Robert Morse


Broadway star and Mad Men actor Robert Morse has died aged 90. Noted for his wily, gap-toothed smile, his stage career began in the mid-50s. A Tony-winning go as ambitious window washer J. Pierrepont Finch in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying launched him into stardom, a defining role that he reprised in a film adaptation in 1967. Morse grew disdainful of seemingly being consigned to zany comedic roles, so relished a more dramatic turn as Truman Capote in a one-man show that won him his second Tony in 1989. He was thus one of the few performers to win both a musical and dramatic Tony.

Morse largely focused on TV afterwards, alternating between cartoon and live action roles. He won a new legion of fans in the aughts with his portrayal of Bertram Cooper in acclaimed drama Mad Men. The eccentric-yet-conniving senior partner at the Sterling Cooper firm, Cooper was so fixated on Japanese culture and customs that he was rarely seen with shoes on. The second wind Morse enjoyed from the role spurred him to return to Broadway one last time in 2016. Cooper dies while watching the Apollo 11 Moon landing (though makes a few further appearances as a tap-dancing apparition, in a nod to Morse’s Broadway roots), and now that Morse himself enters the Sea of Tranquility, theme team Lullabye-bye of Broadway takes a bow.

Robert Morse
31 May 1931 – 20 April 2022, aged 90
💀💀💀💀💀 + 👻 = 9 POINTS