Greg Morris

Greg Morris


9/27/1935, Cleveland, Ohio

Birth Name

Francis Gregory Alan Morris


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Greg Morris was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1933. While in college, he was active in theater and hosted a popular afternoon Jazz radio show called Tea-Time, which was broadcast on the University of Iowa's station, WSUI. Morris also helped produce concerts at the University with a student…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Greg Morris and his family appeared on the May 1981 cover of Ebony magazine.

    • Greg Morris was named the Los Angeles Father of the Year in 1969.

    • Between 1968 and 1980, Greg Morris was on the cover of TV Guide five times.

    • In 1971 Greg Morris was honored by his fellow actors, family, and friends on This is Your Life: Greg Morris.

    • As his TV career progressed, Greg Morris refused to play stereotypical black characters. This made it difficult for him to find parts to play at the time. These hardships eventually led to his problem with alcohol.

    • While living in Seattle in the early 1960s, Greg Morris supported himself with various odd jobs. He worked as an "Egyptian waiter" wearing a turban at the Golden Lion, a chic restaurant at Seattle's Olympic Hotel.

    • While playing as Lt. Dave Nelson in the 1978 series Vega$, Greg Morris found the Las Vegas area so appealing that he and his wife eventually moved there.

    • Greg Morris was in a serious car accident in 1981 which required reconstructive plastic surgery. This severely hindered his acting career. In 1989 he finally reappeared on TV after a long absence in the remake of Mission: Impossible. He had a cameo role.

    • Greg Morris received an honorary degree from Miles College in 1969.

    • Greg Morris was the Fashion, Television, and Costume Designer Guild's most promising newcomer of 1968-69.

    • Greg Morris joined the army after high school, where he served from 1952 to 1955. When his time in the service was finished, he returned to Ohio and worked in the post office.

    • Greg Morris was the only actor besides co-star Peter Lupus to be in all 7 seasons of Mission: Impossible.

    • Greg Morris hated the Mission Impossible (1996) film so much he walked out an hour after the film began.

    • Greg Morris was nominated three times for the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for Mission Impossible in 1969, 1970, and 1972.

  • Quotes

    • Greg Morris: (Commenting on fatherhood) I just always wanted a daddy, so I've tried to be the best dad I know how to be.

    • Greg Morris: (Reflecting on his battle with alcoholism) I don't know how many chances I've got coming from the man upstairs. But I'm not going to lake a drink and use up that last one.

    • Greg Morris: (Reflecting on being one of the first African-American TV actors) I'm proud I was able to break some barriers. But I didn't think of it in those terms. It just worked out that way.

    • Greg Morris: (Reflecting on his bout with cancer) The craps game between the devil and God is still going on. When they make up their minds which one gets me, then I'm gone. Till then, I've got to do the things I want to do.

    • Greg Morris: (Referring to his role in Mission: Impossible) The part had nothing to do with the fact that I am black. I was one of the first black actors in a series, but not the first. Ivan Dixon was in "Hogan's Heroes," and "Cos" was in "I Spy."

    • Greg Morris: (In a 1970 interview with The Christian Science Monitor) I always had an awareness of the black revolution. When I was a kid, 9 or 10, I used to walk down Seventh Avenue and 125th Street with a sandwich sign on my back that said "Down With Jim Crow."

    • Greg Morris: (Referring to his years on Mission: Impossible) [They were] seven of the most fun years of my career.

    • Greg Morris: (describing the 1996 Mission Impossible film) It's an abomination.

  • Greg Morris was one of my childhood idols. This cool, intelligent, unflappable brotha was an example of everything I aspired to be.

    Greg Morris was the epitome of cool. I say this, having never met him, solely on the basis of his portrayal of the character of Barney in Mission Impossible. But I think that's all I need to know about Greg Morris. I think the character WAS Greg Morris: cool and graceful under pressure, fiercely intelligent, and a man of few, but effective and heartfelt words.

    In a time when there were few black actors on television, Morris capably demonstrated that a black actor could inhabit a non-stereotypical role. The fact that Barney happened to be black was mostly irrelevant to the role, much as Greg Morris never publicly made much of the fact of his pioneering status, even though he must certainly have experienced significant discrimination during his career. It is sad that this talented actor was woefully underused after his Mission Impossible stint.moreless