Morgan Brittany changed her name to erase her child star career

She felt that little Suzie Cupito held her back from becoming famous.

In the Sixties, little Suzanne Cupito certainly made her mark on TV.

Whether she was stealing Opie’s heart on The Andy Griffith Show, snatching a ventriloquist’s dummy from Jackie Cooper on The Twilight Zone or keeping a secret from Chester on Gunsmoke, the sweet girl with the big eyes made an impression.

"I was a skinny little squirt," Cupito told the Associated Press in 1984. "I always looked five years younger."

But when the Sixties ended, Cupito suddenly felt iced out by casting agents who looked at 20-year-old Cupito and saw only a faded child star.

"When I grew up, people who knew me as Suzanne Cupito couldn’t think of me as a grownup," Cupito lamented.

She went to college and got a degree in journalism, but she still felt compelled to continue acting.

So she set her degree aside and sought a new stage name that would totally distinguish her from the young star she once was.

She found the name Morgan Brittany while reading a novel by Frank Yerby called Floodtide with a character by that name.

With this new stage name, she sought to bury Suzie Cupito for good and form a new image that would turn casting directors’ heads.

"I looked like a clarinet in high school," Brittany told United Press International in 1984. "And that’s still the image I get of myself. Morgan Brittany is a glamorous name and a glamorous image, but it’s not the me that I really know inside."

Brittany’s plan worked. She continued acting through the Seventies and Eighties, including a guest role on The Dukes of Hazzard where she met her husband. He was acting as stunt double for John Schneider and she was playing a damsel in distress.

"We started talking and I don’t think we’d known each other for 30 minutes when he asked me to marry him," Brittany said. "I said yes right away. I thought he was kidding. Six months later we were married."

Shortly after, Brittany was cast to take on her biggest role yet, playing Katherine Wentworth on Dynasty.

"Katherine is a bad girl," Brittany said. "But the writers are not making me like any other villainess on Dynasty or Falcon Crest. Katherine is so lovable and sweet. But the minute you turn your back, look out. They based her on Eve Harrington in All About Eve. She’s devious and will stop at nothing to get what she wants."

Brittany appeared on Dynasty until her character was written off the show, freeing her up to star in Aaron Spelling’s new show Glitter.

That show, unfortunately, flopped, but Brittany had regained some currency with casting agents and continued being offered parts until she retired in 2007.

When she looked back on her acting career, Brittany saw a staunch divide between her two completely separate legacies: One as a gawky child star called Suzie Cupito and the other as a soap opera bombshell called Morgan Brittany.

She identified more with Suzie, but that didn’t mean she wanted to portray her onscreen anymore.

Morgan Brittany, she said, is "larger than life and a movie and TV star. When I see that image on the screen, I feel like Suzie watching someone else."

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MichaelSkaggs 3 months ago
"Knight Rider" was the only show that ever put a dent in the ratings of "Dallas". Who was the stunt coordinator on "Knight Rider"? Morgan Brittney's husband, Jack Gill!
Nala92129 4 months ago
She was never "gawky" as a child actor. She was very good. She grew up to be a stunner.
TaMaL 5 months ago
Morgan played Katherine on Dallas, not Dynasty. She ran over Bobby Ewing and Bobby died, then a season later, it was all a dream. The writer needs to correct this oversight. I didn't know she was a former child star, but she made a smart move by changing her name in order to continue acting.
mmalcomb 5 months ago
Dallas. Not Dynasty. Either the writer or the editor messed this one up.
LadyAgnes 5 months ago
She played Katheryn Wentworth on DALLAS, not Dynasty.
AnnieM 5 months ago
Always wished they would've had Morgan Brittany star in the mini-series 'Scarlett' instead of Joanne Walley-Kilmer, who looked about as much like Vivien Leigh as her costar Timothy Dalton!
UTZAAKE 5 months ago
So many gorgeous women around the world who thought they "looked like a clarinet in high school."
MarkSpeck 5 months ago
She appeared as the aptly-named Lolita in the original version of Burke's Law in 1965, flirting with Gene Barry and telling him she liked 'sophisticated, older men'. A couple of decades later, she became Morgan Brittany and was one of the suspects in an episode of the '90's reboot of Burke's Law.
Jeffrey MarkSpeck 3 months ago
I liked Gene Barry better as William Barkley ''Bat'' Masterson in the series of the same name.
CaptainDunsel 5 months ago
Another instance of someone having the opportunity to reinvent themselves - something that's becoming harder and harder to do in our increasingly recorded and remembered online existence.
daDoctah CaptainDunsel 5 months ago
Well, there's still Hans Gudegast from "Rat Patrol", who morphed into "Eric Braeden" later on.
CaptainDunsel daDoctah 5 months ago
A truly Colossal change.
Jeffrey daDoctah 3 months ago
Yeah, Now Victor Newman on ''The Young and The Restless'', from almost the beginning.
Greg 5 months ago
Odd I was just watching an episode of The Outer Limits with Suzie last night. She played a blind girl and did an excellent job. I wondered what had happened to her and discovered she had become Britteny
Susan00100 5 months ago
She was Katherine Wentworth on DALLAS, not Dynasty!
She tried to kill Bobby Ewing in a partial remake of the famous "Who Shot J.R.?" story arc.
cperrynaples Susan00100 5 months ago
I said that already! She ran him down with a car, and Bobby was dead for a year! When Patrick Duffy returned, his death became Pam's dream! However, Katherine made another attempt, this time unsucessful!
Good Work to you both! I associated Ms.Brittany with DALLAS, too, but I couldn't remember in what capacity! When the article mentioned Dynasty I just assumed she appeared on both, kinda like Heather Locklear!
Jon 5 months ago
She played a nasty little girl named Susan who tormented Jackie Cooper's ventriloquist on TWILIGHT ZONE.
PulsarStargrave Jon 5 months ago
I learned she was MORGAN BRITTANY BECAUSE of that very episode! I don't know if it's in the article but she also appears, uncredied, at the end of the T.Z. episode "NIGHTMARE AS A CHILD" singing "London Bridge", which surprises the adult "Markie"! She looked different as a youngster except for those amazing EYES, which helped her stand out amongst the beauties who appeared on prime time soaps in the 80s! Whenever they make a list of child stars who successfully transitioned to a Hollywood career as an adult, I hope they don't forget to add Suzy/Morgan to the list, like they often do with NATALIE WOOD!
Andybandit 5 months ago
I never watched the TAGS in color, so I never saw Morgan Brittany on the show. I have seen her on other show. She is a pretty lady.
MrsPhilHarris 5 months ago
The name Morgan Brittany sounds made up which I suppose it was. 😜
cperrynaples 5 months ago
Bonus Question: As Morgan Brittany, she played the same actress twice! Once for TV and once for movies and never spoke as either! Can you name the classic star she played and the 2 films?
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LoveMETV22 bbaorbb 5 months ago
Yes. She did an interview on how she was cast as legendary actress Vivien Leigh in those three movies.
MrsPhilHarris daDoctah 5 months ago
She was also in Yours, Mine & Ours.
Pacificsun LoveMETV22 5 months ago
How interesting! These little stories tell so much about what's going on behind the scenes, which we'd never otherwise think about!

To that point, watching (and mostly it's actresses, but some males) I often see a new one that instantly reminds you of one before. I have to look twice sometimes!! And they can't do it while the other is alive (obviously). So it just pops up of the radar unexpectedly. I've seen it done with Elizabeth Taylor too. Younger versions. And I think they catch it by doing the eye make up very accurately. Some just take it from Cleopatra, which has to do with drawing the line and shadowing. But now I've listened to this idea being verbalized, and the motivation behind it is fascinating.

In the clip, not made up, I can imagine MB still being Suzi. But talk about a transformation for the screen. I loved her in Dallas, she was typed against a lot of their vixen blondes, and *much* more striking than Linda Grey and Victoria Principal. She had to be careful though, but got by because of such distinctive typing. Her only real competition was Presley or Morgan Fairchild (in the day). And Barbara Eden (who guest starred much later in the Series). But (IMO) MB was a standout.

Thanks for sharing! Such things always send me down the Rabbit Holes. LOL!
Jeffrey Pacificsun 3 months ago
Like Bugs Bunny!
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