Robert Morse, known for “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” and “Mad Men,” dies at 90


Robert Morse, the mischievous actor and singer who rose to prominence as the Tony Award-winning star of Broadway’s How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and later starred in AMC’s Mad Men as an eccentric elder statesman of advertising, died yesterday. He was 90 years old.

Robert Morse, known for "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" and "Mad Men," dies at 90
image credits: nbcnews

His death was verified by his son Charlie to a Los Angeles ABC affiliate on Wednesday night, and Larry Karaszewski, a writer, producer, and VP on the board of governors for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, announced it on Twitter this morning.

Bobby Morse, a longtime friend of mine, died at the age of 90,” Karaszewski stated. “A big talent with a lovely soul.” I’m sending my heartfelt condolences to his son Charlie and daughter Allyn. Over the years, I’ve had a lot of fun hanging out with Bobby, filming People v OJ and organising a lot of screenings (How To Succeed, Loved One, That’s Life).


Morse was a two-time Tony Award winner (for 1961’s How To Succeed and subsequently, the 1989 Truman Capote one-man stage bio Tru), as well as a seven-time Emmy nominee, with a win for the 1992 American Playhouse production of Tru. Mad Men received five of his Emmy nominations.

Though Morse would return to Broadway four more times starting in the early 1970s, he spent much of the 1960s and subsequent decades in film and television, with roles in films such as The Cardinal (1963), Honeymoon Hotel (1964), Quick, Before It Melts (1964), A Guide for the Married Man (1967), Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mama’s Hung You in the Closet and I’m Feeling So Sad (1967), and Where Were You When the Lights Went Out? (1968).

In the meantime, Morse’s television career remained active and consistent. He appeared on shows like Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Car 54 Where Are You?, That’s Life, Love, American Style, Fantasy Island, One Day at a Time, The Dukes of Hazzard, Murder, She Wrote, Trapper John, Suddenly Susan, City of Angels, and American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson from the late 1950s to the early 2000s.


Morse worked as a voice actor on a variety of shows, including The First Easter Rabbit, Jack Frost, Pound Puppies, Tiny Toon Adventures, Rugrats, Superman: The Animated Series, The Wild Thornberrys, and Teen Titans Go!

Morse would return to Broadway — at the age of 85 – in a star-studded 2016 revival of The Front Page, alongside Nathan Lane, John Goodman, Holland Taylor, Dylan Baker, Patricia Conolly, and Morse’s Mad Men co-star John Slattery, among others.

Morse is survived by wife Elizabeth Roberts, daughters Andrea Doven, Hilary Morse, and Robin Morse, all actresses, and two children by Roberts, son Charles Morse and daughter Allyn Morse. His first marriage (to actress Carole D’Andrea) ended in divorce.


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