Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Harry Morgan (1915-2011)

It has just come across the wires of the passing of character actor and television icon Harry Morgan at 96.

Morgan's television career extends all the way back to the medium's early years, and the sitcoms Pete & Gladys & December Bride, but he achieved iconic status as Officer Bill Gannon on Dragnet during the series' 2nd run on NBC (1967-70).

Shortly after that, Morgan landed another iconic series gig, cast as Colonel Sherman Potter on M*A*S*H after McLean Stevenson left the series. For Morgan, it was a return to his earlier years as a sitcom actor, although there were some lighter moments on Dragnet during his run there, too. Morgan's film credits included "The Ox-Bow Incident" and James Garner's "Support Your Local Gunfighter" & "Support Your Local Sheriff", in addition to two Dragnet features, one with Webb and the aforementioned satire.

Bank on this. There will be tribute marathons of either M*A*S*H or Dragnet, depending on the channel in your market, in honor of Morgan, probably no sooner than this weekend. I'd say check your local listings, but in these kind of cases, the cablers will clear their schedules on short notice.

Rest in peace, Harry.

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