Actor Harry Morgan, best known as Colonel Sherman T Potter in long-running comedy drama M*A*S*H, has died at his home in Los Angeles, aged 96. He had been suffering from pneumonia.
A prolific character actor, Morgan starred in more than 100 movies, playing roles ranging from Western villains to loyal sidekicks, judges to police chiefs, sheriffs to thugs.
Television roles saw him as a wisecracking husband in 1960 US sitcom Pete and Gladys and as Officer Bill Gannon in the late 60s version of Dragnet. But the role he was best known for was Colonel Potter in wartime comedy drama M*A*S*H.
Morgan joined the cast of M*A*S*H three years into its run in 1975, playing the commander of the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital in the Korean War until the show ended in 1983. Firm but fair and with a wry sense of humour, Colonel Potter was beloved of both those who served under him and M*A*S*H’s many viewers.
In 1980, Morgan won an best supporting actor Emmy for his role as Potter. He said of the character: “He was firm. He was a good officer and he had a good sense of humour. I think it’s the best part I ever had.”
When asked about his feelings during the shooting of the final episode of the show, Morgan said: “Sadness and an aching heart.”
Morgan’s first wife died in 1985 after 45 years of marriage. He is survived by his second wife, three sons from his first marriage and eight grandchildren.