January 13, 1907
New York City, U.S.
|Died||December 26, 1993
Canoga Park, California, U.S.
|Alma mater||Pratt Institute|
|Spouse(s)||Anna Karen Morrow (m. 1947)|
|Children||Lissa Morrow Christian|
Jeff Morrow (born Irving Morrow; January 13, 1907 – December 26, 1993) was an American actor educated at the Pratt Institute in his native New York City. He was a commercial artist prior to turning to acting.
As early as 1927, Morrow acted onstage as Irving Morrow in Pennsylvania. He later appeared in such plays as Penal Law, and Once in a Lifetime, as well as repertory in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth. After serving in the U.S. Army during World War II, Morrow spent the late 1940s on the stage and in radio, where he won the title role in the Dick Tracy radio series. He appeared in many Broadway productions, notably Three Wishes for Jamie, Billy Budd, the Maurice Evans production of Macbeth, and the Katharine Cornell production of Romeo and Juliet.
Morrow turned to film acting relatively late in his career, commencing with the Biblical epic The Robe in 1953. Often parodied as the 'Cro-Magnon Man' for his prominent brow, Morrow spent much of the 1950s appearing in a mix of A-budget epics in supporting parts, or 'B' Westerns such as The Siege at Red River (1954) and science fiction films as a leader and screen hero.
Morrow carried over much of his acting persona from his radio days to his film acting roles, where his ability to rapidly alter both the tone and volume of his voice for dramatic effect frequently gave sound editors fits. He entered the science fiction/monster movie genre with the This Island Earth (1955), followed by The Creature Walks Among Us, The Giant Claw, and Kronos (1957). He returned to television for most of his later roles, with six appearances on the religion anthology series, Crossroads. In two episodes, he portrayed the Reverend M. R. Watkinson in "In God We Trust" and the Reverend Richard C. Smith in the series finale, "Half Mile Down" (both 1957).
His other appearances were on such series as Bonanza, My Friend Flicka, The Deputy, Daniel Boone, and Police Story. He was cast three times in guest-starring roles on CBS's Perry Mason. In the 1962 episode, "The Case of the Ancient Romeo," he played Franz Lachman, the director of a theater company who is murdered during a performance of Romeo and Juliet in which he held the male lead.
In 1958-1959, he starred as Bart McClelland, the fictitious supervisor of construction of the Union Pacific Railroad in the syndicated half-hour Western series Union Pacific, based loosely on a Joel McCrea and Barbara Stanwyck film of the same name. His Union Pacific television co-stars were Judson Pratt and Susan Cummings. In 1960, Morrow played Tob, the older brother of Boaz (Stuart Whitman), in the biblical drama, The Story of Ruth. During the early 1960s, Morrow appeared in such low-budget films as Harbor Lights (1963), Blood Legacy (1971), and in a bow to his earlier career, a cameo in the 1971 monster film Octaman for veteran 1950's monster movie writer/director Harry Essex.
After the 1974 cancellation of the sitcom The New Temperatures Rising, and completion of filming the low-budget film The Runaways, Morrow largely retired from acting, though he returned for a 1975 appearance in the series Police Story. His last television role was in 1986, with a guest appearance on the second The Twilight Zone series.
Personal life and death
In his later life, Morrow returned to commercial illustration with occasional acting assignments. He died on December 26, 1993 in Canoga Park in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles County, California. He was survived by his wife of nearly fifty years, actress Anna Karen Morrow, and their daughter, Mrs. Lissa Morrow Christian (born 1948). His ashes were scattered off the coast of Palos Verdes.
- Folkart, Burt A. (28 December 1993). "Jeff Morrow; Actor Best Known for Science-Fiction Roles". Los Angeles Times.
- "Jeff Morrow, Actor, 86". The New York Times. 28 December 1993.
- Jeff Morrow at Brian's Drive-In Theater
- Jeff Morrow at the Internet Movie Database
- Jeff Morrow at Find a Grave