It took some time for Harry Morgan to get used to Dragnet

Morgan needed to get to know Bill Gannon before he could play him.

NBC/Universal

Though he was well known for his deadpan humor on M*A*S*H, there was a time when Harry Morgan struggled with such restraint in his acting. Luckily, a little show called Dragnet was able to teach Morgan in spades. In an interview with The Los Angeles Times, Morgan said that his character, Officer Bill Gannon, "took a little getting used to" as an actor. "The underplaying was a change," he said. "But I think it's working out fine."

While the character he played was tougher while on the job, Morgan was sure to add some levity to his character in order to diversify the role. "He's a family man with a couple of kids," Morgan said of Gannon. "A dedicated, honest man with droll humor. He's a good sidekick for Friday."

Speaking of sweet Sgt. Friday, Morgan also explained that having Jack Webb as a costar and boss on Dragnet definitely benefitted him. "It's great being with Jack," he said. "This is the only show on TV that has one boss — period! Jack is the boss, there's no indecision. It's very pleasant because an actor likes to know where he stands."

In an interview with The Columbus Ledger, Morgan also added that Webb's penchant for realism also helped Morgan develop his character, as he was able to meet with real police officers who served as advisors on Dragnet.

This way, Morgan was able to ensure that no matter what his character's attitude was, he'd be portraying Gannon in an honest light. "A role like this affects you principally through the guys you meet," he said. "The officers who serve as technical advisors are high caliber fellows...I've developed a sympathy and admiration for them. They are very intelligent."

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17 Comments

George58 8 days ago
No Quiz this time MeTV, "Just The Facts".
AgingDisgracefully 8 days ago
Jack continues to inspire me.
Why wonder "Why?" when you can ask, "How's that?"?
sjbang88 8 days ago
I once read that harry Morgon called his time on Dragnet as his "stick figure era"
jtkrifkan2002 8 days ago

One of my favorite episodes is the crossover they did with Adam-12.
dphil40 9 days ago
I loved Dragnet so much!! Jack Webb and Harry Morgan were the best!!
rickhoover1950 9 days ago
I have enjoyed even the heavy handed episodes BUT...

Here comes the hate...

I wish MeTV would stop showing 2 episodes a day. They only made 93 episodes and that means every (approximately) 9 weeks we start all over again. At least other shows like Highway Patrol had 156 episodes.

OK off my soapbox.
Better only twice a day then 4 times a day and twice on Sundays, like a certain other show I could name!
Seriously, last Thursday we started season 3, and tomorrow the last ep of season 3 airs!
Runeshaper 10 days ago
Being able to chat with people that do the actual job an actor is portraying should be insightful. I give Webb and Morgan a lot of credit for going the extra mile.
harlow1313 10 days ago
I am beginning to tire, but still, I enjoy many of the humorous, stiff, and corny dialog of this show. There are several episodes that I can watch many times.

Examples:
Night School for Joe
Television Show with Dr Johnny Fever (Who needs the fuzz?)
The pyramid marketing scheme with the tambourine lady
Crimson Crusader
The episodes where Bill and Joe visit each other. I like the humor.
Blue Boy (LSD)
Brother William (Timothy Leary)
The Park Ranger (Conversational episode).
etc.

Anyone else have favorites?
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RayD8 harlow1313 9 days ago
The episode of the tot who drowned in the bathtub while the parents were getting high.
Gannon exited at the sight of the child.
The episode of Mister Loomis, the egomaniac who was working on a 600 series.
Adamtwelvia harlow1313 9 days ago
I like those as well.
I also like The Shooting Board. It shows what a good friend Bill is to Joe
That was a fun scene. I like Brains too. I tried to refer to him as the name Dickens gave the character but I kept getting a warning.
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