Jack Morrison in St. Elsewhere

David Morse - Proof of Life

The Record November 11, 1989; SATURDAY; ALL EDITIONS

Copyright 1989 Bergen Record Corp.

November 11, 1989; SATURDAY; ALL EDITIONS

LENGTH: 306 words

After Elsewhere; David Morse From Saint To Sinner

SOURCE: Wire services

BYLINE: United Press International

David Morse, who for six years played Dr. Jack "Boomer" Morrison in the St. Elsewhere series, has found life after TV.

He worried about TV stars like Carroll O'Connor in All in the Family, who were so fixed in their characterizations that it took years to break loose from their images.

Morse has grown a beard for his part in a remake of the movie classic The Desperate Hours. And, in blue jeans and sports shirt, he looked nothing like the soft-spoken Doc Morrison. "In some ways St. Elsewhere was a good springboard for me," he said. "It got me out there in the public eye."

He spoke of his new movie venture: "Best of all is breaking the block between TV and feature films with Desperate Hours.' There is a psychological barrier there. And I'm playing a really wild guy, a criminal.

I'm not making a big effort to change my image. Every character I play is inside me. It's just a matter of bringing him to life.

"Stardom can be a fleeting thing, an up-and-down ride, but actors have careers. Some people pursue stardom relentlessly and sometimes they achieve it, but I think you can lose a lot doing that. I'm more interested in working.

"I had no idea that St. Elsewhere would become so popular. I told myself that anything so good and well-written couldn't survive on TV. I expected it to last 13 weeks, not six years.

"There were times when I thought Morrison was put through too much.

A human being couldn't survive so many troubles and tragedies without taking viewers out of the story.

"Even in a show like that, the repetition of characterization and the pressure to compromise eventually dull your instincts. A voice inside you says, You can do better,' but that voice is told to be quiet and it takes the edge off your performance."



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