- - Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Emmy-winning “M*A*S*H” star Harry Morgan dies at age 96

Emmy-winning character actor Harry Morgan, whose portrayal of the fatherly Col. Sherman Potter on television’s “M*A*S*H” highlighted a show business career that included nine other TV series, 50 films and the Broadway stage, died Wednesday. He was 96.

His daughter-in-law, Beth Morgan, told the Associated Press that the actor died at his home in Brentwood, Calif., after having pneumonia.

“He was sidesplittingly funny,” Mrs. Morgan said. “He was very humble about having such a successful career.”


Morgan appeared in mostly supporting roles on the big screen, playing opposite such stars as Henry Fonda, John Wayne, James Garner, Elvis Presley and Dan Aykroyd.

On television, he was more the comedic co-star, including roles on “December Bride,” its spin-off “Pete and Gladys,” as Sgt. Joe Friday’s loyal partner in later “Dragnet” episodes and on CBS-TV’s long-running “M*A*S*H” series, for which he earned an Emmy award in 1980.

‘MythBusters’ stunt sends cannonball through house

A stunt for the TV show “MythBusters” sent an errant cannonball through a California family’s house and into a parked minivan a few hundred feet away, the Associated Press reports.

Producers for the Discovery Channel show said the cannonball Tuesday was fired at the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department bomb range behind the Santa Rita Jail when it misfired.

Sheriff’s spokesman J.D. Nelson told the Contra Costa Times that no one was injured and the home’s residents didn’t even wake up until the dust settled — literally on top of them.

Mr. Nelson, who is also a consultant for the show, said producers have used the cannon that they built at the range more than 50 times without incident.

The cannonball was supposed to go through a few water-filled barrels and a concrete wall. Instead, it passed over the barrels, through the wall, and then took a “very unfortunate bounce that sent the ball skyward,” Mr. Nelson said.

About 700 feet away, it bounced in front of the home, then tore through the front door and out a wall on the back of the house. The projectile then bounced at least once more and crossed the road before smashing the window and dashboard of the minivan, where it came to rest.

“We had some tremendous bad luck and some tremendous good luck” in that no one was hurt, Mr. Nelson said.

Jasbir Gill, who owns the minivan, said he and his children had just gotten home.

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