Harry Morgan, perhaps best known for his role on M*A*S*H* as Colonel Potter, has died at the age of 96. He had been recently dealing with pneumonia but it is unknown at this time if this was the cause of death.
Morgan was first seen on the big screen in 1942’s To The Shores of Tripoli. This began a long and successful career along many Hollywood greats like James Stewart, Gregory Peck, Gary Cooper, Marlon Brando, John Wayne, Spencer Tracy, George C. Scott, Peter Ustinov, James Garner, Don Knotts, Tim Conway, Dan Akroyd, Tom Hanks, and more. He has a long list of movies that he appeared in that includes The Glenn Miller Story, Strategic Air Command, Support Your Local Sheriff, High Noon, How the West Was Won, and the Disney comedy, The Apple Dumpling Gang. He was equally successful on the television front. If not for M*A*S*H*later in his career, he could quite possibly have been known most his role as Bill Gannon, Joe Friday’s partner in the crime show Dragnet.
M*A*S*H* did come along however and in the third season Harry Morgan made his first appearance on the show as Major General Bartford Hamilton Steele. His character believed that the 4077th should be moved closer to the front lines and the episode earned Morgan an Emmy nomination. After McLean Stevenson left at the end of that season, Morgan returned as Colonel Sherman T. Potter. Potter became the pragmatic and lovable father figure to the 4077th. Potter was a career army man who could be as tough as nails but balanced with the heart of gold and a fantastic sense of humor. The result was a lovable and Emmy winning character.
Harry Morgan always played characters that were easy to like. Even when playing the villain in a Western, he was a guy that evoked likability. With over 100 films during his career, Morgan was an actor who knew how to work. He leaves behind him a wonderful legacy of memorable roles.
Harry Morgan is survived by his wife Barbara Bushman, three sons, and eight grandchildren.
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