Barry Morse

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Barry Morse

Born

6/10/1918, London, England

Died

2/2/2008

Birth Name

Herbert Morse

Gender

Male
9.1
out of 10
User Rating
21 votes

Biography

EDIT
Born in London's East End, Barry's career began when he won a full scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art at the age of 15. Upon graduation he followed with successful stage runs in London's West End and in theatrical productions throughout the United Kingdom, and appeared…more

Credits

Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • The Toronto Star said that Barry Morse, was "one of Canada and Britain's most versatile and compelling actors."

    • CBS Radio called Barry Morse, "A Theatre Man for all seasons."

    • In 1984 Barry Morse organized and oversaw a 96-hour Bible reading marathon at his church, St. James's Piccadilly in London. This "Biblethon" was designed to encourage parishioners to read the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation.

    • Barry Morse was an adjunct professor of drama at Yale University in 1968.

    • During the filming of The Fugitive, Barry Morse tried his hand at directing. He directed episode 118 "The Shattered Silence."

    • Although Barry Morse and David Janssen became good friends during the shooting of The Fugitive, ABC discouraged them from being seen together in public during the series. The network considered it bad for the ratings of the show.

    • Barry Morse, born left-handed, learned to write with both hands. He used his ambidexterity in The Fugitive to portray the divided nature of Lt. Gerard.

    • Barry Morse developed the personality of "Lt. Philip Gerard" from Victor Hugo's Les Miserables character Javert (a police officer engrossed with the pursuit of the hero of the story).

    • According to author Robert E. Wood, Barry Morse starred in so many Canadian television productions that "a critic back in the '50s called him the test pattern for the CBC."

    • Martin Landau: (Writing in the foreword to Barry Morse's first bookPulling Faces, Making Noises: A Life on Stage, Screen & Radio)

      Barry's life is a virtual history of the twentieth century...

    • Barry Morse was the author of two books: Pulling Faces, Making Noises: A Life on Stage, Screen & Radio. Lincoln, Nebraska: iUniverse, Inc., 2004; and Remember with Advantages: Chasing 'The Fugitive' and Other Stories from an Actor's Life. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland and Company, Inc., 2007.

    • Barry Morse tried to enlist in the Royal Navy during World War II, but it was discovered that he had an early stage of tuberculosis. The disease was treated and cured before it created any problems.

    • Barry Morse dropped out of school at age 15.

    • Barry Morse was so believable in his role as the hard and unyielding Lt. Gerard on The Fugitive that a woman once reportedly slapped him for "being so mean to that nice Dr. Kimble."

    • Barry Morse played the father of Tommy Lee Jones in the 1993 movie version of The Fugitive but his scenes were edited out in the final cut.

    • Barry Morse enjoyed singing in the choir of a neighboring church during his younger days.

    • Barry Morse was President of the Shaw Society of England which was founded to promote interest in the life and works of playwright George Bernard Shaw.

    • Barry Morse's daughter, Melanie, passed away in her sleep on February 1, 2005 from natural causes.

    • One of Barry Morse's autobiographies is entitled Pulling Faces, Making Noises: A Life on Stage, Screen, and Radio.

    • Barry Morse was a Boy Scout in his early teens.

    • Barry Morse had an older brother, Frank, who served on the Metropolitan Police Force of London for 35 years.

    • Barry Morse claims to have performed in every one of Shakespeare's and George Bernard Shaw's plays at one time or another throughout the course of his career.

    • Barry Morse was the former artistic director of the famed Shaw Festival of Canada.

    • Barry Morse attended numerous Fugitive and Twilight Zone fan conventions in the past.

    • Barry Morse worked tirelessly in the U.S., UK, and Canada to raise funds for the fight against Parkinson's Disease, which claimed the life of his wife in 1999.

    • Barry Morse appeared in 37 episodes of The Fugitive as Lt. Phillip Gerard.

    • Barry Morse won Canada's Best Television Actor award five times.

    • Barry Morse and his family relocated from England to Canada in 1951.

    • Barry Morse appeared in one of the BBC's earliest live television broadcasts in 1937.

    • Barry Morse had a one man stage show, Merely Players, for many years.

    • Barry Morse won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London at age 15. At the time he was the youngest student ever to enroll there.

  • Quotes

    • Barry Morse: (Commenting on David Janssen's death) I was quite horrified. David was only 48 and that seemed to me to be a tragically young age. It was a great waste.

    • Barry Morse: (Speaking to David Janssen) David, son, if you are going to go on collecting, do, please, if you can, collect something which is relatively inexpensive, like stamps or coins. Don't go on collecting wives, it's a very expensive habit!

    • Barry Morse: I've always thought that we in the arts---whichever art we happen to be in---are all "shoplifters." Everybody, from Shakespeare onwards and downwards, who enters any of our activities must acknowledge that we are shoplifters. But once you've acknowledged that, make sure that when you set out on a shoplifting expedition, you go always to Cartier's, and never to Woolworth's!

    • Barry Morse: The Fugitive was, for me, immensely enjoyable. Not only because of its great and lasting popularity, but even more because of the splendid group of people whom it brought together.

    • Barry Morse: (When he first saw his future wife Sydney Sturgess) In my confusion and complete surprise, I dropped my script, my pencil, and my raincoat!

    • Barry Morse: (Reflecting on one of his first stage appearances) I've never forgotten the bliss of triumph that I experienced when I ... was greeted by a round of applause because they recognized me and remembered me from last week and the week before.

    • Barry Morse: (regarding his role in an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents) I remember working on a show for Alfred Hitchcock in which the noted writer and dramatist Ray Bradbury developed the idea that at some time in the future most things had been taken over by machinery, by computers of various kinds, including the administration of justice. At the time of this teleplay computers were a relative novelty. In this future time a young man was charged with an offense against the state and marshaled into a huge building crammed with banks and banks of computers. These computers would absorb and assess the evidence, circumstances and facts in his case. All of them were operated by one master button-puncher – played by me.

    • Barry Morse: (who picked out the wardrobe for Lt. Gerard during the filming of The Fugitive) Rather than having clothes made by some expensive tailor, I asked the wardrobe department to take me to the sort of store where Gerard would buy his clothes, ready-made, off the peg.

    • Barry Morse: I have always been of the opinion that the degree to which the legal system ultimately contributes to justice in the U.S. of A. is, shall we say, "susceptible to improvement." That's about as tactful as I can be!

    • Barry Morse: The police officer… cannot permit himself to have questions or doubt because he must be, above and beyond everything else, impartial. Many police officers in many societies have gotten into deep, deep trouble by allowing their partiality to influence their actions.

    • Barry Morse: Actors don't half-often enough acknowledge the importance of the quality of the writing. But it is, after all, in any dramatic offering, the writing where the battle is won and lost.

    • Barry Morse: While I was a student at the Royal Academy, I had developed a sort of "flexible inner ear" that enabled me to reproduce, more or less, any accent after I was exposed to it for a little while. I think The Fugitive was the only instance up to that time where a British actor played an American character in a TV series.

    • Barry Morse: The most stimulating thing about any performer is not what he did last year, but what he's going to do next year.

    • Barry Morse: (Commenting on his role in Space: 1999)

      You have to be concerned about the people, not just the special effects.

    • Barry Morse: (Commenting on his role in Space: 1999)

      I came up with the idea that Victor Bergman had come to England as a refugee child during the reign of the Nazis…. I built up a whole character based on … the idea that, being somewhat older than almost all the other people on the space station, Professor Bergman could almost be described as a kind of space uncle.

    • Barry Morse: The whole of my career, such as it has been, has been an attempt to explore and enlarge whatever natural gifts I may have, and by the day-to-day practice of those natural gifts, to try to expand and polish them. I like investigating and, if possible, creating, or least examining, all sorts of human characteristics.

    • Barry Morse: Racism is a dangerous poison within the human species. Wherever it is found and however expressed it does nothing but damage and destroy. Root it out!

    • Barry Morse: My favorite role is always the next one.

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