role. A comedic drama about a United States Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) in South Korea during the Korean War, the show was critically acclaimed for its sharp humor, though it generated controversy with its anti-war tone. Morgan reprized the role in the short-lived spin-off Harry Morgan, the prolific character actor best known for playing the caustic yet kindly Colonel Potter on the long-running television series “M*A*S*H,” died Wednesday morning at his home in Los Angeles. He turned 96.

In more than 100 films, Mr. Morgan West

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