Harry Morgan was born Harry Bratsberg on April 10,1915 in Detroit, Michigan. He would later change his last name to Morgan and using Henry as his first name. There was another Henry Morgan at the time heard on radio and seen on television, so he changed his first name back to Harry.
He was a little man, that stood only 5 foot six inches. He made his first appearance in the movies in To the Shores of Tripoli in 1942 at the age of 27.
His first regular television role was in December Bride, in which he was seen in 155 episodes from 1954-1959. He portrayed Pete Porter in the series, who lived next to neighbor Lily Ruskin (portrayed by Spring Byington). His wife was never seen, but was referred to often.
He was seen in a spinoff from December Bride with the wife, that was never seen on December Bride. The new show was named Pete and Gladys and he portrayed his Pete Porter character from December Bride and Cara Williams was seen as Gladys Porter. The show ran from 1960-1962, with Morgan being 47 when the show ended. 72 episodes of the show were seen, before it was taken off the air.
His father Henry Bratsberg was a native of Norway while his mother Hannah was a native of Sweden.
Morgan would appear as a free-lance actor in movies and television, till when he acted with Jack Webb in Dragnet, as he portrayed Officer Bill Gannon, who was the partner of Jack Webb’s character Joe Friday. He portrayed Officer Bill Gannon as early as 1953 in the original black and white version of Dragnet. He also appeared as Officer Bill Gannon in the color version of Dragnet in 1966. He appeared in 99 episodes.
He would then appear in many different television shows and movies, including eight appearances in the television show Hec Ramsey and four episodes of Gunsmoke.
Morgan joined the cast of M*A*S*H in 1974 in its fourth season and portrayed Colonel Sherman T. Potter in 180 episodes. He also acted in the short-lived series After Mash that was seen from 1983-1984. He also portrayed Colonel Potter in this series in 29 episodes.
He then acted in movies, TV movies and various television series, until he retired in 1999 after 47 years of acting.
Harry Morgan died in his sleep on December 7, 2011, in Los Angeles, California.
He died two and a half years ago, but his memory will live on for years, who have been fans of his work on December Bride, Pete and Gladys, Dragnet and M*A*S*H.