Francis Gregory Alan Morris
September 27, 1933
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
|Died||August 27, 1996 (aged 62)|
Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of Iowa|
|Spouse(s)||Leona Keyes (1956–1995)(divorced) (3 children)|
Linda R. Morris
Early life and career
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, to the jazz trumpeter Francis Williams, Morris served in the United States Army during the Korean War. 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 in the episode "That's My Boy?", where Rob becomes convinced that they've taken home the wrong baby from the hospital. The revelation of Morris' character as the other child's father prompted a record setting bout of laughter from the studio audience. 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.
Morris died on August 27, 1996 of a brain tumor 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 most of his former co-stars) that he left the theater early. According to the Associated Press, he said of the movie: "It's an abomination."
|1963||Sam Benedict||Victim||Episode: "Of Rusted Cannons and Fallen Sparrows"|
|1963||Dr. Kildare||Lincoln Ball||Episode: "The Gift of the Koodjanuk"|
|1963||The Twilight Zone||Lt. Woodard||Episode: "The 7th Is Made Up of Phantoms"|
|1963||The Lieutenant||Sgt. Perc Linden||Episode: "The Proud and the Angry"|
|1963||The Lieutenant||Crew Chief||Episode: "The Two Star Giant"|
|1963||The Dick Van Dyke Show||Mr. Peters||Episode: "That's My Boy??"|
|1964||The Lieutenant||Crew Chief||Episode: "To Kill a Man"|
|1964||The New Interns||Dr. Pete Clarke|
|1964||The Lively Set||Highway Patrol Officer|
|1965||The Fugitive||Mickey Deming||Episode: "Wings of an Angel"|
|1965||The Sword of Ali Baba||Yusef|
|1965||The Dick Van Dyke Show||Frank "Sticks" Mandalay||Episode: "Bupkis"|
|1966||The Doomsday Flight||FBI Agent Balaban||TV movie written by Rod Serling|
|1966–1973||Mission: Impossible||Barney Collier||Main cast|
|1973||Mannix||Escaped Convict||Episode: "Climb a Deadly Mountain"|
|1975||The Streets of San Francisco||Eddie Griffin||Episode: "Merchants of Death"|
|1976||Countdown at Kusini||Red Salter|
|1976||S.T.A.B.||Richard Hill||Thai film|
|1976||Sanford and Son||Willis||Episodes: "The Hawaiian Connection", parts 1 & 2|
|1977||What's Happening!!||Lawrence Nelson||Episode: "If I'm Elected"|
|1978||Wonder Woman||Caribe||Episode: "Light-Fingered Lady"|
|1978||Quincy, M.E.||Cliff Collier||Episode: "A Night to Raise the Dead"|
|1978||Fantasy Island||Ted Harmon||Episode: "War Games / Queen of the Boston Bruisers"|
|1978||The Eddie Capra Mysteries||Shelby||Episode: "The Intimate Friends of Janet Wilde"|
|1978–1981||Vega$||Lt. Dave Nelson||Recurring|
|1978||The Love Boat||Guest star||Episode: "Till Death Do Us Part – Maybe/Chubs/Locked Away"|
|1979||Password Plus||Himself||Game Show Participant/Celebrity Guest Star|
|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 Masters||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"|
- "Francis Williams, Trumpeter; Played With Ellington Band", The New York Times, 1983-10-04, retrieved 2018-03-27
- Episode Description: The Dick Van Dyke Show – "That's My Boy??", retrieved 2009-04-23
- "'Mission: Impossible' TV stars disgruntled". CNN. Retrieved 2010-05-04.
- Ravo, Nick (1996-08-29), "Greg Morris, 61, Debonair Star Of TV's 'Mission Impossible'", The New York Times, retrieved 2010-03-22