Actor Harry Morgan, best remembered as doting husband Col. Sherman Potter on TV's M*A*S*H, was charged Wednesday with spousal battery against his 70-year-old wife, Barbara.

The 81-year-old Morgan faces up to one year in jail and/or a fine of $6,000 for the misdemeanor charge. Morgan was arrested July 2 at the couple's home in Brentwood for allegedly attacking his wife of 10 years, said Deputy City Attorney Mitchell Fox.

Los Angeles police, responding to Barbara Morgan's 911 call, heard yelling and screaming inside the house. The officers looked into the house through a stained-glass window near the front door and saw Barbara Morgan limping.

She had a red, swollen left foot, a one-quarter-inch cut near her right eye and a bruised right arm. Paramedics treated her at home, but she was later taken by police to a hospital for additional treatment, Fox said.

Barbara Morgan told police that an argument that began during a dinner party earlier in the evening continued when the couple returned home, then turned violent.

Harry Morgan, who has played a judge, a D.A. and several cops, was arrested, booked for spousal battery and released on $5,000 bail.

Surprisingly, domestic violence knows no retirement age. And, according to counselors, the number of incidents of reported spousal abuse among senior citizens is increasing. Experts say all ages have been educated and sensitized to the issue in recent years and are apt to report abuse now more than ever. Even so, seniors still account for a small number of all reported cases of domestic violence.

"We do not get a very large number of calls regarding domestic violence among seniors...probably one to two percent of calls we receive," said Lola Haag, a director of Los Angeles' Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Abuse. "But it definitely is on the rise." Haag said that the increase might also be attributed to the growing senior population.

Harry Morgan's arraignment is set for July 23 in West Los Angeles Municipal Court.

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share

We and our partners use cookies on this site to improve our service, perform analytics, personalize advertising, measure advertising performance, and remember website preferences. By using the site, you consent to these cookies. For more information on cookies including how to manage your consent visit our Cookie Policy.