Posted on Mon, Aug. 12, 2002
Philadelphia Daily News
Made for screen, big or small
With the exception of a few weeks starring in Big Wave Dave's in 1993, David Morse hasn't worked as a TV series regular since St. Elsewhere left the air 14 years ago.
And the Morse familiar to moviegoers today - broad-shouldered and a bit weathered - seems a world away from the slim and terminally sensitive Dr. Jack "Boomer" Morrison, who experienced just about every bad thing, from widowerhood to rape, in his six years at St. Eligius.
"David always delivered whether we gave him tragedy or comedy or romance," former St. Elsewhere producer Tom Fontana recalled.
"Plus, he's got that face that's so sweet, tragic, tortured."
That face was his misfortune after the show ended.
"It was very hard to make the transition out of St. Elsewhere to doing movies," Morse said. "People just thought of me as that character."
His break came, he said, just before the move to Philadelphia, when Sean Penn cast him in The Crossing Guard, as the drunken driver who killed Jack Nicholson's young daughter. Earlier, Penn had also hired him to play the lead in The Indian Runner.
"Even though people didn't see them when they first came out and it didn't get me the kind of attention that my agents would have liked or even in my own way I would have liked, it gave me a credibility," Morse said.
"So that when I went for other film roles, even though they were smaller, something like Extreme Measures or Long Kiss Goodnight...the people making those movies had seen them and it got me in the door sometimes. And over time, those things just added up."
As a result, Morse's filmography has grown remarkably since he settled in Philadelphia some eight years ago.
Copyright (c) 2002 Philadelphia Daily News