February 5, 2008


Barry Morse, Who Played the Dogged Detective in ‘The Fugitive,’ Is Dead at 89 (DENNIS HEVESI, 2/05/08, NY Times)

The slim, angular-faced Mr. Morse was trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London and played hundreds of roles on stage and screen in his seven-decade career but never quite escaped his role in “The Fugitive.” As Lt. Philip Gerard, he hounded David Janssen as Richard Kimble, the doctor from the fictional town of Stafford, Ind., who was convicted on flimsy evidence of murdering his wife. For 120 episodes, from 1963 through 1967, Lieutenant Gerard pursued Dr. Kimble, who had escaped — on the lieutenant’s watch — when the train taking him to death row derailed. The innocent doctor’s only hope was finding the real killer, a one-armed man.

Gerard actually appeared in only 37 of the episodes, but his image was used in the opening credits, and the threat of his sudden appearance was never far from the mind of the fugitive or the audience.

For years after the series ended, Mr. Morse joked that “he was the most hated man in America,” Mr. Wood said of his friend on Monday. “Little old ladies would come up to him in airports and whack at him with their purses, screaming, ‘Why didn’t you leave that man alone?’ ”

Which is better than Javert ended up.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 5, 2008 9:06 AM
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