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Greg Morris Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trivia (22)  | Personal Quotes (3)

Overview (4)

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Died in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA  (cancer)
Birth NameFrancis Gregory Alan Morris
Height 6' 2½" (1.89 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Born in Cleveland, Morris came to Hollywood in the early 1960s. His acting experience at that time consisted of a few minor roles on the Seattle stage. He found work appearing on Television series such as The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961) and The Twilight Zone (1959) before being cast in Mission: Impossible (1966). Morris played quiet, efficient electronics expert Barney Collier from 1966-1973. After the show ended, Morris continued to appear in other Television series and a couple of Television movies. In 1979, he went to Las Vegas to film the television series Vega$ (1978) in which he played Lt. David Nelson. He liked the city so much he decided to stay. This series lasted 2 years. In 1981, Morris survived a serious road accident and did not reappear on television for years. In 1989, he appeared in a short-lived remake of Mission: Impossible (1988). In 1990, he was diagnosed with cancer.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Spouse (1)

Lee Morris (19 September 1956 - 26 October 1995) ( divorced) ( 3 children)

Trivia (22)

Shortly before his death, he went to see the Mission: Impossible (1996) movie; he disliked it so much he walked out less than an hour after the film started.
Along with Peter Lupus, he is one of only two Mission: Impossible (1966) cast members to stay with the series throughout its entire run.
Best remembered by the public for his role in Mission: Impossible (1966).
In 1983, he reprised his "Barney Collier" character in a spy spoof called "Mission Incredible", for an episode of The Jeffersons (1975).
A lifelong smoker, he was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1990. It was then discovered he had a brain tumor, which was removed in 1991. In May of 1996 he stated he was cancer free but was found dead in his Las Vegas apartment by a maintenance worker in August of that same year.
Fashion, Television, and Costume Designers Guild, most promising newcomer of 1968-1969, he also won an honorary degree from Miles College in 1969.
Along with Bill Cosby and Ivan Dixon, he became among the first of America's black TV stars of the late 60s.
A serious car accident resulted in major reconstructive plastic surgery which severely curtailed his career in 1981. He finally reappeared on television after a long absence with a short-lived remake of Mission: Impossible (1988), which also featured his son, Phil Morris, in 1989. Greg had a cameo role.
While in Seattle he starred as Walter Lee in a local production of "A Raisin in the Sun". It was very successful and ran for six months going from three performances a week to the Broadway standard of eight. It culminated with four sold-out weekend performances at the now defunct 1600-seat Palomar Theatre. The stage show eventually went to Los Angeles where he found an entry to film and TV.
Checking out the Seattle theater scene in the early 1960s, he supported himself as a wine steward. He also worked at the Golden Lion, an upscale restaurant at Seattle's Olympic Hotel, as an Egyptian waiter and wearing a turban.
Attended Ohio State University and then the University of Iowa, where he majored in drama but had not graduated by the time he moved to Seattle.
Had three children: Phil Morris, Iona Morris and Linda Morris. Each of them have had show business careers. Phil and Iona both became actors and Linda became a film production executive. In early 2000, Iona performed a one-woman show to pay tribute to her father. The show, "For You", used the same title her father had used on a jazz album he released in the 1970s.
Morris joined the United States Army after high school, serving from 1952 to 1955. He then returned to his native Ohio where he worked for a time in a post office.
His father was a trumpet player who left the family when Greg was three years old. He spent part of his youth in New York, where his mother was a secretary to A. Philip Randolph, the black labor unionist leader, civil rights activist and socialist politician, who in 1925 organized and led the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, the first predominantly African-American labor union.
While playing his supporting role as "Lieutenant Dave Nelson" on Vega$ (1978), he found the filming location in Nevada to his liking -- so much so that he and his wife, Lee Morris, eventually moved to Las Vegas.
Following his TV career peak, he refused to play stereotypical black characters and found it difficult to find parts to play or another starring role. These struggles led to eventual problem with alcohol.
He was a prominent opponent of Proposition 5, the California Clean Indoor Act of 1978, which would have mandated separate smoking & non-smoking sections in public facilities including restaurants & workplaces. He appeared in ads funded by Californians for Common Sense, a group funded by tobacco companies.
Morris was cremated. His ashes were given to his family.
The movie Com-TAC 303 starring Billy Dee Williams, Greg Morris, Chad Everett, and Henry Fonda, began filming Jul 25, 1977, in the Mojave Desert, but shut down several weeks later when financing was withdrawn by the studio. The movie was about black fighter pilots during World War II.
Friends with Peter Graves.
Appeared in 166 of the 171 episodes of Mission: Impossible (1966), more than anyone else.

Personal Quotes (3)

"It's an abomination." - describing the 1996 movie version of Mission: Impossible (1996).
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". -- GM, 1970 interview
[Mission: Impossible (1966) was] seven of the most fun years of my career. If I had turned down the role, Bruce Geller was going to ask a blond, blue-eyed Scandinavian. The part had nothing to do with the fact that I was black.

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