Actor Harry Morgan, who is best remembered for his role as the cigar-chewing Col. Sherman T. Potter on long-running CBS show “M*A*S*H*,” has died at 96. According to The Wrap, Morgan died at his Los Angeles home on Wednesday (Dec. 6) morning.
To an earlier generation, Morgan was also known as Officer Bill Gannon, the partner of Jack Webb’s Sgt. Joe Friday on TV’s “Dragnet.” He was also a regular on a slew of shows from the 1950s through the ’70s, including “Pete and Gladys,” “The Richard Boone Show” and “Kentucky Jones.” He played “M*A*S*H*’s” Col. Potter from 1975 to 1983 when the show went off the air. He was a replacement for McLean Stevenson, who had originated the role.
“He was firm. He was a good officer and he had a good sense of humor,” said Morgan of his Potter character in an interview cited by the New York Times. “I think it’s the best part I ever had.”
He won a best supporting actor Emmy for the role in 1980.
“M*A*S*H*” fans will remember Potter as a somewhat wry, ironic commanding officer who sought relaxation by painting and talking about his horse, Sophie. In real life, Morgan raised quarter horses on a Santa Rosa, Calif., ranch.
The son of Norwegian immigrants, Morgan discovered an affinity for acting when while taking debate classes for his pre-law major at the University of Chicago.