If you’re a “M*A*S*H” fan, you know that the show wasn’t afraid to use the same actor to play different characters. Case and point: Harry Morgan. During his time on the show, Morgan played two different characters while on the beloved series.
Fans first saw Morgan when he appeared in the season three episode, “The General Flipped at Dawn.”
In the episode, he played the mentally unstable Maj. Gen. Bartford Hamilton Steele. The show first aired on September 10, 1974.
However, he was better known for his role as Colonel Potter. Potter took over as commander of the 4077th in the premiere of season four. As a lifelong “M*A*S*H” fan, Morgan replaced McLean Stevenson, who left the show at the end of season three. Unlike Stevenson’s character Henry Blake, Colonel Potter was a career Army officer who was a firm yet good-humored, caring leader to those in his troop.
In 1980, Morgan received an Emmy award for his work on the iconic show. When asked if he was a better actor after working with the cast from “M*A*S*H,” Morgan responded by saying, “I don’t know about that, but it’s made me a better human being.”
In addition to Morgan, other actors played more than one character on “M*A*S*H”— not including the many actresses who were credited as more than one nurse. Clyde Kusatsu, John Orchard, and Jerry Fujikawa also played more than one role on the show.
Alan Alda on His M*A*S*H Co-Star: ‘Not an Unadorable Bone in His Body
Before Morgan passed away on December 7, 2011, at the age of 96, he held a career that spanned over six decades. During his lifetime, he played the role of Pete Porter in “December Bride” from 1954 to 1959. Morgan also starred in “Pete and Gladys” from 1960 to 1962. He’s most known for playing Officer Bill Gannon on “Dragnet” from 1967 to 1970. In addition to television shows, he also appeared in more than 100 films.
After he died, Mike Farrell, who played B.J. Hunnicutt opposite Morgan in “M*A*S*H,” released a heartwarming statement about his co-star.”He was a wonderful man, a fabulous actor, and a dear and close friend since the first day we worked together. As Alan [Alda] 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.”