Monday, May 23, 2005

Howard Morris...

Howard Morris,a familiar face and voice to television and film for the last 50 years has died at the age of 85.

Most tv fans would know him as hillbilly Ernest T. Bass from "The Andy Griffith Show". Ernest T. had a penchant for throwing rocks and reciting poetry to make Barney Fife mad.I would not be surprised if TVLand did a special night of programs featuring the best of Ernest T.

Morris got his start on tv along with Carl Reiner on Sid Caesar's "Your Show of Shows". My favortie performance by him is in a parody of the old "This is your Life" tv show. Sid is the man whose old friends and family are there to see him and Morris plays long lost "Uncle Goopy" crying every time he sees Sid and holding on to him for dear life. This bit is dragged out for almost 15 minutes and truly a wonderful moment from television's Golden Age.You can see that clip here

But Morris was gifted behind the camera as well. He was the voice of many a cartoon character for Hanna Barbera including Atom Ant,Breezly Bruin, Mr. Peebles,and parts on the Jetsons and The Flintstones.He was also the voice of many of the Groovy Ghoulies, Jughead,Moose and Dilton Doiley on the Archies for Filmation Studios in the 1970's.

His small roles in Jerry Lewis's The Nutty Professor(1963) and Way Way Out (1966) are also a joy to watch. Morris later contributed to some films of Mel Brooks like "High Anxiety" and "History of the World pt. 1."

His various work lives on now in reruns and that memorable voice will continue to entertain audiences for years to come.

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