Robert Morse, the longtime Broadway star and standout from Mad Men on AMC, has died at 90. More enjoyed a long, storied career on Broadway with five Tony Award nominations with a pair of wins, followed by several Emmy nominations and a SAG Award win for his time on Mad Men. Larry Karaszewski, a writer-producer and VP on the Academy's board of governors confirmed the passing on Twitter.
"My good pal Bobby Morse has passed away at age 90," Karaszewski posted. "A huge talent and a beautiful spirit. Sending love to his son Charlie & daughter Allyn. Had so much fun hanging with Bobby over the years – filming People v OJ & hosting so many screenings (How To Succeed, Loved One, That's Life)."
Morse is best known to modern audiences as Mad Men's Bert Cooper, part of the namesake for the show's Sterling Cooper advertising agency and an exciting personality opposite the smoking, drinking and womanizing exhibited by the rest of the cast. Cooper enjoys bowties, respects Japanese culture with his collected pieces of art, and stays in the wings when it comes to his business to remain calculating when his skills are finally needed.
A pair of memorable scenes showcase Morse's talents, both as Cooper and as a Broadway star. His power as Cooper was made clear in a scene where he's forced to step in when Pete Campbell is almost fired, and he has to share the actual value of the junior account executive with Don Draper and Roger Sterling.
The second, though, truly shows Morse's talents, as his character's on-screen death is heralded through a musical number of "The Best Things in Life Are Free," which Draper imagines in the halls of their offices. It's gold if you haven't seen it and a fine way to send off a character near the end of a series.
"The opportunity to shine in the spotlight that Matt Weiner gave me – it was an absolute love letter. Christmas and New Year's, all rolled into one," Morse said about the role in the New York Times. Before his time with Mad Men, though, Morse was a star of the stage.
His first Tony and best-known role came with How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying in the lead role as J. Pierpont Finch. He would reprise the role for the film version. His second Tony win came for his one-man show Tru as author Truman Capote. He also won an Emmy for the same role on an episode of PBS' American Playhouse.
Toss in a handful of guest roles in television series, including Dukes of Hazzard and Murder, She Wrote, and you see an actor with a storied career across decades. And one with a variety that shows the talent within. Rest in peace.0comments