Greg Morris

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This article is about the American actor. For the English organist, see Greg Morris (organist).
Greg Morris
Greg Morris Abbey Lincoln Mission Impossible 1970.JPG
Greg Morris as Barney Collier with Abbey Lincoln in Mission: Impossible, 1970.
Born Francis Gregory Alan Morris
(1933-09-27)September 27, 1933
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
Died August 27, 1996(1996-08-27) (aged 62)
Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
Alma mater University of Iowa
Occupation Actor
Years active 1963–1995
Known for
Spouse(s) Leona Keyes (1956–1995)
Children Phil Morris
Iona Morris
Linda R. Morris

Francis Gregory Alan "Greg" Morris (September 27, 1933 – August 27, 1996) was an American television and movie actor.

Early life and career[edit]

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Morris began his acting career in the 1960s making guest appearances on many TV shows such as The Twilight Zone, Branded and Ben Casey. In 1966, he was cast in his most recognizable role as the electronics expert Barney Collier in the TV series Mission: Impossible. Morris, Peter Lupus, and Bob Johnson were the only actors to remain with the series throughout its entire run.

While in college, Morris was active in theater and hosted the late afternoon Jazz radio show, "Tea-Time", on the University of Iowa station, WSUI. He co-produced concerts at the university with a student friend.

After Iowa, Greg's first professional stage role was in The Death of Bessie Smith. One of his earliest television roles was a cameo appearance on The Dick Van Dyke Show, when Rob and Laura think they've gotten the wrong baby from the hospital.[1] In the 1963–1964 season, he appeared on ABC's drama about college life, Channing, starring Jason Evers and Henry Jones.

After Mission: Impossible was cancelled, Morris appeared in movies and made guest TV appearances (1974 - The Six Million Dollar Man - Episode 1-05 "Little Orphan Airplane") before he was cast as Lt. David Nelson during the second season of the TV series Vega$. After the cancellation of that series in 1981, Morris continued to make guest TV appearances in the next decade, including a few episodes in the short-lived 1980s remake of the Mission: Impossible TV series, which starred his son Phil Morris, who was cast as Grant Collier, the son of Barney. He also appeared in two episodes of the TV series What's Happening!! as Lawrence Nelson (father of Dwayne) and in three episodes of The Jeffersons, in which he reprised his role of an electronics expert (although not as Barney Collier) in a comparison sequel of the Mission: Impossible series. Morris was also a frequent guest star on Password and Password Plus in the 1960s and 1970s. Played Diamond Thief when Sanford and son went to Hawaii.


Morris died on August 27, 1996 of brain cancer in Las Vegas, Nevada. He was 62 years old. Shortly before his death, he went to see the film version of Mission: Impossible that starred Tom Cruise. The reports were that he disliked the movie so much (an opinion that was shared by several of his former co-stars) that he left the theater early.[2] According to the Associated Press, he said of the movie: "It's an abomination." [3]


Title Role Year Notes
1966–1973 Mission: Impossible Barney Collier Main cast
1976 Sanford and Son Freddy Wells Episodes: "The Hawaiian Connection", parts 1, 2, & 3
1976 Quincy, M.E. Cliff Collier 1 episode
1977 What's Happening!! Lawrence Nelson Episode: "If I'm Elected"
1978 Wonder Woman Caribe Episode: "Light-Fingered Lady"
1978 Fantasy Island Ted Harmon Episode: War Games / Queen of the Boston Bruisers"
1978–1981 Vega$ Lt. Dave Nelson Recurring
1978 The Love Boat Guest star Episode: "Till Death Do Us Part - Maybe/Chubs/Locked Away"
1979 Roots: The Next Generations Beeman Jones Miniseries, part 1
1979 What's Happening!! Lawrence Nelson Episode: "Dwayne's Debate"
1983 The Fall Guy Gary Jordan Episode: "P.S., I Love You"
1983 The Jeffersons Jimmy's Cousin Episodes: "Mission:Incurable" parts 1, 2,& 3
1983 Fantasy Island Chief of Surgery Episode: "The Wedding Picture / Castaways"
1984 T.J. Hooker Dave Reemer Episode: "Exercise in Murder"
1984 Murder, She Wrote Lt. Andrews Episode: "Lovers and Other Killers"
1988 War of the Worlds General Master Episode: "The Second Seal"
1988–1990 Mission: Impossible Barney Collier Recurring
1989 The Adventures of Superboy Damon Episode: "The Invisible People"
1995 TekWar Hacker 'Episode: "Killer Instinct"


  1. ^ Episode Description: The Dick Van Dyke Show - "Where's My Boy??", retrieved 2009-04-23 
  2. ^ "'Mission: Impossible' TV stars disgruntled". CNN. Retrieved 2010-05-04. 
  3. ^ Ravo, Nick (1996-08-29), Greg Morris, 61, Debonair Star Of TV's 'Mission Impossible', New York Times, retrieved 2010-03-22 

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