Harry Morgan

Actor


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his three-and-a-half hour Archive interview, Harry Morgan (1915-2011) describes his start in show business, acting in summer stock productions which in turn led to his work in the Group Theater and his notable appearance in "Golden Boy" on Broadway. He talks about his move to Hollywood and how he landed a contract at Twentieth Century Fox in 1942. He speaks briefly about some of the movies he made, including How the West Was Won and High Noon and describes several directors for whom he worked. Morgan details his early work in television on the shows December Bride, Pete and Gladys, and The Richard Boone Show and recalls his role as "Officer Bill Gannon" on Dragnet opposite Jack Webb. He then recounts, in great detail, his experiences on the classic sitcom M*A*S*H, where he played "Col. Sherman T. Potter." He discusses the show's ensemble cast, the characters they played, the atmosphere on the set and behind-the-scenes practical jokes. Henry Colman conducted the interview in Century City, CA on April 14, 2004.

"He was firm. He was a good officer and he had a good sense of humor. I think it's the best part I ever had. I loved playing Colonel Potter."   

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Harry Morgan on his M*A*S*H character, Colonel Sherman Potter
Harry Morgan on the tone on the set of M*A*S*H
Harry Morgan on playing "Bill Gannon" on Dragnet
Harry Morgan on co-starring on Pete and Gladys
Harry Morgan on the legacy of M*A*S*H
Harry Morgan on how he'd like to be remembered
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early years and education; on his first acting jobs and early stage work; on moving to Hollywood; on getting a contract at 20th Century Fox and his early film career; on changing his name
On his work in December Bride

Chapter 2

On co-starring on Pete and Gladys
On the Blacklist (he was neighbors with Lionel Stander in later years)
On playing "Bill Gannon" on Dragnet; on working with Jack Web; on preparing for the role of "Bill Gannon" and working with a teleprompter; on Jack Webb's directing

Chapter 3

On co-starring with Jack Webb on Dragnet; on a typical Dragnet work week and the show's writers; on Dragnet guest stars; on the legacy of Dragnet
On joining M*A*S*H; on his character "Colonel Sherman Potter;" on preparations for the role; on the medical adviser on M*A*S*H, Dr. Walter Dishell; on his M*A*S*H co-stars

Chapter 4

On his castmates on M*A*S*H; on the relationship between "Hawkeye" and "Hot Lips;" on characters' relationships with "Colonel Potter;" on "Radar's" departure from the show; on Larry Gelbart, Gene Reynolds, Burt Metcalfe and Charles Dubin
On directing some episodes of the series; on the comedy of the series; on the tone on the set of M*A*S*H; on practical jokes behind-the-scenes

Chapter 5

On M*A*S*H co-stars Gary Burghoff and Loretta Swit; on winning an Emmy for M*A*S*H; on specific episodes "The Interview," "End Run" and others
On the popularity of M*A*S*H; on the finale of M*A*S*H; on the legacy of M*A*S*H; on After MASH and The Richard Boone Show; on directing Adam-12 and acting in Kentucky Jones

Chapter 6

On the show Kentucky Jones; on Hec Ramsey and Blacke's Magic; on You Can't Take it With You; on friend Norman Lloyd and Alfred Hitchcock Presents; on Gunsmoke, Jack Benny Specials, The Love Boat, and the miniseries Backstairs at the White House
On guest starring on Murder, She Wrote; on Against Her Will with Walter Matthau; on 3rd Rock From the Sun
On his feature film work - The Oxbow Incident, High Noon, How the West Was Won; Support Your Local Sheriff, The Apple Dumpling Gang; on directors with whom he's worked

Chapter 7

On his favorite directors; on Jimmy Stewart, George Raft, Marlon Brando, Joan Crawford, Elvis Presley, John Wayne, and Gregory Peck
On his proudest achievement; on advice to aspiring actors; on how he'd like to be remembered
Shows

3rd Rock From the Sun

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Harry Morgan on 3rd Rock From the Sun

AfterMASH

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Actor Harry Morgan on After M*A*S*H

Against Her Will: An Incident In Baltimore

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Harry Morgan on Against Her Will with Walter Matthau

Alfred Hitchcock Presents aka The Alfred Hitchcock Hour

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Harry Morgan on friend Norman Lloyd and Alfred Hitchcock Presents

Backstairs at the White House

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Harry Morgan on playing President Truman in Backstairs at the White House

Blacke's Magic

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Harry Morgan on the show Blacke's Magic

December Bride

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Harry Morgan on his work on the early sitcom December Bride

Dragnet

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Harry Morgan on playing "Bill Gannon" on Dragnet
Harry Morgan on Dragnet

Gunsmoke

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Harry Morgan on guest appearances on Gunsmoke

Hec Ramsey

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Harry Morgan on Richard Boone and the show Hec Ramsey

Jack Benny Specials

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Harry Morgan on a Jack Benny Special spoofing Dragnet

Kentucky Jones

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Harry Morgan on the show Kentucky Jones

Love Boat, The

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Harry Morgan on guest appearances on The Love Boat

M*A*S*H

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Harry Morgan on joining M*A*S*H; on his character, Colonel Sherman Potter
Harry Morgan on his co-stars on M*A*S*H; on the characters and the comedy of the series
Actor Harry Morgan briefly on the experience of doing the classic M*A*S*H episode "The Interview"
Actor Harry Morgan on co-stars and specific episodes of M*A*S*H

M*A*S*H: "The Interview"

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Actor Harry Morgan briefly on the experience of doing the classic M*A*S*H episode "The Interview"

Murder, She Wrote

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Harry Morgan on guest starring on Murder, She Wrote

Pete and Gladys

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Harry Morgan on co-starring on Pete and Gladys

Roots

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Harry Morgan on Roots

You Can't Take It With You

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Harry Morgan on the show You Can't Take it With You
Topics

Characters & Catchphrases

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Harry Morgan on playing "Bill Gannon" on Dragnet
Harry Morgan on his M*A*S*H character, Colonel Sherman Potter

Emmy Awards

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On winning an Emmy for M*A*S*H

Hollywood Blacklist

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Harry Morgan briefly on the Blacklist (he was neighbors with Lionel Stander in later years)

Industry Crossroads

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Harry Morgan briefly on the Blacklist (he was neighbors with Lionel Stander in later years)

Pop Culture

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Harry Morgan on playing "Bill Gannon" on Dragnet
Harry Morgan on his M*A*S*H character, Colonel Sherman Potter

Television Industry

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Harry Morgan briefly on the Blacklist (he was neighbors with Lionel Stander in later years)
Genres

Comedy Series

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Harry Morgan on co-starring on Pete and Gladys
Harry Morgan on joining M*A*S*H; on his character
Harry Morgan on his co-stars on M*A*S*H; on the characters and the comedy of the series
Actor Harry Morgan on co-stars and specific episodes of M*A*S*H

Drama Series

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Harry Morgan on playing "Bill Gannon" on Dragnet
Harry Morgan on Dragnet

TV Movies/Miniseries/Dramatic Specials

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Harry Morgan on Roots
People

Alan Alda

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Harry Morgan on Alan Alda

James Arness

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Harry Morgan on guest appearances on Gunsmoke

Jack Benny

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Harry Morgan on a Jack Benny Special spoofing Dragnet

Richard Boone

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Harry Morgan on Richard Boone and the show Hec Ramsey

Marlon Brando

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Harry Morgan on Marlon Brando
Harry Morgan on Marlon Brando

Richard Breen

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Harry Morgan on Richard Breen, writer of Dragnet

Gary Burghoff

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Harry Morgan on M*A*S*H co-star Gary Burghoff

James Cagney

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Harry Morgan on advice to aspiring actors, via Jimmy Cagney

William Christopher

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Harry Morgan on M*A*S*H co-star William Christopher

Joan Crawford

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Harry Morgan on working with Joan Crawford

Walter Dishell

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Harry Morgan on the medical adviser on M*A*S*H, Dr. Walter Dishell

Charles Dubin

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Harry Morgan on M*A*S*H director Charles Dubin
Harry Morgan on Roots

Jamie Farr

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Harry Morgan on M*A*S*H co-star Jamie Farr
Harry Morgan on M*A*S*H co-star Jamie Farr
Harry Morgan on M*A*S*H co-star Jamie Farr

Mike Farrell

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Harry Morgan on M*A*S*H co-star Mike Farrell

John Ford

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Harry Morgan on director John Ford
Harry Morgan on his favorite directors

James Garner

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Harry Morgan on the film Support Your Local Sheriff

Larry Gelbart

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Harry Morgan on joining M*A*S*H
Harry Morgan on M*A*S*H creator Larry Gelbart

Gale Gordon

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Harry Morgan on working with Gale Gordon on Pete and Gladys

Angela Lansbury

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Harry Morgan on guest starring on Murder, She Wrote

Parke Levy

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Harry Morgan on co-starring on Pete and Gladys

Larry Linville

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Harry Morgan on M*A*S*H co-star Larry Linville

John Lithgow

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Harry Morgan on 3rd Rock From the Sun

Norman Lloyd

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Harry Morgan on friend Norman Lloyd and Alfred Hitchcock Presents

Joseph L. Mankiewicz

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Harry Morgan on director Joe Mankiewicz

Daniel Mann

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Harry Morgan on Daniel Mann
Harry Morgan on his favorite directors

Anthony Mann

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Harry Morgan on director Anthony Mann

Delbert Mann

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Harry Morgan on Against Her Will directed by Delbert Mann

Walter Matthau

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Harry Morgan on Against Her Will with Walter Matthau

Burt Metcalfe

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Harry Morgan on M*A*S*H producer Burt Metcalfe

Gregory Peck

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Harry Morgan on friend Gregory Peck

Elvis Presley

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Harry Morgan on working with Elvis Presley

George Raft

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Harry Morgan on George Raft

Gene Reynolds

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Harry Morgan on joining M*A*S*H
Harry Morgan on M*A*S*H producer Gene Reynolds

Jimmy Stewart

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Harry Morgan on working with Jimmy Stewart

Loretta Swit

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Harry Morgan on M*A*S*H co-star Loretta Swit
On M*A*S*H co-star Loretta Swit

Jack Webb

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Harry Morgan on working with Jack Webb on Dragnet
Harry Morgan on his Dragnet co-star Jack Webb and the legacy of Dragnet

Cara Williams

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Harry Morgan on co-starring on Pete and Gladys

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