NEW YORK (AP) — Actor Robert Morse, who gained a Tony Award as a hilariously brash company climber in “Easy methods to Reach Enterprise With out Actually Making an attempt” and a second one a technology later because the sensible, troubled Truman Capote in “Tru,” has died. He was 90.
Morse died at his dwelling Wednesday after a short sickness, mentioned David Shaul of BRS/Gage Expertise Company.
The boyishly good-looking Morse first made his identify on Broadway within the Fifties, and landed some roles in Hollywood comedies within the Nineteen Sixties. “I think about myself an actor — shyly,” he instructed the Los Angeles Instances in 1964. “I like appearing. It’s an amazing use of physique and thoughts… With all humility, you hope that you’re doing one thing worthwhile.”
Extra just lately, he performed the autocratic and eccentric chief of an promoting company in “Mad Males,” AMC’s hit drama that debuted in 2007. The function earned him an Emmy nomination in 2008 as finest visitor actor in a drama sequence.
“He radiated a depraved pleasure; it was unimaginable to observe him with out immediately sharing his giddy delight,” wrote playwright Paul Rudnick.
Morse was already well-established on Broadway, with two Tony nominations to his credit score, when he grew to become nationally well-known at age 30 because the star of Abe Burrows and Frank Loesser’s smash 1961 Broadway satire of company life, “Easy methods to Succeed…”. The present gained each the Pulitzer Prize and the Tony for finest musical and ran for greater than three years.
Morse’s bright-eyed J. Pierrepont Finch was a grasp of company backstabbing — with a toothy grin — as he went from Manhattan window washer to titan on the World Extensive Wicket firm with the assistance of slightly “how-to” paperback on workplace politics.
The musical’s track titles recommend the button-down, pre-feminist enterprise world: “The Firm Approach,” a theme track for yes-men; “A Secretary Is Not a Toy,” a track that winks at workplace dalliance; “Espresso Break,” a tribute to caffeine; and the hymn Finch sings to himself: “I Consider in You.” Finch toadies as much as the getting older boss, performed by Twenties crooner Rudy Vallee, by becoming a member of within the outdated man’s faculty combat track, “Grand Previous Ivy.”
“Think about a collaboration between Horatio Alger and Machiavelli and you’ve got Finch, the intrepid hero of this sortie into the canyons of commerce,” The New York Instances wrote. “As performed with unfaltering bravura and wit by Robert Morse, he’s a rumpled, dimpled angel with a streak of Lucifer.”
The 1967 movie model of “How To Succeed” dropped some songs however in any other case saved near the stage unique. Morse was again, as was Vallee.
However Morse’s movie profession largely didn’t take off.
He was again on Broadway in 1972 — and picked up one other Tony nomination — for “Sugar,” producer David Merrick’s musical model of “Some Like It Scorching.” Morse starred as Jerry, the half performed by Jack Lemmon within the Billy Wilder comedy about two male musicians who disguise themselves as girls to get away from murderous gangsters.
“Tru,” a one-man present based mostly on Capote’s writings, revived Morse’s stage profession in 1989.
“His Capote is wickedly humorous, a sly imp able to ship an off-color joke concerning the Queen Mum, zing Robert Goulet or rhapsodize concerning the time he tap-danced for Louis Armstrong. …,” Related Press drama critic Michael Kuchwara wrote in his evaluate. “However there’s a determined facet of Capote, too, and Morse rises to the ache.”
In 1993, the televised model of “Tru” (PBS) gained Morse an Emmy for finest actor in a miniseries or particular. (In the meantime, a 1995 Broadway revival of “Easy methods to Succeed…” introduced one other Tony for its Finch, Matthew Broderick.)
Tv’s “Mad Males” returned Morse to the “Easy methods to Succeed” milieu of Manhattan workplace politics, Nineteen Sixties-style.
When Morse landed in Hollywood after his “Easy methods to Succeed” triumph, columnist Hedda Hopper predicted in 1963: “If Robert Morse comes over on display as he does on stage, he’ll have youngsters screaming and moms desirous to undertake him. He has an innate sense of comedy and a humorous face to go together with it.”
Amongst his movies was “The Beloved One,” a 1965 black comedy about an Englishman’s encounter with Hollywood and the funeral business, based mostly on the satirical novel by Evelyn Waugh.
“I don’t assume when it comes to whether or not an image will assist or hinder my profession,” Morse instructed the Los Angeles Instances when the movie was in manufacturing. “I consider who I’m working with.” Amongst his “Beloved One” co-stars had been Jonathan Winters, John Gielgud and Tab Hunter.
Morse was born Could 18, 1931, in Newton, Massachusetts, and made his Broadway debut in 1955 in “The Matchmaker.”
He obtained back-to-back Tony nominations for his subsequent two roles: in 1959 for finest featured actor in a play for “Say, Darling,” and in 1960 for finest actor in a musical for “Take Me Alongside,” which additionally starred Jackie Gleason.
“Say, Darling” was a comedy a few younger author’s expertise as his novel is was a Broadway present. The play was based mostly on the creation of “The Pajama Recreation,” and Morse’s character, a “boy producer” who hated being referred to as that, was modeled on Harold Prince, a “Pajama Recreation” co-producer.
Reviewing his profession, Morse instructed The New York Instances in 1989: “Issues change. I by no means acquired an opportunity to be in a play or image the place I performed a father, or had a household, or the place I might really feel or present one thing. The wild baby in me by no means had an opportunity to develop up.”
He mentioned he had efficiently battled alcohol and drug abuse, however added, “I don’t assume ingesting acquired in the way in which of my work. I did my job. It was the opposite 22 hours I had an issue with.”
Nonetheless, he mentioned of his profession, “I didn’t assume it was going to finish or not finish. I simply plowed on. In the future you hear `We love you, Bobby.’ The following day you’re doing voiceovers.”
He’s survived by 5 youngsters, a son Charlie and 4 daughter, Robin, Andrea, Hilary and Allyn.