Black News and News Makers in History: Greg Morris

Black news from Pasadena - Black News and News Makers in History recognize actor Greg Morris of Mission:  Impossible fame this week in Black history.Greg Morris, actor, was born Francis Gregory Alan Morris on September 27, 1933 in Cleveland, Ohio. He became active in theater while enrolled at the University of Iowa, he also hosted the campus jazz radio show and co-produced campus concerts. His first professional stage role was in The Death of Bessie Smith.

After serving in the U.S. Army from 1952 to 1955, he returned to acting. He began is acting career in the 1960s by making guest appearances on numerous television shows such as The Twilight Zone and Ben Casey. One of his earliest television roles was a cameo appearance on the The Dick Van Dyke Show episode when Rob and Laura think they have taken the wrong baby home from the hospital. According to Wikipedia, his appearance resulted in the longest, uninterrupted span of laughter from a live studio audience in television history.

In 1966, he was cast in his more recognizable role as the electronics expert on Mission: Impossible. He was one of three cast members to remain with the series throughout its entire run. After the series was canceled, he appeared in movies and made guest television appearances before and after he was cast in Vega$ until the show was canceled in 1981.

Aside from stage, his acting career included appearances, either as an ongoing or guest cast member, in:

  • Specials: 3
  • Episodics: 13
  • Series: 6
  • Miniseries: 1
  • Television Appearances: 7
  • Movie Appearances: 8

Among his awards are the Fashion, Television, and Costume Designers Guild, Most Promising Newcomer, 1968-69; Los Angeles Father of the Year, 1969; Miles College, Honorary Degree, 1969; Emmy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor in Drama, 1969, 1970, and 1972; NAACP, Image Award, 1971; Hollywood Women's Press Club, Star of the Year, 1971; National Father's Day Committee, Television Father of the Year, 1971; VIVA citation, 1971; Sisterhood Temple Emanuel, Ethics Award, 1971; and Unity Award, 1973.

On August 27, 1996, he died of cancer in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Excerpts from Wikipedia and http://www.filmreference.com/film/40/Greg-Morris.html.