|Born||February 1, 1937|
|Birthplace||New Orleans, Louisiana|
|Occupation(s)|| Actor |
|2 Broke Girls|
Morris was a church-choir singer from his youth, trained at the Juilliard School of Music, and graduated from Dillard University in 1958. Early in his career, he soloed with the Harry Belafonte singers. He performed in a number of Broadway musicals, including Hallelujah, Baby! and Ain't Supposed to Die a Natural Death. He also appeared as a high school teacher in the film Cooley High. He had a small role as a police sergeant in The Anderson Tapes (1970). Morris also lived in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where he worked as a postal carrier.
Life and CareerEdit
Garrett Morris is a writer, actor, singer, composer and comedian with more than 50 years in the entertainment industry. Born and raised in New Orleans, Morris was always performing, even at a young age. As a member of the Baptist Church where his grandfather preached, he found his passion for performing while singing in the church choir and participating in the church plays. After studying voice and composition at Dillard University, he relocated to New York to continue his training in voice at Julliard.
His credits include more than 50 Broadway and Off-Broadway shows and 70 motion picture and television performances. He has also written two Off-Broadway plays. Morris' Broadway credits include "Ain't Supposed to Die a Natural Death" and "Porgie & Bess." He was the collaborating director for the award-winning short film, "Lying Right Here."
As a singer and songwriter, Morris has worked with Harry Belafonte as well as several singing groups on the east coast.
Morris was an original cast member on "Saturday Night Live." His many television credits include "The Jamie Foxx Show," "Martin," "Hunter," "The Jeffersons" and most recently, "Shameless." His feature film credits include "Cooley High," "Car Wash" and "Jackpot," for which he was nominated for a Spirit Award.
Morris is the host and co-owner of The Downtown Comedy Club in Los Angeles. Currently, he resides in Los Angeles. His birth date is Feb. 1.
Saturday Night LiveEdit
Morris has appeared in numerous television shows and movies since the early 1970s, but is best known as one of the original cast members of NBC's Saturday Night Live. Periodically on SNL he sang classical music: once a Mozart aria when guest-host Walter Matthau designated him as a "musical guest...in place of the usual crap", and once a Schubert lied while the titles on the screen purported to express his colleagues' displeasure at having to accommodate a misguided request by him. In February 1977, he sang Tchaikovsky's Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt barefoot in colorful Caribbean dress while subtitles explained he had just returned from Jamaica where he had picked up a girl by claiming to be Harry Belafonte.
One of Morris's best known characters on SNL was the Dominican baseball player Chico Escuela. Chico spoke only limited and halting English, so the joke centered on him responding to almost any question with his catch phrase: "Baseball... been berra berra good... to me." Another recurring bit, used in the newscast segment "Weekend Update", involved Morris being presented as "President of the New York School for the Hard of Hearing" and assisting the newscaster by shouting the main headlines, in a parody of the then-common practice of providing sign language interpretation in an inset on the screen as an aid to the deaf viewer.
According to the book Saturday Night: A Backstage History of Saturday Night Live, Morris was frequently unhappy during his tenure on SNL from 1975–1980, and expressed the opinion that he was usually typecast in stereotypical roles. African-American performers who have followed Morris on Saturday Night Live have at times been publicly concerned with not experiencing the same fate Morris did. Eddie Murphy, for example, told TV Guide in the early 1980s that SNL producer Jean Doumanian "had tried to Garrett Morris me."