5 items from 2011
We take a look back at some of the names in entertainment whose spotlights faded out this year. Granted, this is only a small number of people who passed, but to all those mentioned below and to the seemingly countless other lives lost this year, we thank them for the memories and may they rest in peace. Harry Morgan (April 10, 1915 – December 7, 2011; age 96) – Morgan was best known for his portrayal of Colonel Potter on M*A*S*H and Officer Bill Gannon on Dragnet. Morgan appeared in more than 100 films over his career which began in the 1942 movie To the Shores of Tripoli. Other notable big screen credits include The Ox-Bow Incident, High Noon, The Glenn Miller Story as well as a cameo in the 1987 film version of Dragnet. Morgan died peacefully...
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Actor best known as the warm and authoritative Colonel Potter in M*A*S*H
The actor Harry Morgan, who has died aged 96, was best known as Colonel Sherman T Potter, commander of the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital in M*A*S*H, the wonderfully witty and sharp television series set in an army camp during the Korean war. He played Potter, an expert surgeon and a father figure in the camp, from 1978 until 1983.
Those who knew Morgan from films alone might have been surprised by his warm and authoritative performance as Potter. Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, as a supporting actor, he played runtish bad guys and worms that seldom turned. He gradually began to reveal a more likable side, as a musician buddy of Glenn Miller (James Stewart) in The Glenn Miller Story (1954) and in the typically bland 50s TV sitcom December Bride (1954-58). Later, he played »
- Ronald Bergan
"Harry Morgan, the prolific character actor best known for playing the acerbic but kindly Colonel Potter in the long-running television series M*A*S*H, died on Wednesday morning at his home in Los Angeles," reports Michael Pollak in the New York Times. "In more than 100 movies, Mr Morgan played Western bad guys, characters with names like Rocky and Shorty, loyal sidekicks, judges, sheriffs, soldiers, thugs and police chiefs…. In The Ox-Bow Incident (1943), which starred Henry Fonda, he was praised for his portrayal of a drifter caught up in a lynching in a Western town…. He went on to appear in All My Sons (1948), based on the Arthur Miller play, with Edward G Robinson and Burt Lancaster; The Big Clock (1948), in which he played a silent, menacing bodyguard to Charles Laughton; Yellow Sky (1949), with Gregory Peck and Anne Baxter; and the critically praised western High Noon (1952), with Gary Cooper. Among »
7 December 2011 10:11 AM, PST | IMDb News
Harry Morgan, the actor best known for his role as the well-respected, sometimes irascible Colonel Sherman T. Potter in the long-running series "M*A*S*H", died Wednesday morning at his home in Los Angeles. He was 96.
He was born Harry Bratsberg on April 10, 1915 in Detroit, Michigan, to Henry and Anna Bratsberg, where his father worked for war hero and car designer Eddie Rickenbacker. The family soon moved to Muskegon, Michigan, where Harry, hoping to be a lawyer, became heavily involved debate and speech classes; his junior year in high school he won a debate championship at the University of Michigan. He attended the University of Chicago for a few years, before leaving school and finding employment with an office equipment maker who eventually sent him to Washington D.C. It was during his time in Washington D.C. that Harry got his start on the stage, joining the Civic Theater in Ben Hecht’s "Front Page". Eventually, he moved on to a Mt. Kisco summer stock theater company, where he met and acted regularly with actress Frances Farmer. Ms. Farmer had quite an impact of his life; she promoted his career by involving him to acting classes with Elia Kazan, and also introduced him to her University of Washington classmate Eileen Detchon. He married Detchon in 1940 and they would have four children, sons Christopher, Charles, Paul and Daniel. Harry's stage career continued to grow, as he joined New York's Group Theater, whose members included Kazan, Karl Malden and Lee J. Cobb. When Hollywood agent Charlie Feldman saw him perform on Broadway, he signed the young actor and had him quickly under studio contract with Twentieth Century Fox, where he changed his name to Henry Morgan.
Harry and Eileen made the move to Hollywood in the early 1942 and his first billed appearance (as Henry Morgan) came that year in To the Shores of Tripoli. To avoid confusion with a popular comedian of the time, another name change soon followed, and he became Harry Morgan. Morgan’s film career prospered, and in the next 5 decades he appeared in many now-legendary dramatic films, including The Ox-Bow Incident, All My Sons, Madame Bovary, High Noon, The Glenn Miller Story, Inherit the Wind, Cimarron, How the West Was Won, Frankie and Johnny, The Apple Dumpling Gang and The Shootist.
While building this impressive film resume, Morgan was simultaneously working regularly in radio and television, with brief roles in "Alfred Hitchcock Presents", "Cavalcade of America" and "The Twentieth Century Fox Hour" before landing the role of comedic neighbor Pete Porter in "December Bride", which eventually lead to the spin-off series "Pete and Gladys". In 1963, his TV career took a turn toward more serious projects, as part of the ensemble in "The Richard Boone Show" and an iconic role as Officer Bill Gannon in 1967’s "Dragnet". The series, and his performance in it, was not only a precursor to modern police and detective series, but would also inform the 1987 film Dragnet, a comedic reimagination of the show starring Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks; Morgan appeared in this film as Captain Bill Gannon.
Despite decades spent working in film and TV, it would be his work in the TV series "M*A*S*H" that made him instantly recognizable around the world. After a memorable, Emmy-nominated guest turn as loony Major General Steele at the beginning of the third season in 1974, Morgan was invited back to join the cast a year later as Colonel Sherman T. Potter, the late-career Army man sent to run the eccentric medical unit after the loss of their previous commanding officer. Morgan's nuanced performance as dedicated leader and surgeon with an unwavering sense of right and wrong combined with a father-like protectiveness of his staff, allowed Potter to grow organically through the long run of the series. The small touches he brought to the role – Potter's paintings were done by Morgan himself, and the picture of Mildred Potter on Potter’s desk was actually Morgan's wife Eileen – only added to the authentic humanity of his portrayal, and in 1980 Morgan won an Emmy for his performance. After the series came to an end in 1983, Morgan continued the role in the short-lived spin-off "AfterMASH".
After the death of his wife Eileen in 1985, he kept himself busy making guest appearances in series such as "The Love Boat" and took a regular role in the single season run of "Blacke's Magic". In December of 1986, he married Barbara Bushman, the granddaughter of silent film star Francis X. Bushman. His work as a TV guest star continued through the late 1990s in "The Simpsons," "3rd Rock from the Sun," "Grace Under Fire", and his final movie work included Family Plan and the short film Crosswalk.
He is survived by Barbara, his sons Christopher, Charles and Paul, and grandchildren Spencer, Rosemary and Jeremy.
He was preceded in death by his first wife Eileen in 1985 and his son Daniel in 1989. »
- Heather Campbell
There’s nothing all that glamorous about Jeff Buckley’s life. By all accounts, it was tough-to-average until he started getting his foot into the recording world’s door. He put out a strong, dynamic album called “Grace,” but he died in a drowning accident at the too-young age of 30. Buckley is a great target for a biopic – sort of a grungier version of The Glenn Miller Story without the uniform or as many pawn shops – and according to the Daily Express, Robert Pattinson wants the role. They have an insider quoted as calling it to the bleachers on behalf of Pattinson, but no comment directly from the actor, so it’s all questionable. Still, it’s bound to be a fascinating role to play – even if the article seems to overplay the Oscar possibilities here. So will Pattinson get the role? It’s unclear. The Express also calls out James Franco, James Marsden »
- Cole Abaius
5 items from 2011
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