After entertaining the troops as a member of Special Services during World War II, Gary Morton worked the Catskills circuit as a trumpet player and comedian. Though his talents were modest, Morton made his fellow performers laugh easily, and as a result was gainfully employed as the opening act for such notables as Al Hirt and Tony Bennett. While headlining at the Copacabana in 1960, Morton was invited to go on a blind date. Upon discovering that his companion for the evening was recently divorced comedienne Lucille Ball, Morton capriciously feigned indifference to Ball's celebrity. At first infuriated, Ball was charmed by Morton, and within a year they were married. At his wife's request, Morton gave up his nightclub career after their marriage, keeping busy professionally as a warm-up comic for The Lucy Show's live audience and as executive producer for Ball's various TV endeavors. The onus of being "Mr. Lucille Ball" didn't seem to bother Morton, who was far more interested in playing golf and schmoosing with his showbiz friends than in pursuing a career. Occasionally, however, Gary Morton accepted a choice film character role, most memorably as the Milton Berle-ish Sherman Hart in Mike Nichols' Lenny (1974).