5 facts about 'Dragnet' and 'M*A*S*H' actor Harry Morgan that aren't horse hockey

The actor has credits in over 80 films plus a few television series.

M*A*S*H and Dragnet are historical television shows, and you know what they have in common? Harry Morgan graced the set of both. Morgan was born in Detroit but was raised in Muskegon, and acting wasn't his career goal at first.

Fortunately, he began his journey, and although he passed away in 2011, the actor has credits in over 80 films plus a few television series. Not only did he appear in many films, but he was also a director and even had some radio broadcast experience.

Here are five facts about the well-known actor.

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1. He went through a few name changes.

 

It's common for actors to change their names to something that fits their brand. Morgan's real name is Harry Bratsberg, but some credits spelled his last name 'Bratsburg.' So, the proper spelling of his real last name is a mystery, which could be why he chose to go with Morgan instead. Yet before he settled on Harry Morgan, the actor used Henry Morgan, then tried to combine the two first names, using Henry "Harry" Morgan before deciding on the name we know him as today.

2. Morgan attended the University of Chicago.

 

While in high school, Morgan was a statewide debate champion. He grew up not too far from the city of Chicago in Detroit, so it's not shocking that he chose to attend the University of Chicago after graduating from Muskegon High School in 1933. While at the college, Morgan's goal was to get a J.D. degree, but he found a love for acting instead.

3. He was a radio host.

 

Getting your first television gig is challenging, so many actors choose specific routes that could kickstart their careers faster. For Morgan, radio was a great start. In 1947, the actor got to host an NBC radio series, Mystery in the Air.

4. Morgan appeared on M*A*S*H before he was Potter

 

Many viewers noticed a new face on M*A*S*H in its fourth season when Morgan joined; however, the actor appeared on the show before becoming a cast member. In season three, he played Major General Bartford in the episode "The General Flipped At Dawn." He joined the series as Colonel Sherman T. Potter and replaced McLean Stevenson's character Lieutenant Colonel Henry Blake.

5. He made appearances on 'The Alfred Hitchcock Hour' and 'The Simpsons'

 

Being a cast member of one of the most influential series in television history can open many doors. Morgan appeared on episodes of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour and The Simpsons, voicing an animated BIll Gannon. He even directed an episode of Adam-12.

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36 Comments

Gezellig 1 month ago
He was also in the movie "The Ox-Bow Incident". In a very famous scene Henry Fonda reads a letter, and the camera angle is such that Harry Morgan's hat brim covers Henry Fonda's eyes. Perhaps this is to emphasize the "justice is blind" motif.
braycy 8 months ago
No one mentioned the garlic sandwich he tried to get Friday to try. 🧄😁
Adamtwelvia braycy 8 months ago
Did anyone ever try to make it themselves?
Gezellig braycy 1 month ago
Garlic Nutbutter Sandwich: Spread cream cheese on one slice of pumpernickel. Spread peanut butter on another slice of pumpernickel. Crush a clove of garlic and let the juices drip onto the cream cheese. I made a close facsimile to this once. Actually, not bad. Haven't tried his BBQ sauce. You know, the one where the secret ingredient was a quart of vanilla ice cream.
KentuckyPhil69 8 months ago
He was hilarious in Support Your Local Sheriff and Gunfighter movies too!!
Deleted 20 months ago
This comment has been removed.
Adamtwelvia 8 months ago
Judging by what we know about Woody Allen, maybe he already knew something....
dmirarh 20 months ago
The 82-year-old actor was charged on July 7 with spousal battery after a confrontation with Barbara Morgan, his 70-year-old wife, left her bruised and bloodied. ``Harry Morgan completed a six-month counseling program for domestic violence and anger management,″ so the charge was dropped, said Ted Goldstein, a spokesman for the City Attorney’s office.
RichLorn 20 months ago
He also starred in an early TV sitcom called Pete and Gladys, which itself was a spinoff of December Bride.
But I can't remember if Morgan played Pete or Gladys.
Adamtwelvia RichLorn 8 months ago
If you ever stay up late and watch Buzzr's black and white shows, if you listen carefully during the credits of some of them, you can hear Harry Morgan promote Pete and Gladys with his co-star.
KEN 20 months ago
He was also in the "Partridge Family".
Tony 20 months ago
He was in the movie “The Glen Miller Story”
Lantern Tony 20 months ago
He was also in "High Noon".
BruceBeckwith 20 months ago
Maj. Gen. Bartford Hamilton Steele
BRUCE27365 BruceBeckwith 20 months ago
"Three "E's", not all in a row"
Adamtwelvia BruceBeckwith 8 months ago
"When the sun goes down, the tide comes out..."
braycy 20 months ago
I love him Dragnet!
Adamtwelvia braycy 8 months ago
Me too! He and Jack Webb played off each other well.
Wiseguy70005 braycy 13 days ago
He also appeared on a couple of Dragnet episodes on radio and in both Wild Wild West TV movies (filmed between M*A*S*H episodes)
tmor 20 months ago
First off he wasn't General bartford he was General bartford Steel and y'all are dumbasses
MaryMitch tmor 20 months ago
No need to be ugly - and it's "Steele"
LoveMETV22 20 months ago
Have always been a Harry Morgan fan, both Film and TV. A great actor and individual.
tootsieg 20 months ago
Over 80 films, a radio host. Wow!
Mike 20 months ago
" ... a few TV series ..." ?
Just back from IMDb; Harry Morgan had regular roles in eleven (11) different TV series, dating back to December Bride in the '50s, Pete And Gladys, The Richard Boone Show, Kentucky Jones, and Dragnet in the '60s, The DA and MASH in the '70s, AfterMASH and Blacke's Magic in the '80s, and I've missed a few here and there, but check it out for yourself.
And in between these, Harry Morgan made guest appearances on just about every other show that was on throughout all those years ...
CoreyC 20 months ago
Harry Morgan mentioned his father in law in the episode The Interview. Harry's father in law was silent film actor Francis X. Buchman.
Andybandit 20 months ago
Interesting story about Harry Morgan
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