‘Mad Men’ Star and Two-Time Tony Winner Was 90 – The Hollywood Reporter

Robert Morse, the Tony Award-winning star of The best way to Reach Enterprise With out Actually Making an attempt who impressed a brand new legion of followers because the eccentric head of the Sterling Cooper advert company on Mad Males, has died. He was 90.

“My good pal Bobby Morse has handed away at age 90,” author/producer  and vp on the board of governors of the Academy of Movement Image Arts and Sciences Larry Karaszewski tweeted. “An enormous expertise and a gorgeous spirit. Sending like to his son Charlie & daughter Allyn. Had a lot enjoyable hanging with Bobby through the years – filming Folks v OJ & internet hosting so many screenings (How To Succeed, Cherished One, That’s Life).”

Morse turned a present enterprise sensation together with his flip because the bold J. Pierrepont Finch, who goes from New York window washer to chairman of the board of the World Large Wicket Co. in The best way to Reach Enterprise With out Actually Making an attempt, primarily based on Shepherd Mead’s best-selling e-book.

The present, which debuted in October 1961 and ran for greater than 1,400 performances via March 1965, collected seven Tonys in addition to the 1962 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, with Morse singled out for greatest actor in a musical. (Additionally among the many winners: director Abe Burrows and actor Charles Nelson Reilly.)

Morse then reprised the position of Finch for the 1967 movie adaptation of The best way to Succeed from The Mirisch Co. and United Artists.

In 1990, the Massachusetts native obtained one other Tony, this one for greatest featured actor in a play, for his spell-binding flip as Truman Capote within the one-hander Tru. A dwell efficiency taped for PBS’ American Playhouse netted him an Emmy Award three years later.

Youthful audiences, nonetheless, know the 5-foot-5, gap-toothed actor for his flip as Sterling Cooper co-founder Bert Cooper, a person keen on bow ties, Japanese artwork and ft minus sneakers, on seven seasons of AMC’s Mad Males. He obtained 5 Emmy noms for his work on the Matthew Weiner interval drama.

Morse dusted off his Broadway musical expertise when he did a song-and-dance routine to the tune of “The Greatest Issues in Life Are Free” after Bert died peacefully in 1969 whereas watching TV as Neil Armstrong walked on the moon.

In a 2014 interview with Rolling Stone journal, Morse mentioned Weiner all the time meant for him to sing on the present. The actor, although, needed to be persuaded.

“It wasn’t simply, ‘Go and sing a track and au revoir, Bobby.’ It was Bert telling Don [Jon Hamm’s character]: What are you doing? All this shit that you simply’re doing, minimize it out. The very best issues in life are free. We simply landed on the moon. Settle down. Get pleasure from issues whilst you have them.

“I noticed how the scene match into the entire image and thought: ‘Wow. This provides issues plenty of perspective right here. Let’s do it.’ We rehearsed for a couple of days after which simply filmed it over the course of a day or so. Nobody else knew we had been doing it.”

The boyish Morse additionally starred in a number of light-hearted film comedies of the Sixties. He performed a British man overseeing his uncle’s costly funeral in The Cherished One (1965), directed by Tony Richardson, and suggested Walter Matthau on find out how to cheat on one’s spouse with out getting caught in A Information for the Married Man (1967).

Robert Morse was born on Might 18, 1931, in Newton, Mass. His father owned a series of film theaters, and his mom studied piano on the New England Conservatory of Music.

After serving within the Korean Warfare, Morse skilled on the American Theatre Wing in New York within the early ’50s and landed a job as a rehearsal singer on Title That Tune. An agent heard him and signed him up, and Morse would seem as a wounded soldier in The Proud and the Profane (1956).

Morse made his Broadway debut in 1955 showing alongside Ruth Gordon within the authentic manufacturing of The Matchmaker, written by Thornton Wilder. (He additionally performed apprentice Barnaby Tucker within the 1958 Paramount model.)

Morse obtained his first Tony nom in 1959 for enjoying a greenhorn Broadway producer in Say, Darling, concerning the making of The Pajama Sport (with e-book and route by Burrows), then landed one other nom the next yr for his work in Take Me Alongside, a musical model of Eugene O’Neill’s Ah, Wilderness! that additionally starred Jackie Gleason and Walter Pidgeon.

He was nominated yet another time in 1973 for Sugar, portraying Jerry/Daphne (Jack Lemmon’s character) within the musical adaptation of Billy Wilder’s Some Like It Sizzling. And he had a pleasant cameo within the 2016 Broadway revival of The Entrance Web page.

‘The Entrance Web page’: Theater Evaluation

Morse is one among solely 4 actors to win the highest appearing Tonys for play and musical, sharing that distinction with Rex Harrison, Christopher Plummer and Zero Mostel.

But regardless of all his success on the stage, Morse by no means made it large within the films.

“He had this unimaginable sense of comedy and this glorious lightness and fluidity. He was just a little bit unusual and just a little bit outrageous. However he simply did higher within the theater than in movie,” Richardson mentioned of Morse in a 1990 story for New York journal. “He made contact with a theater viewers and will take them alongside in his pocket. However in a movie, the viewers has to enter your head. You don’t exit to them — they’ve to return in to you.”

His big-screen résumé additionally included Honeymoon Lodge (1964), The place Had been You When the Lights Went Out? (1968), The Boatnicks (1970) and The Emperor’s New Garments (1987).

Morse additionally sang and danced when he starred with E.J. Peaker as a younger married couple on the 1968-69 ABC sequence That’s Life. He had a recurring position on the 2000 Steven Bochco hospital drama Metropolis of Angels, performed Harry the Bookie on All My Youngsters and was Grandpa in a 1995 Munsters TV film.

Extra lately, Morse portrayed journalist Dominick Dunne on American Crime Story: The Folks v. O.J. Simpson.

He was married for 20 years to actress and dancer Carole D’Andrea, then married Elizabeth Roberts, greater than 30 years his junior, in 1989.

For Morse, engaged on each Mad Males and The best way to Reach Enterprise With out Actually Making an attempt tied his profession collectively fairly properly.

“It was very odd,” he mentioned within the Rolling Stone piece, “as a result of the primary day I went on the set [of Mad Men], I believed I’d walked into the street firm manufacturing of The best way to Succeed: There have been secretaries and desks in every single place, there have been classic telephones in every single place, everybody was carried out up prefer it was 1960.

“I bear in mind waltzing up the aisles and singing, ‘A secretary just isn’t a toy, no, my boy/her pad is to write down in, and never spend the night time in! [lyrics from the How to Succeed song “A Secretary Is Not a Toy”].’ And everyone checked out me like I used to be loopy, as a result of they’re all so damned younger!

“The purpose is, it was each a mirrored image of who I used to be then and a little bit of time warp. It jogged my memory of what an amazing period that first half of the ’60s had been — the Kennedy period. John Kennedy got here to see me in The best way to Succeed and gave me a signed image; I used to hang around in Bobby Kennedy’s place down in Virginia. They had been great days, the solar was out, our sleeves had been rolled up. It was all very optimistic, for essentially the most half. After which what occurred?”


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