Friends Remember Harry Morgan

Several former M*A*S*H cast members have offered remembrances of Harry Morgan. I will simply let them speak for themselves.

Mike Farrell (BJ) released a statement:

“Harry was a wonderful man, a fabulous actor and a dear and close friend since the first day we worked together. As Alan said, “He did not have an unadorable bone in his body.”

He was a treasure as a person, an imp at times, and always a true professional. He had worked with the greats and never saw himself as one of them. But he was. He was the rock everyone depended on and yet he could cut up like a kid when the situation warranted it.

He was the apotheosis, the finest example of what people call a ‘character actor.’ What he brought to the work made everyone better. He made those who are thought of as ‘stars’ shine even more brightly.

The love and admiration we all felt for him were returned tenfold in many, many ways. And the greatest and most selfless tribute to the experience we enjoyed was paid by Harry at the press conference when our show ended. He remarked that someone had asked him if working on M*A*S*H had made him a better actor. He responded by saying, “I don’t know about that, but it made me a better human being.”

It’s hard to imagine a better one.”

The first come from Gary Burghoff (Radar) from Ken Levine’s Blog. He said:

“The last thing our wonderful Harry said to me (about a year ago) was, ‘I have always thought of the MASH cast as brothers… Oh,…and one sister.’ (Even over the phone, I could see the twinkled eyes and revealing little smile.) You had to know Harry to appreciate his abundant humor, warmth, kindness, modesty and his special kind of quiet strength. There was not an insecure bone in him. He was a “straight shooter” but also non-judgmental, understanding and tolerant. And, if you screwed up, he was (after an honest and deserved scolding) forgiving. I loved and respected him deeply and will cherish the memory of the time we shared…precious, precious time.”

Ken Levine (writer for M*A*S*H) remembered Harry Morgan in a blog post saying:

“Harry was very much like Colonel Potter.   He raised horses, and in fact, in the final episode when he says goodbye to Sophie, that really was one of Harry’s horses.    The picture on Potter’s desk was of Harry’s real wife, Eileen.   And the only difference in personalities between Harry and Sherman is that Harry held his liquor better.

He could read a scene once, have it completely memorized, and perform it perfectly take after take.  And then compliment a callow 26 year-old writer who wrote it and couldn’t believe the great Harry Morgan was even in the same room, much less reading his words.

That he died on the Day of Infamy feels somehow right.   Colonel Potter symbolized the best of the American soldier — dedication, sacrifice, compassion, and dignity.

In lieu of tears I give you a salute. 

And thanks to television and the MASH reruns that hopefully will play forever, we will always Remember Harry Morgan.”

Loretta Swit (Margaret Houlihan) was interviewed by Entertainment Weekly for a special section honor those lost in 2011. This is what she had to say about Harry Morgan:

Harry…my very dear, close friend…the best colleague you could hope for…an accomplished, committed actor, humble to the extreme, possessed of a brilliant mind, a dazzling sense of humor coupled with impeccable timing… the quintessential colleague, able to lift your spirits with laughter during those long, late hours on the set…often my ­father figure…ever a mensch… always my ”comrade-in-arms.”…

How blessed I am to have had you in my life all this time.

And now, I find myself using the words from the ”Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen” finale of M*A*S*H. Harry and I needed more than just a few takes during our goodbye scene. We could not stop the tears. ”Goodbye, Margaret,” Colonel Potter says. ”Don’t forget to have a happy life.” Margaret says: ”You dear, sweet man…I’ll never forget you.”

Even more so from me, dear Harry, dear friend. I take comfort in knowing that you knew how very much I loved you.



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