Harry Morgan, 'MASH' and 'Dragnet' actor, dies at 96
Harry Morgan, the veteran actor of TV hits like MASH and Dragnet, died Wednesday at his Brentwood home after having pneumonia, his daughter-in-law, Beth Morgan, told the AP. He was 96.
"He was side-splittingly funny, a very gent and loving father-in-law," Beth Morgan said. "He was very humble about having such a successful career."
Morgan appeared in mostly supporting roles on the big screen, playing opposite such stars as Henry Fonda, John Wayne, James Garner, Elvis Presley and Dan Aykroyd.
On television, he was more the comedic co-star, including roles on December Bride, its spin-off Pete and Gladys, as Sgt. Joe Friday’s loyal partner Bill Gannon in later Dragnet episodes and as Col. Potter on CBS’ long-running MASH series, for which he earned an Emmy award in 1980.
"He was an imp," said Mike Farrell, who starred as B.J. Hunnicutt in MASH along with Morgan and Alan Alda. "As Alan once said, there’s not an un-adorable bone in the man’s body. He was full of fun, and he was smart as a whip."
Born in Detroit in 1915, Morgan was studying pre-law at the University of Chicago when public speaking classes sparked his interest in the stage. Before long, he was working with a little-theater group in Washington, D.C., then on to Broadway before moving to Hollywood in 1942. He starred in several movies before finding true fame in TV.
Morgan enjoyed reading books about the legal profession and poetry. He also liked horses, which he once raised on his Northern California ranch. He is survived by three sons, Charles, Paul and Christopher; eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
[Photo: Morgan in 1982. AP]