"M*A*S*H" veteran Harry Morgan Dead at 96

The beloved Colonel Potter passed away at his home in Los Angeles.

By Eric Alt
|  Wednesday, Dec 7, 2011  |  Updated 10:32 AM PDT
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Notable Deaths: The Decade in Memoriam

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"M*A*S*H" star and TV veteran Harry Morgan has died.

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Col. Sherman T. Potter is being laid to rest.

Actor Harry Morgan, who played the cantankerous Colonel on the iconic TV series "M*A*S*H" for eight years, died today in his home in Los Angeles. He was 96 years old.

After starring his career in the 40s and 50s in westerns, Morgan started his path toward TV immortality when he took on the role of Officer Bill Gannon in the classic police drama "Dragnet." Morgan and partner Jack Webb, who played the stone-faced Joe Friday, beat the streets of L.A. from 1967 to 1970.

In 1974, Morgan took the role of Colonel Potter in the TV adaptation of the satirical Robert Altman film "M*A*S*H", playing one of the many roles that didn't originate in the 1970 film. He would play the character until the show's end in 1983, and then reprised the role for the spin-off series "AfterMASH." 

Born Harry Bratsburg in Detroit in 1915, Morgan was the son of Norwegian immigrants and a promising young athlete. While studying pre-law at the University of Chicago, he become interested in theater.

Fittingly, Morgan's son, Charles, is a lawyer. Morgan is survived by his second wife, Barbara Bushman (Morgan's first wife died after 45 years of marriage), his three children, and eight grandchildren.

Just prior to his passing, Morgan had been treated for pneumonia.

Selected Reading: New York Times, Washington Post, Bloomberg

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