Harry Morgan, the name that echoes through the annals of TV history, is synonymous with the golden age of American television. Best known for his iconic roles as Colonel Sherman T. Potter in “MAS*H” and Officer Bill Gannon in “Dragnet,” Harry’s warm presence and unique acting abilities have left an indelible mark on the hearts of millions. But what do we really know about the man behind the characters we’ve come to adore? This day, we’ll delve into the early life of Harry Morgan, and explore the net worth he accumulated throughout his remarkable career.
Net Worth: $10 Million
Date of Birth: Apr 10, 1915 – Dec 7, 2011
Place of Birth: Detroit, Michigan
Profession: Actor, Television Director, Writer
Harry Morgan Early Life
Born Harry Bratsberg on April 10, 1915, in Detroit, Michigan, Harry was the youngest of six children. Growing up in a Norwegian-American household, he was raised by his mother, Hannah, a homemaker, and his father, Henry, a mechanic. It was at a young age that Harry discovered his love for acting, often entertaining his family with his natural talent for mimicry and impersonation.
Despite his passion for the performing arts, Harry initially pursued a different career path. After graduating from high school, he attended the University of Chicago, where he majored in Law. However, the stage continued to call his name, and he ultimately left the world of law behind to follow his true passion.
Harry’s first foray into acting began on the stage, performing in local theater productions. Before long, he transitioned to the silver screen, and in 1942, he made his film debut with a small role in “To The Shores of Tripoli.” Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, Harry appeared in numerous films, steadily building a reputation as a versatile and dependable character actor.
However, it was in the 1960s that Harry Morgan’s career truly took off, as he landed the role of Officer Bill Gannon in the popular TV series “Dragnet.” Harry’s performance as the witty and affable sidekick to Jack Webb’s stoic Sergeant Joe Friday earned him widespread acclaim, and he quickly became a household name.
As his star continued to rise, Harry was cast in the role that would forever define his career: Colonel Sherman T. Potter in the groundbreaking TV show “MAS*H.” His portrayal of the gruff yet compassionate commanding officer won him legions of fans and earned him an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series in 1980. Harry continued to act in both film and television until his retirement in the 1990s, capping off an extraordinary career that spanned over five decades.
Harry Morgan Personal Life
Off-screen, Harry Morgan led a fulfilling and private personal life. He was married twice, first to Eileen Detchon in 1940. The couple had four sons together: Christopher, Charles, Paul, and Daniel. Harry and Eileen remained happily married until her death in 1985. A few years later, in 1986, Harry married Barbara Bushman, with whom he shared the remainder of his life.
Despite his fame, Harry preferred to keep his personal life out of the spotlight, focusing on his family and passions outside of acting. He was an avid sports fan and enjoyed watching baseball, football, and basketball. He also had a love for fine art and was known to be a talented painter. Harry’s paintings often depicted scenes from his life and experiences, revealing yet another facet of his remarkable talent.
Harry Morgan Career
Throughout his prolific career, Harry Morgan appeared in over 100 films and numerous television shows, showcasing his incredible range and versatility as an actor. Some of his most notable film credits include “The Ox-Bow Incident” (1943), “High Noon” (1952), and “Inherit the Wind” (1960). Each of these roles allowed Harry to explore different aspects of his craft, further solidifying his status as a consummate professional and a true artist.
In addition to his memorable roles in “Dragnet” and “MAS*H,” Harry also made guest appearances on various popular TV shows of the time, such as “The Twilight Zone,” “The Alfred Hitchcock Hour,” and “Gunsmoke.” His ability to seamlessly transition between genres and characters is a testament to his immense talent and dedication to his craft.
Harry’s career extended into the realm of directing, as he helmed several episodes of “MAS*H” and “Dragnet,” as well as the TV movie “The Battered” (1978). His keen understanding of storytelling and character development allowed him to excel both in front of and behind the camera.
Harry Morgan’s final acting role came in 1999 when he reprised his role as Bill Gannon in a “Dragnet” TV movie. This marked the end of a remarkable acting career that spanned over five decades and left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment.
Harry Morgan Net Worth
Harry Morgan’s extensive career in film and television not only won him critical acclaim but also a substantial financial success. Although his exact net worth at the time of his passing in 2011 is difficult to determine, reliable sources estimate that it was around $10 million.
Much of Harry’s wealth can be attributed to his iconic roles in “MAS*H” and “Dragnet,” as well as his numerous film appearances. Throughout his career, Harry worked with some of the most respected names in the industry, including Henry Fonda, James Stewart, and Gregory Peck, which no doubt contributed to his financial success.
In addition to his acting earnings, Harry also ventured into real estate, owning several properties in the Los Angeles area. He was known to be a shrewd investor and managed his wealth wisely, ensuring a comfortable life for himself and his family.