For other people of the same name, see: Dennis Morgan (disambiguation)
Dennis Morgan (December 20, 1908 - September 7, 1994) was an American actor-singer. Born as Earl Stanley Morner, he used the acting pseudonym Richard Stanley before adopting the name under which he gained his greatest fame.
Life and career:
Morgan was born Earl Stanley Morner in the village of Prentice in Price County in northern Wisconsin, the son of Grace J. (née Vandusen) and Frank Edward Morner. He was of Swedish descent on his father's side.
He enrolled at Carroll College, now known as Carroll University, in Waukesha, Wisconsin as a member of the 1930 graduating class. He was awarded the Carroll College Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1983.
After relocating to Los Angeles, California, Morgan starred in the war-time dramas, God Is My Co-Pilot and Captains of the Clouds, opposite Ginger Rogers in Kitty Foyle and Perfect Strangers, the comedy Christmas in Connecticut, with Barbara Stanwyck and Sydney Greenstreet, and the musical adventure, The Desert Song.
Morgan was a top leading man at Warner Brothers in the 1940s, starring with best friend Jack Carson in many movies, several of which were "two guys" buddy pictures. His peak years were 1943 to 1949.
He appeared in sporadic television guest roles in the 1950s, including the ABC religion anthology series, Crossroads, in the 1955 episode "The Gambler" and as Senator designate Fairchild in an episode of the dramatic anthology series "Stage 7" titled "Press Conference" in 1955. He was cast as Dennis O'Finn in the 1958 episode "Bull in a China Shop" on Alfred Hitchcock Presents. In 1959, Morgan appeared as a regular, Dennis Chase, in eleven episodes of the crime drama, 21 Beacon Street, with Joanna Barnes and Brian Kelly.
By 1956, he had retired from films but still made occasional appearances on television, such as the role of Chad Hamilton in the 1962 episode "Source of Information" of the short-lived NBC newspaper drama series, Saints and Sinners. In 1963, he portrayed Dr. Clay Maitland in "The Old Man and the City" on NBC's The Dick Powell Theater. In 1968, was cast as Dennis Roberts in the episode "Bye, Bye, Doctor" of the CBS sitcom, Petticoat Junction, and played a cameo as a Hollywood tour guide in the all-star comedy Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood in 1976. His final screen performance was on March 1, 1980, as Steve Brian in the episode "Another Time, Another Place/Doctor Who/Gopher's Engagement" of ABC's The Love Boat. Jane Wyman and Audrey Meadows appeared in the same episode.
In 1983, Dennis Morgan, along with his film pal, Jack Carson, who had died in 1963, were inducted into the Wisconsin Performing Artists Hall of Fame.
Morgan died in 1994 of respiratory failure.
Charity work: Two Strike Park:
Dennis Morgan dedicated "Two Strike Park" on July 4, 1959, named for his belief that "a kid with no place to play already has two strikes against him".
From 1946, Dennis Morgan had championed the cause for children with nowhere to play In 1949, as "honorary mayor" of La Crescenta, representing Two Strike Series, Inc., he "offered to donate five acres of land for the park if the County of Los Angeles would purchase two more adjoining acres to complete the initial parcel. In 1950, the Board of Supervisors responded with an additional 3.54 acres of parkland." In 1958, Morgan spearheaded the drive to establish a new public park in La Crescenta in Los Angeles County. He raised funds for the park, located on Rosemont Avenue, by "organizing exhibition baseball games featuring celebrity friends and professional athletes".
I Conquer the Sea! (1936),
The Great Ziegfeld (1936),
Piccadilly Jim (1936),
Old Hutch (1936),
Mama Steps Out (1937),
Song of the City (1937),
Navy Blue and Gold (1937),
Men with Wings (1938),
King of Alcatraz (1938),
Illegal Traffic (1938),
Persons in Hiding (1939),
No Place to Go (1939),
The Return of Doctor X (1939),
The Fighting 69th (1940),
Three Cheers for the Irish (1940),
Tear Gas Squad (1940),
Flight Angels (1940),
River's End (1940),
Kitty Foyle (1940),
Affectionately Yours (1941),
Kisses for Breakfast (1941),
Bad Men of Missouri (1941),
Captains of the Clouds (1942),
In This Our Life (1942),
Wings for the Eagle (1942),
The Hard Way (1943),
Thank Your Lucky Stars (1943),
The Desert Song (1943),
Shine On, Harvest Moon (1944),
The Very Thought of You (1944),
Hollywood Canteen (1944),
God Is My Co-Pilot (1945),
Christmas in Connecticut (1945),
One More Tomorrow (1946),
Two Guys from Milwaukee (1946),
The Time, the Place and the Girl (1946),
My Wild Irish Rose (1947),
To the Victor (1948),
Two Guys from Texas (1948),
One Sunday Afternoon (1948),
It's a Great Feeling (1949),
The Lady Takes a Sailor (1949),
Perfect Strangers (1950),
Pretty Baby (1950),
Raton Pass (1951),
Painting the Clouds with Sunshine (1951),
This Woman Is Dangerous (1952),
Cattle Town (1952),
The Gun That Won the West (1955),
Pearl of the South Pacific (1955),
Uranium Boom (1956),
Rogue's Gallery (1968),
Busby Berkeley (1974) (documentary),
Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood (1976),
Annie Laurie (1936),
Ride, Cowboy, Ride (1939),
The Singing Dude (1940),
March On, Marines (1940),
Stars on Horseback (1943),
The Shining Future (1944),
I Am an American (1944),
Road to Victory (1944),
Screen Snapshots: Hollywood Goes to Bat (1950)
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license