Harry Morgan — the Emmy Award-winning actor best known for playing the no-nonsense but kind Colonel Sherman T. Potter on TV’s beloved “M*A*S*H” — died today at the age of 96, according to the Archive of American Television and other media outlets.
Morgan actively worked in Hollywood for an impressive six decades. For much of his career, he worked primarily in film, appearing opposite luminaries like Henry Fonda (“The Ox-Bow Incident”), Robert Mitchum (“Holiday Affair”), Jimmy Stewart (“The Glenn Miller Story”), Gary Cooper (“High Noon”) and Marlon Brando (“Teahouse of the August Moon.”) As the New York Times notes in its obituary, he ultimately co-starred in more than 100 movies.
But it was on television that audiences ultimately knew him best, first as Officer Bill Gannon on “Dragnet,” then as a different, more fatherly authority figure on CBS’s “*M*A*S*H,” a show he joined after McLean Stevenson, who played Lt. Col. Henry Blake, exited the program.
In an interview conducted back in 2004 with the Archive of American Television, Morgan said simply of playing Potter: “It was the best part I ever had.”
Morgan is survived by his second wife, Barbara Bushman, three sons and eight grandchildren. His first wife, Eileen Detchon, died in 1985. They were married for 45 years and, as the Times notes, her image was the one used as the photo of Potter’s wife that rested on the Colonel’s desk.
Watch more of that Archive interview below, then feel free to share your favorite Morgan memories — from “M*A*S*H” or any of his many other films and TV shows — by posting a comment.