Harry Morgan reported dead
If you wanted a definition of laconic, it was Harry Morgan‘s portrayal of Bill Gannon, Joe Friday’s partner on Dragnet. While he wasn’t Friday’s first partner, the low-key patter between Friday and Gannon is one thing many people remember. Not that Morgan wasn’t funny in the part…he would have these dry bits of humor that inspired parodies.
More people probably knew him as Colonel (Sherman) Potter on M*A*S*H. Again, he followed another actor in a similar role…but established himself and made M*A*S*H his own.
While he did appear in important Hollywood movies (High Noon, The Ox-Bow Incident, The Teahouse of the August Moon), Morgan was especially suited for television. We get to know our TV characters in a different way than the characters on the big screen. They become part of our lives…people we see every week. In the case of Harry Morgan, they may become our friends.
He had regular or recurring roles in more than ten TV series…from December Bride on up to 3rd Rock from the Sun.
You won’t hear this mentioned much in the mainstream coverage, but I also remember him from The Cat from Outer Space…and The Barefoot Executive. These are two of Disney’s 1970s live action comedies…high concept (the barefoot executive is a chimp who picks TV shows at a network) with solid performers…like Harry Morgan.
Good-bye, Harry Morgan…our living rooms are a little more empty without you.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle.