If you guessed Jamie Farr………you’re wrong. Jamie was very close to Michigan, but he was from Toledo, Ohio. The answer is: HARRY MORGAN, the man who played “Colonel Potter”.
Harry was born on April 10, 1915 in Detroit as Harry Bratsberg (some sites spell it as ‘Bratsburg’). Not long afterward, his family moved to Muskegon, where Harry spent his childhood and teen years. Harry and his siblings grew up during the Depression and were affected by the economic pinch, having to attend school in shoes and clothes that were lined with holes.
Once in high school, Harry became a school debate champion at Muskegon High, and played varsity football. He graduated in 1933.
After graduation he took on the job of a salesman and attended the University of Chicago. He was studying to become a Doctor of Law, but his desire to perform got in the way. He began acting at the University in 1935, followed by joining the Group Theatre in New York in 1937.
Harry appeared in a good handful of stage plays and it was only a matter of time until the movies tempted him west.
His first film role was in the the 1942 movie “To The Shores Of Tripoli” and it snowballed from there. He appeared in over 100 films, some of the most notable being “The Ox-Bow Incident”, “High Noon”, and “Inherit The Wind”.
Harry’s numerous TV appearances included “Gunsmoke”, “Night Gallery”, “The Partridge Family”, “The Untouchables”, and “Have Gun-Will Travel”. He was also a regular cast member of the programs “December Bride”, “Pete and Gladys”, and “Dragnet”.
With such an impressive catalog of film and TV appearances, he will most likely be remembered for his role as Colonel Sherman T. Potter on “M*A*S*H”. He reprised that role in the spinoff series, “AfterM*A*S*H”.
Not bad for a Michigan boy who grew up during the Great Depression.
Harry Morgan passed away on December 7, 2011 at the age of 96. his wish was to be cremated and his remains were given to the family.
Oh, and by the way…..the representative photo of this article shows the original cast of M*A*S*H before Harry Morgan joined the crew….that was intentional to make it less easy to figure out…