For nine years, Harry Morgan played Col. Sherman Potter on the classic TV hit M*A*S*H. And he loved every minute of it.
“I think it’s the best part I ever had,” Morgan admitted.
During an interview with the Archive of American Television, the late actor sat down and talked all about portraying the Col. in the series. And it was apparent that he put a lot of thought into who Potter was.
Col. Potter was, of course, in charge of the 4077th and one of the lead characters alongside ‘Hot Lips’ Houlihan (Loretta Swit) and Hawkeye (Alan Alda). But to the actor, and probably every fan out there, he was also an incredibly complicated person.
In Morgan’s words, Potter was “a kind man” who was both “whimsical” and “humorous.” But he was also “firm and a good officer.”
“I think he was sentimental, that’s not a character weakness but probably an officer weakness,” he added. “He was very human, very kind. And [a] wonderful character wonderful. Pretty much like myself.
But Harry Morgan didn’t think that Col. Potter was the only impressive character in M*A*S*H. In fact, he believed that each and every soldier and officer in the wartime dramedy was a wholesome person. And that’s exactly why it went on to win 14 Emmys.
As he shared, their dedication was “at the core of the whole show.” And while that point wasn’t always “emphasized,” it’s what made viewers tune in week after week for 11 seasons.
Harry Morgan ‘Liked Every Person’ on ‘M*A*S*H’ ‘Very Dearly’
But what made Harry Morgan most attached to M*A*S*H were his fellow actors. Apparently, the actor “approached the whole thing” as a leader both on and off-screen. And he grew to love each and every cast member while doing so.
“I don’t know what you’d call it of this group of people, all of whom I was fond of. We had a wonderful relationship,” he said with a smile. “I’ve never been on a show where I absolutely liked every person on that show very dearly, and that came about almost instantly.”
And he’s not the only M*A*S*H alum to share that sentiment. Over the years, the cast members have come together for several interviews saying that they saw each other as “family.” Houlihan’s Swit even went on the record once saying that she had a hard time moving forward with her career after the series ended in 1983 because she never grew “roots” anywhere else.
But during their time on the show, that made the job much easier. And Harry Morgan shared that same message in his archived interview.
“it was just a breeze to play,” he ended. “And I don’t think we ever lost that kind of relationship between me and all the other characters. It was really a dear group.”