Howard Morris

(1919)
Actor and Director
Birth Name: Howard Morris
Date of Birth: 04/09/1919

This short, quicksilver comic of TV's "Golden Age" has been heard more than seen in the last few decades, as he possesses one of the finest vocal instruments around for animation. Howard ("Howie") Morris was born in New York City in 1919 and forged his own destiny after a chance meeting with Carl Reiner in a radio workshop. Following the war in which they entertained troops together, they performed in the stage musical "Call Me Mister", then came aboard as part of Sid Caesar's repertory/writing company in the classic sketch shows of the 50s. After years of "second banana" success, however, Morris sought his own solo identity and went off to pursue work as an actor, director and voice artist. Since the early 60s, he has been a main staple of the Hanna-Barbera Productions vocal team, offering hundreds and hundreds of voices for "The Flintstones" (1959), "The Jetsons" (1962), "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch" (1971), and other such Saturday morning shows. Interspersed have been some catchy offbeat characterizations in front of the camera. He has given zest to a number of standard comedy films including Boys' Night Out (1962) with Kim Novak, The Nutty Professor (1963) and Way... Way Out (1966), both with Jerry Lewis, and Mel Brooks' spoofs High Anxiety (1977) and History of the World: Part I (1981). Morris has directed Danny Thomas and Andy Griffith in their respective sitcoms, and made a wonderfully eccentric impression on-camera as the grizzled rock-tosser Ernest T. Bass in Griffiths' vehicle. He was so popular in that role, it was brought back faithfully for three seasons. The director of such comedy film fluff as Who's Minding the Mint? (1967), With Six You Get Eggroll (1968), and Woody Allen's Don't Drink the Water (1969), Morris continued on with directing commercials and popping up here and there well into the 1990s.

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