Harry Morgan became an actor out of loneliness

He had an unorthodox route to stardom.

There are lots of reasons why someone might pursue a career in acting. For some, it all begins in the classroom. Maybe a teacher sets a class clown down for a more productive class, or maybe an early role in a school play changes a kid's course forever. Other times, though, people become actors later in life, maybe inspired by a favorite movie or TV show. Still more become actors seeking fame and fortune, foregoing a craft to chase stardom.

Harry Morgan, however, is someone who didn't fall into any of these categories. His path seemed predestined, somehow, as very little in his early life could foreshadow his later success. 

Harry Morgan, born Harry Bratsburg, was forced to drop out of school during the Great Depression. That meant there was no high school theater program where he could cut his chops. Morgan had to get a job and went to work for an office equipment firm in his hometown of Muskegon, Michigan.

In a 1983 interview with The Toronto Star, Morgan explained how that job pushed him in a better direction.

"If I'd been a good salesman, I could have made a lot of money. But I wasn't. I didn't like it. In fact, I really hated selling office furniture."

That job took him to Washington, D.C., where The Washington Civic Center was being formed. According to the man who would be Morgan, though, it wasn't the footlights or the promise of an audience that drew him to the theater.

Harry said that he went to an audition "out of loneliness more than anything else."

While he had some experience in oration and debate, he never considered a career in acting because of how slim the chances of success felt. But that earlier public speaking training gave him just enough confidence to see his way to the stage.

"I only went to the Washington Civic for something to do."

The rest is Dragnet and M*A*S*H history!

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McGillahooala 18 days ago
I love hearing these stories from unpretentious actors that didn’t let fame go to their head. Contrast someone like Harry Morgan with these turds who are posting pictures of themselves eating dinner and walking to the bathroom.
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