Best known for his role as a war hero in the comedy Christmas in Connecticut and his role in the drama Kitty Foyle.
I Conquer the Sea!
The Great Ziegfeld
Mama Steps Out
Song of the City
Navy Blue and Gold
Men with Wings
King of Alcatraz
Persons in Hiding
No Place to Go
The Return of Doctor X
The Fighting 69th
Three Cheers for the Irish
Tear Gas Squad
Kisses for Breakfast
Bad Men of Missouri
Captains of the Clouds
In This Our Life
Wings for the Eagle
The Hard Way
Thank Your Lucky Stars
The Desert Song
Shine On, Harvest Moon
The Very Thought of You
God Is My Co-Pilot
Christmas in Connecticut
One More Tomorrow
Two Guys from Milwaukee
The Time, the Place and the Girl
My Wild Irish Rose
To the Victor
Two Guys from Texas
One Sunday Afternoon
It’s a Great Feeling
The Lady Takes a Sailor
Painting the Clouds with Sunshine
This Woman Is Dangerous
The Gun That Won the West
Pearl of the South Pacific
Busby Berkeley (documentary)
Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood
It’s not the easiest thing in the world to be a success in Hollywood and still be the ordinary husband and father. ~ Dennis Morgan
Dennis Morgan was born December 20, 1908 in the village of Prentice in Price County in northern Wisconsin. Born as Earl Stanley Morner, he used the acting pseudonym Richard Stanley before adopting the name under which he gained his greatest fame.
He enrolled at Carroll College, now known as Carroll University, in Waukesha, Wisconsin as a member of the 1930 graduating class.
After relocating to Los Angeles, California, Morgan began appearing in films. He signed a contract with MGM as “Stanley Morner”.
Unbilled, he sang the Irving Berlin song, A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody, in The Great Ziegfeld (1936). He was billed as “Stanley Morner” in Suzy (1936) and could be seen in Piccadilly Jim(1936), and Old Hutch (1936).
He was given a decent role in Mama Steps Out (1937) and Song of the City (1937) but went back to small parts in Navy Blue and Gold (1937).
He signed with Paramount who billed him as “Richard Stanley”. He was in Men with Wings (1938), King of Alcatraz (1938), Illegal Traffic (1938), and Persons in Hiding (1939).
He went over to Warner Bros who billed him as “Dennis Morgan”. He was given the lead in a B, Waterfront (1939), followed by No Place to Go (1939) and The Return of Doctor X (1939).
Morgan was promoted to “A” films with The Fighting 69th (1940), supporting James Cagney and Pat O’Brien. He supported Priscilla Lane in Three Cheers for the Irish (1940) and went back to “B”s for Tear Gas Squad (1940), Flight Angels (1940), and River’s End (1940).
Warners put him in some comedies, Affectionately Yours (1941) and Kisses for Breakfast (1941), then a Western, Bad Men of Missouri (1941). He supported Cagney again in Captains of the Clouds (1942) and Bette Davis and Olivia de Havilland in In This Our Life (1942).
Morgan co-starred with Ann Sheridan in Wings for the Eagle (1942) and Ida Lupino in The Hard Way (1943). He had the lead in some big Warners musicals: Thank Your Lucky Stars (1943), full of cameos from Warner stars; The Desert Song (1943); Shine On, Harvest Moon (1944), with Sheridan. The latter also featured Jack Carson in a key role. He and Morgan were in The Hard Way together and would go on to be a notable team.
Morgan was teamed with fellow Wisconsinite Jack Carson in One More Tomorrow (1946). Warners liked them as a combination, seeing them as similar to Bing Crosby and Bob Hope at Paramount. They were reunited in Two Guys from Milwaukee (1946) and The Time, the Place and the Girl (1946).
Without Carson, Morgan made a Western, Cheyenne (1946), a musical My Wild Irish Rose (1947), and To the Victor (1948).
He was back with Carson for Two Guys from Texas (1948) then made One Sunday Afternoon (1948) with Janis Paige. He and Carson were in It’s a Great Feeling (1949) with Doris Day. Exhibitors voted him the 21st most popular star in the US for 1948.
Morgan made The Lady Takes a Sailor (1949) then Perfect Strangers (1950) with Rogers and Pretty Baby (1950) with Betsy Drake. He made a Western Raton Pass (1950), and a musical Painting the Clouds with Sunshine (1951). He supported Joan Crawford in This Woman Is Dangerous (1952) then went back to Westerns with Cattle Town (1952). After that his contract with Warners ended.
He appeared in sporadic television guest roles in the 1950s, including the ABC religion anthology series, Crossroads, in the 1955 episode “The Gambler” and as Senator designate Fairchild in an episode of the dramatic anthology series Stage 7, titled “Press Conference” in 1955.
Morgan made films for Sam Katzman, The Gun That Won the West (1955) and Uranium Boom (1956) and went to RKO for Pearl of the South Pacific (1956). He was cast as Dennis O’Finn in the 1958 episode “Bull in a China Shop” on Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
In 1959, Morgan appeared as a regular, Dennis Chase, in eleven episodes of the crime drama, 21 Beacon Street, with Joanna Barnes and Brian Kelly.
Dennis Morgan died in 1994 of respiratory failure in Fresno, California.