'Colonel Potter' Is Dead
Actor Harry Morgan of 'M*A*S*H' fame gone at age 96
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 7, 2011 1:43 PM CST

(Newser) – He co-starred in more than 100 movies, notes the New York Times, and even partnered with the iconic Sgt. Joe Friday on TV's Dragnet, but the world knows him best as Col. Potter on M*A*S*H: Actor Harry Morgan, 96, died this morning at home in Los Angeles of pneumonia. Variety notes a neat bit of trivia on the role: He first appeared on the show in 1974 as a "deranged general," earned an Emmy, and impressed the producers so much they asked him to replace the departing McLean Stevenson as the unit's top officer (one who was very much not deranged).

  • USA Today: He always had work as an actor, notes Robert Bianco, which is maybe the best testament of all. "You knew what you would most often get from a Morgan TV appearance: a wry, honest, sometimes cranky everyman. And you were almost always happy to get it."
  • Los Angeles Times: It quotes Morgan himself on the ending of M*A*S*H in 1983: "The sadness will fade after a while. The cup is so damn full that you can't really be sad that you don't have any more. We've all gotten so much more than we ever would have doing anything else. That will last a long, long time."