Robert Morse
Morse at PaleyFest in 2014
Born (1931-05-18) May 18, 1931 (age 90)
OccupationActor, singer
Years active1953–present
  • Carol Ann D'Andreá
    (m. 1961; div. 1981)
  • Elizabeth Roberts
    (m. 1989)

Robert Alan Morse (born May 18, 1931) is an American actor and singer, best known as the star of both the 1961 original Broadway production, for which he won a Tony Award, and the 1967 film adaptation of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and as Bertram Cooper in the critically acclaimed AMC dramatic series Mad Men (2007–2015).[1][2][3][4] He won his second Tony Award for playing Truman Capote in the 1989 production of the one-man play Tru. He reprised his role of Capote in an airing of the play for American Playhouse in 1992, winning him a Primetime Emmy Award.

Early life

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Morse was born on May 18, 1931, in Newton, Massachusetts, the second child of Charles and Mary (Silver) Morse. He attended a number of different schools until finding his inspiration in Henry Lasker, a drama teacher at Newton High School. "He knew what I had burning in me and wanted to express". Upon graduation, he left home for New York City to fulfill his ambition of becoming an actor, joining his elder brother Richard who was already studying acting at the Neighborhood Playhouse. He received an uncredited role in The Proud and Profane (1956), a film starring William Holden and Deborah Kerr. Soon thereafter, he was cast as Barnaby Tucker in the original Broadway production of Thornton Wilder's The Matchmaker, launching his career.


Morse has earned multiple nominations and wins for Tony, Drama Desk and Emmy awards over a period of five decades. He is well known for his appearances in musicals and plays on Broadway, as well as roles in movies and television shows. Perhaps best known for his role as young 1960s New York City businessman J. Pierrepont Finch in the 1961 Broadway production and 1967 film version of the Frank Loesser and Abe Burrows musical, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Morse gained new prominence in the late 2000s for his recurring role of elder 1960s New York City businessman Bertram Cooper on the AMC television show Mad Men.[5]

Having already played Barnaby on Broadway, Morse reprised the role in the 1958 film adaptation of The Matchmaker, this time opposite Shirley Booth. That same year, he won the Theatre World Award and was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play for Say, Darling. What was considered the final step toward full stardom was his performance as J. Pierrepont Finch in the Pulitzer Prize-winning How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. It won him the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical in 1962,[6] and although he was not named on the award, he contributed to the Grammy Award-winning cast album.[7] He also starred in the 1967 movie version.

Photo by Carl Van Vechten, 1958
Photo by Carl Van Vechten, 1958

In 1964, Morse co-starred in the comedy film Quick, Before It Melts. In 1965, Morse appeared in the black comedy film The Loved One, a movie based on the Evelyn Waugh novel of the same name which satirized the funeral business in Los Angeles, in particular Forest Lawn Cemetery. In 1967, he co-starred in Gene Kelly's A Guide for the Married Man, opposite Walter Matthau. In 1968, he appeared in the comedy Where Were You When the Lights Went Out? opposite Doris Day. In the same year, he appeared in the 1968 television series That's Life, which attempted to blend the musical genre with a situation comedy centered on newlyweds "Robert" and "Gloria" (played by E. J. Peaker).[8] In 1968, he guest-starred on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. In 1987, Morse also appeared in the movie The Emperor's New Clothes, which starred Sid Caesar and was part of the Cannon Movie Tales series.[citation needed]

Morse was in the original Broadway cast of Sugar, a 1972 musical stage adaptation of Some Like It Hot, for which he was nominated for another Tony. He won a Tony for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding One-Person Show for his portrayal of Truman Capote in Tru (1989).[9] In 1992, he recreated his performance for the PBS series American Playhouse and won the Emmy Award as Best Actor in a Miniseries or Special. In 1999, Morse was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame for his long career as a stage actor.[10] In 2002, Morse was cast in the role of the Wizard of Oz in the San Francisco run of the musical Wicked, but quit the show before it opened on Broadway. He was replaced by Joel Grey.[11]

Morse joined other performers, including Marlo Thomas, in creating the 1972 Free to Be... You and Me children's album. He also provided the voice for the cartoon character Howler in Hanna Barbera's Pound Puppies. He was the voice of Jack in the 1979 animated Rankin/Bass special Jack Frost. In The First Easter Rabbit, also by Rankin/Bass, he was the voice of the main character, Stuffy.[citation needed]

Morse has appeared in dozens of TV shows going back to the live days of television with the Kraft Theatre and General Electric Theatre. He appeared in five episodes of the CBS Radio Mystery Theater from 1974 to 1976.[citation needed]

Beginning in 2007, Morse took on a recurring role in the critically acclaimed AMC dramatic series Mad Men as Bertram Cooper, a founding partner in the advertising agency Sterling Cooper, for which role he was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series in 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2014.[citation needed]

Morse was cast as journalist Dominick Dunne in the critically acclaimed limited series, The People v. O.J. Simpson on FX.[citation needed]

At the age of 85, Morse returned to Broadway in the 2016 revival of The Front Page with Nathan Lane, John Slattery, John Goodman, and Holland Taylor at the Broadhurst Theatre.[12]

Personal life

Morse has been married twice[9] and has five children.[citation needed]


Year Title Role Theatre Venue Ref.
1955–57 The Matchmaker Barnaby Tucker Royale Theatre, Broadway
Booth Theatre, Broadway
1958–59 Say, Darling Ted Snow ANTA Theatre, Broadway
Martin Beck Theatre, Broadway
1959–60 Take Me Along Richard Miller Shubert Theatre, Broadway
1961–65 How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying J. Pierrepont Finch 46th Street Theatre, Broadway
1972–73 Sugar Jerry Majestic Theatre, Broadway
1976 So Long, 174th Street David Harkness Theatre, Broadway
1980 Sugar Babies Bobby National Tour USA
1984 Duke Cherry County Playhouse, Michigan
1985–86 Light Up the Sky The Old Vic, London
1988 Babes in Toyland The Toy Maker California Music Theatre, Los Angeles
1989–90 Tru Truman Capote Booth Theatre, Broadway
2003 Wicked The Wizard Curran Theatre, San Francisco
2016–17 The Front Page Mr. Pincus Broadhurst Theatre, Broadway



Year Title Role Notes
1956 The Proud and Profane Casualty Uncredited
1958 The Matchmaker Barnaby Tucker
1963 The Cardinal Bobby
1964 Honeymoon Hotel Jay Menlow
1964 Quick, Before It Melts Oliver Cromwell Cannon
1965 The Loved One Dennis Barlow
1967 Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mamma's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feelin' So Sad Jonathan
1967 How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying J. Pierpont Finch
1967 A Guide for the Married Man Edward L. Stander
1968 Where Were You When the Lights Went Out? Waldo Zane
1970 The Boatniks Ensign Garland
1987 Hunk Garrison Gaylord
1987 The Emperor's New Clothes The Tailor
2002 It's All About You Dr. Flowers
2012 The Man Who Shook the Hand of Vicente Fernandez Burt
2016 Donald Trump's The Art of the Deal: The Movie Walter Hoving
2019 Teen Titans Go! vs. Teen Titans Santa Claus Voice


Year Title Role Notes
1954 The Secret Storm Jerry Ames #1 Unknown episodes
1955 Goodyear Television Playhouse N/A Episode: "Man on Spikes"
1956 The Alcoa Hour Jiya Episode: "The Big Wave"
1956 Matinee Theatre Larry Episode: "Eye of the Storm"
1957 Matinee Theatre Frank Wilson Episode: "Rain in the Morning"
1959 Alfred Hitchcock Presents Phil Episode: "Touché"
1959 Play of the Week Gustave Episode: "Thieves Carnival"
1960 Alfred Hitchcock Presents Len Episode: "Hitch Hike"
1960 Play of the Week Professor Pearson Episode: "The Velvet Glove"
1961 Shirley Temple's Storybook Drum Carpenter Episode: "Rebel Gun"
1961 Naked City Richy Wilkin Episode: "Sweet Prince of Delancey Street"
1968–69 That's Life Robert Dickson 26 episodes
1971 Alias Smith and Jones Fred Philpotts Episode: "The Day They Hanged Kid Curry"
1971 Night Gallery Roger Blacker Episode: "Marmalade Wine"
1971 Love, American Style Episode: "Love and the Ledge"
1974 Love, American Style Everett Episode: "Love and the Forever Tree"
1976 The First Easter Rabbit Young Stuffy Voice, Television movie
1978 The Stingiest Man in Town Young Scrooge Voice, Television movie
1978 Fantasy Island Barney Shore Episode: "The Island of Lost Women"
1979 Jack Frost Jack Frost (voice) Television movie
1982 All My Children Harry the Bookie Episode: "20 July 1982"
1982 The Good Book Host / Narrator / Saloon Indian Television pilot
1983 Monchhichis Moncho Voice, 13 episodes
1983 One Day at a Time Frank Sampson Episode: "Worried Heart"
1983 Masquerade N/A Episode: "Pilot"
1984 Calendar Girl Murders Nat Couray Television movie
1984 The Fall Guy Sky Kelly Episode: "Rabbit's Feet"
1984 The Dukes of Hazzard Dewey Hogg Episode: "How to Succeed in Hazzard"
1984 Tales of the Unexpected Stephen Shaw Episode: "Sauce for the Goose"
1985 Murder, She Wrote Marc Faber Episode: "Broadway Malady"
1985 Trapper John, M.D. Honest Wayne McIntyre Episode: "A False Start"
1985 The Twilight Zone Cupid Episode: "Ye Gods"
1986 You Again? Officer Morton Episode: "The Lush Life"
1986–87 Pound Puppies Howler Voice, 25 episodes
1990 Masquerade N/A Television movie
1991 ProStars Additional Voices Unknown episodes
1992 Tiny Toon Adventures Goopy Geer Voice, Episode: "Two-Tone Town"
1992 American Playhouse Truman Capote Episode: "Tru"
1993 Wild Palms Chap Starfall 3 episodes
1995 Aaahh!!! Real Monsters Dootch Voice, Episode: "Where Have All the Monsters Gone?"
1995 Here Come the Munsters Grandpa Television movie
1997 Rugrats Mr. Koch Voice, Episode: "Faire Play"
1997 Superman: The Animated Series Desaad Voice, Episode: "Father's Day"
1997 Union Square Santa Claus Episode: "Jack Gets a Hot Tip"
1998 Suddenly Susan Uncle Bert Episode: "The Thanksgiving Episode"
1999 The Wild Thornberrys Jake Voice, Episode: "Two's Company"
2000 City of Angels Edwin O'Malley 14 episodes
2006 I Did Not Know That Nick Rabinowitz Television movie
2007–15 Mad Men Bertram Cooper 58 episodes
2007 Jeff Ltd. Ron Episode: "Too Many Hens in the Foxhouse"
2014 Sofia the First Marshak / Gnuckles Voices, 2 episodes
2014 The Legend of Korra Governor Voice, Episode: "After All These Years"
2015–19 Teen Titans Go! Santa Claus Voice, 9 episodes
2016 American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson Dominick Dunne 6 episodes
2016 Animals. Old Phil Voice, Episode: "Flies."
2019 Corporate Terry Sales Episode: "The One Who's There"

Video games

Awards and nominations

Tony Awards

Year Category Nominated work Result Ref.
1959 Best Featured Actor in a Play Say, Darling Nominated [14]
1960 Best Actor in a Musical Take Me Along Nominated
1962 Best Actor in a Musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying Won
1973 Best Actor in a Musical Sugar Nominated
1990 Best Actor in a Play Tru Won

Primetime Emmy Awards

Year Category Nominated work Result Ref.
1969 Outstanding Variety Series That's Life Nominated [15]
1993 Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Tru Won
2008 Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series Mad Men Nominated
2010 Nominated
2011 Nominated
2013 Nominated
2014 Nominated

Screen Actors Guild Award

Year Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2008 Outstanding Ensemble in a Drama Series Mad Men Nominated [15]
2010 Nominated
2011 Won
2013 Nominated


  1. ^ Fear, David (May 27, 2014). "Mad Men's Robert Morse on Dancing Into the Sunset". Rolling Stone. ISSN 0035-791X. Retrieved September 12, 2020.
  2. ^ Simonson, Robert (July 11, 2014). ""Mad Men" and In Your Arms Star Robert Morse on Making Jon Hamm Cry". Playbill. Archived from the original on July 15, 2014. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  3. ^ "Robert Morse". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  4. ^ "Madmen: Bertram Cooper". AMC. Retrieved April 7, 2020.
  5. ^ Itzkoff, Dave (May 27, 2014). "Robert Morse on His Big 'Mad Men' Number". The New York Times. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  6. ^ "Tony Awards: Search Past Winners". The Tony Awards. Retrieved April 7, 2020.
  7. ^ "1961 Grammy Winners". Recording Acacemy Grammy Awards. November 20, 2017. Retrieved April 7, 2020.
  8. ^ "That's Life (1968)". Retrieved April 7, 2020.
  9. ^ a b Hutchings, David (January 15, 1990). "His Boyishness a Casualty of Age and Experience, Robert Morse Is Reborn as Truman Capote". People.
  10. ^ Rawson, Christopher (November 17, 1999). "On Stage: New class of theater hall of famers". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  11. ^ Cote, David (October 26, 2005). Wicked: The Grimmerie: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Hit Broadway Musical. Hyperion. ISBN 978-1401308209.
  12. ^ Gans, Andrew (October 26, 2016). "Extra, Extra: Front Page Opens on Broadway Tonight". Playbill. Retrieved April 7, 2020.
  13. ^ "Robert Morse". Internet Broadway Database.
  14. ^ "Robert Morse". Playbill.
  15. ^ a b "Robert Morse". IMDb. Retrieved April 7, 2020.