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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, who portrayed Colonel Sherman Potter in the television version of M*A*S*H, died Wednesday at his Los Angeles home. He had been suffering from pneumonia.
His role as Col. Potter won Morgan an Emmy in 1980, but he was also well-known as Officer Bill Gannon in Dragnet, the 1967 television series.
- Blaine Kyllo
"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 »
Fly your flag at half mast: M*A*S*H’s Col. Sherman T. Potter, Harry Morgan, died on Wednesday morning.
The actor, who was 96, appeared in more than 100 movies, among them High Noon, Inherit the Wind and How the West Was Won (as Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, no less). He also appeared frequently on television, popping up on everything from Gunsmoke to The Simpsons, and playing Officer Bill Gannon in the late-’60s Dragnet update.
But it is M*A*S*H for which he is sure to be most widely — and fondly — remembered. After a showy guest performance on the series, »
- Andy Patrick
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
Harry Morgan has died, aged 96. The actor was perhaps most well known for playing Colonel Potter in the long-running sitcom M*A*S*H*. His son Charles confirmed that Morgan passed away at his home in Los Angeles. Morgan was a prolific character actor who appeared in over 100 movies, including High Noon, Inherit the Wind, How the West was Won and the 1987 Dragnet remake with Tom Hanks. He often played loyal sidekicks, sheriffs, Western baddies, police chiefs and judges in his many roles. Morgan was also known for portraying officer Bill Gannon in the 1967 update of Dragnet, Pete Porter in sitcom Pete and Gladys and Amos Coogan in Hec Ramsey. He won an Emmy (more) »
- By Tom Eames
I first met filmmaker Dave Strohmaier at the Widescreen Weekend Film Festival in Bradford, England - a wonderful annual event that draws hundreds of retro movie lovers from around the world. Dave and his partners are entirely devoted to preserving widescreen classics that might otherwise vanish from existence. Dave is also a superb filmmaker and his documentary about the history of Cinerama (Cinerama Adventure) remains the gold standard of classic movie tributes. This great achievement can be found on the special DVD and Blu-ray editions of MGM's 1962 classic How the West Was Won. The documentary traces the history of the short-lived but magnificent widescreen process. It remains, for me, perhaps the best documentary I've seen about filmmaking. Sadly, a key section has never been seen by the public. It features contemporary interviews with cast members from How the West Was Won including Debbie Reynolds, Russ Tamblyn, Carroll Baker and Eli Wallach. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
Five decades after its historic debut, a timeless classic returns to dazzle audiences young and old. Based on the hit Broadway musical of the same name, the iconic film West Side Story returns in brilliant Blu-ray form November 15, 2011 from Twentieth Century Home Entertainment, and to celebrate, we are giving away copies! Hooray!!!
With a record-breaking ten Academy Awards® including Best Picture, Best Directing and Best Original Score, the film took home more awards than any other movie-musical in the history of cinema. This monumental production not only featured the timeless lyrics from master American composer Stephen Sondheim, but a brilliant score from Leonard Bernstein, and beautiful direction from Robert Wise. West Side Story: 50th Anniversary Edition boasts hundreds of hours of restoration, new 7.1 digital audio, and a collection of bonus features spotlighting the harmonious songs and elaborate dances of the original film.
1. You Must Be A U. »
- Melissa Howland
In celebration of the upcoming release of West Side Story: 50th Anniversary Edition on Blu-ray for the first time on November 15th, we have some fun clips just for you! By some, I mean a ton… so if you love West Side Story, you came to the right place!
Gee, Office Krupke Intro
A Boy Like That
Five decades after its historic debut, a timeless classic returns to dazzle audiences young and old. Based on the hit Broadway musical of the same name, the iconic film West Side Story returns in brilliant Blu-ray form November 15, 2011 from Twentieth Century Home Entertainment. With a record-breaking ten Academy Awards. including Best Picture, Best Directing and Best Original Score, the film took home more awards than any other movie-musical in the history of cinema. This monumental »
- Melissa Howland
We have an exclusive featurette for the high-definition debut of West Side Story, which celebrates its 50th Anniversary with a new Blu-ray and boxed set arriving November 15. Click on the video player below to watch a featurette detailing the rehearsal process for the classic musical's rumble scene.
Click to watch Exclusive: Rehearsing the Rumble!
This "brilliant" (The New Republic) film sets the ageless story of Romeo and Juliet against a backdrop of gang warfare in 1950's New York. A love affair is fated for tragedy amidst the vicious rivalry between two street gangs - the Jets and the Sharks. When Jets member Tony (Richard Beymer, The Longest Day) falls for Maria (Natalie Wood, Splendor in the Grass), the sister of the Sharks leader, it's more than these two warring gangs can handle. As mounting tensions rise, a battle to the death ensues and innocent blood is shed in a heartbreaking finale. »
Edgar Wright's latest epic project  has him partnering with Quentin Tarantino, Judd Apatow, Joss Whedon, Bill Hader, Guillermo Del Toro, Joe Dante, Greg Mottola, Harry Knowles, Rian Johnson and, probably, several of you. Like all of us, Wright has a bunch of classic and cult films he's never seen. Unlike all of us, he has the means to see them for the first time on the big screen and will do just that in December  at the New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles during Films Edgar Has Never Seen. The director of Shaun of the Dead and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World asked both his famous friends (some of which are listed above) and fans to send in their personal must see lists and, from those titles, Wright came up with one mega list from which he'll pick a few movies to watch December 9-16. After the jump check »
- Germain Lussier
Before yesterday afternoon, the only time I'd ever seen Joseph L. Mankiewicz's 1963 epic Cleopatra was on DVD. When I first watched it all I could remember thinking was "Hey, that wasn't so bad." After all, I'd only ever heard of the famed and troubled production in the terms of what a mess it was, with little to no attention paid to its virtues. Strangely, while watching a 70mm print of the 48-year-old film I heard someone behind me at intermission say the same thing... "It's actually not too bad," he said. No, it's not... in fact, if you give yourself over to the massive epic it can actually be quite good.
The production, which cost a reported $44 million to produce (about $325.7 million today), is still considered the most expensive movie in history based on inflation (though, depending on what calculator you use, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End »
- Brad Brevet
Ronald Reagan, Knute Rockne: All American Kay Francis, William Powell, Myrna Loy, Jean Harlow: Packard Campus Movies Thursday, September 1 (7:30 p.m.) The Wanderers (Orion, 1979) Set against the urban jungle of 1963 New York's gangland subculture, this coming of age teenage movie is set around the Italian gang the Wanderers. Directed by Philip Kaufman. With Ken Wahl, John Friedrich and Karen Allen. Action drama. Rated R. Color, 117 min. Thursday, September 8 (7:30 p.m.) Mildred Pierce (Warner Bros., 1945) A housewife-turned-waitress finds success in business but loses control of her ungrateful teenaged daughter. Directed by Michael Curtiz. With Joan Crawford, Zachary Scott and Ann Blyth. Drama. Black & White, 111 min. Selected for the National Film Registry in 1996. Friday, September 9 (7:30 p.m.) Pre-code Drama Double Feature Jewel Robbery (Warner Bros., 1932) A wealthy, married woman becomes captivated by a debonair jewel thief. Directed by William Dieterle. With Kay Francis and William Powell. Comedy, »
- Andre Soares
Brian finishes his tour through Cinerama by regaling us with tales of How the West Was Won.
The second dramatic film shot in three-panel Cinerama, this sprawling all-star western epic came too late to save the process, which was being replaced by a simpler single-lens system. Many action sequences were shot normally and converted to three-panel. By the time the brand-new Cinerama Dome in Hollywood opened in 1963 its initial “Cinerama” attraction, It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, had been made entirely without the three-panel process the theater was built to showcase. Great score by Alfred Newman.
Click here to watch the trailer.
Brian Trenchard-Smith brings us a week of Cinerama!
Back in the days when moviegoing was an event, the Roadshow Attraction was a special audience-pleaser designed to run for months in the same theater with reserved seating and, naturally, increased ticket prices. Of all the big-screen processes designed to lure audiences out of their living rooms and away from the dreaded picture tube, Cinerama was the most elaborate, requiring three projectors, a huge curved screen and multiple soundtracks to “put you in the picture”. Numerous popular Cinerama productions followed, mostly travelogs, until the format was replaced by Ultra Panavision in the early sixties.
On Wednesday, August 10, join Brian Trenchard-Smith for the trailer to Windjammer.
This spectacular documentary follows a Norwegian sailing ship on its voyage from Oslo to the east coast of the Us and back. It was produced in Cinemiracle, »
Five decades after its historic debut, a timeless classic returns to dazzle audiences young and old. Based on the hit Broadway musical of the same name, the iconic film West Side Story returns in brilliant Blu-ray form November 15, 2011 from Twentieth Century Home Entertainment. With a record-breaking ten Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Directing and Best Original Score, the film took home more awards than any other movie-musical in the history of cinema. This monumental production not only featured the timeless lyrics from master American composer Stephen Sondheim, but a brilliant score from Leonard Bernstein, and beautiful direction from Robert Wise. West Side Story: 50th Anniversary Edition boasts hundreds of hours of restoration, new 7.1 digital audio, and a collection of bonus features spotlighting the harmonious songs and elaborate dances of the original film.
This "brilliant" (The New Republic) film sets the ageless story of Romeo and Juliet against a »
Gear up true-believers! Just when you thought no one was going to pay attention to West Side Story, the 50th Anniversary has arrived, and on 11/15/11, so will the 50th Anniversary Edition Blu-Ray. It promises to be the film as you've never seen it before, and it comes in a package that is sure to win over fans.
Now, call me crazy if you will, but I love this movie. Check out all the info below, including the special features list, and what you'll get in the box.
Celebrate The 50th Anniversary Of A Cultural Masterpiece That Redefined Cinema Now In Breathtaking High-definition
Experience the Original Academy Award®-Winning Movie As West Side Story: 50th Anniversary Edition Makes Its Blu-ray Debut on November 15.
Five decades after its historic debut, a timeless classic returns to dazzle audiences young and old. Based on the hit Broadway musical of the same name, the »
- Marc Eastman
One of the great movie musicals of all time, West Side Story, is finally coming to Blu-ray in November. The 1961 Oscar winner for Best Picture will be available in a 2-disc set and a 4-disc collector's set. I feel pretty already!
For the entire scoop, read on for the official press release from MGM/Twentieth Century Home Entertainment:
Five decades after its historic debut, a timeless classic returns to dazzle audiences young and old. Based on the hit Broadway musical of the same name, the iconic film West Side Story returns in brilliant Blu-ray form November 15, 2011 from Twentieth Century Home Entertainment. With a record-breaking ten Academy Awards® including Best Picture, Best Directing and Best Original Score, the film took home more awards than any other movie-musical in the history of cinema. This monumental production not only featured the timeless lyrics from master American composer Stephen Sondheim, but a brilliant score from Leonard Bernstein, »
Legendary TV cowboy James Arness has died, aged 88.
The Minnesota-born World War Two hero was the older brother of actor Peter Graves, who encouraged Arness to seek out a career in showbusiness after he was discharged from the army with leg and foot injuries sustained in battle.
He became an announcer at a Minneapolis radio station and later found fame in Hollywood after following a friend out to Los Angeles to find work in the movies.
His first wife, actress Virginia Chapman, encouraged him to take his acting more seriously after he received glowing reviews for his performance in his debut and he became a staple villain in films like The Thing from Another World (1951).
Arness' career really took off when he was discovered by John Wayne's agent Charles K. Feldman, and the two TV and movie cowboys became firm friends. Arness starred alongside Wayne, his mentor, in a series of 1950s films and it was the acting legend who recommended his pal for the role of Dillon in Gunsmoke, which became America's longest-running dramatic series.
He retired from showbusiness in the mid-1990s, after appearing in the final Gunsmoke TV movie.
He and his first wife had three kids together - one daughter, Jenny Lee, committed suicide in 1975. Arness divorced Chapman in 1960. He wed Janet Surtrees in 1978.
Among his many accolades, Arness was appointed an honorary United States Marshall in recognition of his unique contribution to "the image and traditions of the U.S. Marshall's Service". He was also inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 1981.
He also received the Bronze Star; the Purple Heart, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory Medal and the Combat Infantryman Badge for his army service during World War Two.
Flowers will be placed on the actor's Hollywood Walk of Fame star on Friday afternoon. »
The 6'-7" inch Arness played the straight-shooting law man on TV for 20 years until the show was canceled in 1975. He reprised the role in four made-for-television movies and then went on to star in the mini-series "How the West Was Won."
Arness was born in Minnesota in 1923 and served in the Army and worked as a radio announcer before pal John Wayne helped him land the "Gunsmoke" role. He is survived by his wife, three sons and three grandchildren.
A message on Arness' official website asks that donations be made in his name to United Cerebral Palsy, a cause he vigorously supported. »
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