Harry Morgan - Rotten Tomatoes

Harry Morgan

Highest Rated:   100% How the West Was Won (1963)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Not Available
One of the most prolific actors in television history -- with starring roles in 11 different television series under his belt -- Harry Morgan is most closely identified with his portrayal of Colonel Sherman Potter on M*A*S*H (1975-83). But his credits go back to the 1930s, embracing theater and film as well as the small screen. Born Harry Bratsberg in Detroit, Michigan, in 1915, he made his Broadway debut with the Group Theatre in 1937 as Pepper White in the original production of Golden Boy, alongside Luther Adler, Phoebe Brand, Howard Da Silva, Lee J. Cobb, Morris Carnovsky, Frances Farmer, Elia Kazan, John Garfield, Martin Ritt, and Roman Bohnen. His subsequence stage appearances between 1939 and 1941 comprised a string of failures -- most notably Clifford Odets' Night Music, directed by Harold Clurman; and Robert Ardrey's Thunder Rock, directed by Elia Kazan -- before he turned to film work. Changing his name to Henry Morgan, he appeared in small roles in The Shores of Tripoli, The Loves of Edgar Allen Poe, and Orchestra Wives, all from 1942. Over the next two years, he essayed supporting roles in everything from war movies to Westerns, where he showed an ability to dominate the screen with his voice and his eyes. Speaking softly, Morgan could quietly command a scene, even working alongside Henry Fonda in the most important of those early pictures, The Ox-Bow Incident (1943). Over the years following World War II, Morgan played ever-larger roles marked by their deceptive intensity. And even when he couldn't use his voice in a role, such as that of the mute and sinister Bill Womack in The Big Clock (1948), he was still able to make his presence felt in every one of his scenes with his eyes and his body movements. He was in a lot of important pictures during this period, including major studio productions such as All My Sons (1948), Down to the Sea in Ships (1949), and Madame Bovary (1949). He also appeared in independent films, most notably The Well (1951) and High Noon (1952). One of the more important of those roles was his portrayal of a professional killer in Appointment With Danger (1951), in which he worked alongside fellow actor Jack Webb for the first time. Morgan also passed through the stock company of director Anthony Mann, working in a brace of notable outdoor pictures across the 1950s. It was during the mid-1950s, as he began making regular appearances on television, that he was obliged to change his professional name to Harry Morgan (and, sometimes, Henry "Harry" Morgan), owing to confusion with another performer named Henry Morgan, who had already established himself on the small screen and done some movie acting as well. And it was at this time that Morgan, now billed as Harry Morgan, got his first successful television series, December Bride, which ran for five seasons and yielded a spin-off, Pete and Gladys. Morgan continued to appear in movies, increasingly in wry, comedic roles, most notably Support Your Local Sheriff (1969), but it was the small screen where his activity was concentrated throughout the 1960s.In 1966, Jack Webb, who had become an actor, director, and producer over the previous 15 years, decided to revive the series Dragnet and brought Morgan aboard to play the partner of Webb's Sgt. Joe Friday. As Officer Bill Gannon, Morgan provided a wonderful foil for the deadpan, no-nonsense Friday, emphasizing the natural flair for comic eccentricity that Morgan had shown across the previous 25 years. The series ran for four seasons, and Morgan reprised the role in the 1987 Dragnet feature film. He remained a busy actor going into the 1970s, when true stardom beckoned unexpectedly. In 1974, word got out that McLean Stevenson was planning on leaving the successful series M*A*S*H, and the producers were in the market for a replacement in the role of the military hospital's commanding officer. Morgan did a one-shot appearance as a comically deranged commanding general and earned the spot as Stevenson's

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
89% Somewhere in the Night
  • Swede
2003
No Score Yet Family Plan
  • Sol Rubins
1998
No Score Yet Wild Bill Hollywood Maverick
  • Actor
1995
No Score Yet Incident In A Small Town
  • Dommer Bell
1994
No Score Yet The Incident
  • Judge Bell
1990
No Score Yet 14 Going on 30
  • Norm
1988
48% Dragnet
  • Gannon
1987
No Score Yet Agatha Christie's 'Sparkling Cyanide'
  • Captain Kemp
1983
No Score Yet M.A.S.H. - Goodbye, Farewell, Amen
  • Actor
1983
No Score Yet The Flight of Dragons
  • Carolinus, the Green Wizard
1982
No Score Yet More Wild Wild West
  • Robert T. 'Skinny' Malone
1980
No Score Yet Scout's Honor
  • Actor
1980
No Score Yet Roughnecks
  • Plug Champion
1980
No Score Yet Better Late Than Never
  • Mr. Scott
1979
No Score Yet The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again
  • Major Gaskill
1979
No Score Yet Backstairs at the White House
  • Actor
1979
No Score Yet The Wild, Wild West Revisited
  • Robert T. Malone
1979
No Score Yet The Cat from Outer Space
  • General Stilton
1978
No Score Yet The Bastard
  • Actor
1978
No Score Yet Maneaters Are Loose
  • Actor
1978
No Score Yet The Magnificent Magical Magnet of Santa Mesa, (The Adventures of Freddy)
  • Actor
1977
93% The Shootist
  • Marshall Thibido
1976
56% The Apple Dumpling Gang
  • Sheriff Homer McCoy
1975
No Score Yet The Last Day
  • Narrator
1975
No Score Yet Sidekicks
  • Sheriff Jenkins
1974
No Score Yet Charley and the Angel
  • The Angel formerly Roy Zerney
1973
93% Jeremiah Johnson
  • Actor
1972
No Score Yet Snowball Express
  • Jesse McCord
1972
83% The Barefoot Executive
  • E.J. Crampton
1971
67% Support Your Local Gunfighter
  • Taylor Barton
1971
No Score Yet Scandalous John
  • Sheriff
1971
69% Support Your Local Sheriff!
  • Olly Perkins
1969
No Score Yet Viva Max!
  • Police Chief George Sylvester
1969
71% The Flim-Flam Man
  • Sheriff Slade
1967
40% What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?
  • Pott
1966
No Score Yet Frankie and Johnny
  • Cully
1965
No Score Yet John Goldfarb, Please Come Home
  • Deems Sarajevo
1965
100% How the West Was Won
  • Gen. Ulysses S. Grant
1963
No Score Yet Cimarron
  • Jesse Rickey
1960
91% Inherit the Wind
  • Judge
1960
No Score Yet Murder, Inc.
  • Burton Turkus
1960
No Score Yet The Mountain Road
  • Sgt. 'Mike' Michaelson
1960
No Score Yet It Started With a Kiss
  • Charles Meriden
1959
No Score Yet It Happened to Jane
  • Himself
1959
No Score Yet Star in the Dust
  • Lew Hogan
1956
No Score Yet Backlash
  • Tony Welker
1956
0% Not as a Stranger (Morton Thompson's Not as a Stranger)
  • Oley
1955
No Score Yet Strategic Air Command
  • Sgt. Bible
1955
100% The Far Country
  • Ketchum
1955
No Score Yet About Mrs. Leslie
  • Fred Blue
1954
No Score Yet Prisoner of War
  • Maj. O.D. Halle
1954
No Score Yet The Forty-Niners
  • Actor
1954
88% The Glenn Miller Story
  • Chummy MacGregor
1953
No Score Yet Torch Song
  • Joe Denner
1953
No Score Yet Arena
  • Lew Hutchins
1953
No Score Yet Thunder Bay
  • Rawlings
1953
50% What Price Glory?
  • Morgan
1952
96% High Noon
  • Fuller
1952
No Score Yet My Six Convicts (My 6 Convicts)
  • Dawson
1952
100% Bend of the River
  • Shorty
1952
100% Scandal Sheet
  • Biddle
1952
No Score Yet The Blue Veil
  • Charles Hall
1951
No Score Yet The Well
  • Claude Packard
1951
No Score Yet Appointment With Danger
  • George Soderquist
1951
No Score Yet Dark City
  • Soldier
1950
No Score Yet The Showdown
  • Rod Main
1950
No Score Yet Holiday Affair
  • Police Lieutenant
1949
No Score Yet Holdiay Affair
  • Actor
1949
No Score Yet Red Light
  • Rocky
1949
No Score Yet Madame Bovary
  • Hyppolite
1949
No Score Yet Down to the Sea in Ships
  • Britton
1949
No Score Yet Strange Bargain
  • Lt. Richard Webb
1949
No Score Yet All My Sons
  • Frank Lubey
1948
No Score Yet Yellow Sky
  • Half Pint
1948
100% The Big Clock
  • Bill Womack
1948
100% Moonrise
  • Billy Scripture
1948
No Score Yet Silver River
  • Tailor
1948
No Score Yet The Gangster
  • Shorty
1947
No Score Yet Dragonwyck
  • Bleecker
1946
80% State Fair
  • Barker
1945
No Score Yet A Bell for Adano
  • Capt. Purvis
1945
No Score Yet Gentle Annie
  • Cottonwood Goss
1945
89% The Horn Blows at Midnight
  • Actor
1945
80% Wing and a Prayer
  • Malcolm Brainard
1944
No Score Yet Happy Land
  • Tony Cavrek
1943
94% The Ox-Bow Incident
  • Art Croft
1943
No Score Yet Crash Dive
  • Brownie
1943
No Score Yet Orchestra Wives
  • Cully Anderson
1942
No Score Yet The Omaha Trail
  • Nat
1942
No Score Yet To the Shores of Tripoli
  • Mouthy
1942

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Grace Under Fire
1993-1998
  • Actor
  • 1996
No Score Yet The Simpsons
1989
  • Voice
  • 1995
No Score Yet The Twilight Zone
1985-1989
  • Edgar Witherspoon
  • 1988

Quotes from Harry Morgan's Characters