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'Mission: Impossible' actor dies

Morris obit

August 28, 1996
Web posted at: 1:20 a.m. EDT

LAS VEGAS (CNN) -- Greg Morris, who played the technical expert on the long-running television series "Mission: Impossible," died Tuesday at his Las Vegas home, a coroner's office spokeswoman said. He was 62.

Morris was found dead in his flat by a maintenance worker, and the cause of death was not immediately known. The actor had been fighting an admitted alcohol problem, and was suffering from lung and brain cancer.

Morris earned critical acclaim for his role as electronics whiz Barney Collier on the popular CBS series that aired from 1966 to 1973. He was one of the nation's first black television stars.

However, following the successful seven-year run, Morris slipped into obscurity. He re-emerged to play a supporting role in "Vega$" on ABC from 1979 to 1981.

Morris survived a serious car accident in 1981 and did not reappear on television until a short-lived remake of "Mission: Impossible," which also featured his son, Phil, in 1989. Greg Morris appeared in a cameo role.

In an interview in May during the release of the Tom Cruise movie, "Mission: Impossible," Morris said he was grateful people were talking to him again in connection with the film.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Morris moved to Hollywood in the early 1960s and played small roles in series such as "Dr. Kildare," "The Twilight Zone" and "The Dick Van Dyke Show" before "Mission: Impossible."

Reuters contributed to this report.


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