Harry Morgan, the American character actor best known for playing the stern but loveable Colonel Potter in the long running television series M*A*S*H has died, aged 96. Mr Morgan passed away at his home in Los Angeles on Wednesday (December 7, 2011), with his son Charles confirming the passing.
Although the cause of death is unclear, the New York Times reports that the actor had been treated for pneumonia recently. Appearing in over 100 movies, the prolific actor was known for playing villains, loyal sidekicks, sheriffs, soldiers and police chiefs. During his peak, he was considered one of the very best character actors around. On television, he had roles in Dragnet, The Richard Boone Show and Kentucky Jones, but will always be best known for playing Colonel Potter in M*A*S*H from 1975 to 1983 for which he scooped an EMMY AWARD as Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series in 1980. Among his other notable achievements was starring opposite Marlon Brando and Glenn Ford in 'The Teahouse of the August Moon' (1956), with Spencer Tracy in 'Inherit the Wind' and as GLENN MILLER's pianist Chummy MACGregor in 'The Glenn Miller Story', which also starred James Stewart. In recent years, he appeared in a big-screen remake of Dragnet, with DAN AKYROYD and Tom Hanks and reprised his role as Potter for the short-lived spinoff 'AfterMASH'.
His first wife Eileen died in 1985 after 45 years of marriage, but Harry is survived by his second wife Barbara Bushman, whom he wed in 1986. He has three sons from his first marriage, Christopher, Charles and Paul and eight grandchildren.