Harry Morgan would read police pamphlets to help prepare him for Dragnet

Morgan never stopped educating himself.


No matter how successful an actor becomes, the truly great performers never take a break from educating themselves on the craft. Even the best actors still view themselves as students, learning everything they can about a new role to make their performance the best possible.

Harry Morgan was one such student who gathered as much knowledge about potential roles before taking on a new role.

In an interview with the Sunday News, Morgan revealed that while performing Officer Bill Gannon on Dragnet, he was educating himself on local crime from pamphlets provided by the Los Angeles Police Department.

"I read them all the time," Morgan said. "You can learn what to do, but most important you learn what not to do and that's how you stay ahead of the criminals. They're getting smarter every day."

As a civilian, Morgan offered his own opinion on crimes like petty theft. "I have always viewed crimes of burglary and theft as a dual responsibility," he said. "Part of the guilt goes, of course, to the criminal but usually the responsibility should be shared by the victim."

"Except for the victims' negligence in leaving house lights not burning, cars unlocked, or valuable items on the seat of one's car, there would definitely be less theft and burglary."

In an interview with the San Francisco Examiner, Morgan claimed that Dragnet was the only show on television "that has the full co-operation of the L.A. police."

"If we stretched the truth one little bit we wouldn't get their approval," Morgan said. "We wouldn't have full use of police equipment on the show when we needed it."

Ultimately, this criminology-esque education not only seemed to be for the betterment of Morgan as an actor but for Dragnet as a show.

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JHP 19 days ago
my opinion - he was as talented as Carroll O' Conner
Runeshaper 19 days ago
That’s pretty cool 😎 You’ve got to give the man props for doing his homework 📚
AgingDisgracefully 22 days ago
LAPD...controlled by their need to control.
Who would have guessed?
drnogerms 22 days ago
If you would like to see the talent of a very, very young Harry Morgan, get yourself a copy of "December Bride" starring Spring Byington.

It was one of TV's first sitcoms way back in the 1950's.
Adamtwelvia 22 days ago
I love Harry Morgan in ANYTHING he's in, MASH or Dragnet!
I remember him from the Pete & Gladys tv show. He was very funny in that one.
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