September 4, 1919
New York City, New York, United States
May 21, 2005
Hollywood, California, United States
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Born in the Bronx in 1919, acclaimed comedy actor Howard Morris had a chance meeting with Carl Reiner in a radio workshop, and once the two entered World War II they spent their time entertaining the troops. Afterwards they worked on the stage together and later joined Sid Caesar's company, performing on "Your Show of Shows" for the first half of the 1950s. Throughout the 1960s Morris launched his prolific and wildly successful voiceover career, appearing in many of the Hanna-Barbera cartoons, including the classic "The Flintstones." Meanwhile he continued to appear on screen in a number of films, including Kim Novak's "Boys' Night Out" and the Tony Curtis comedy " 40 Pounds of Trouble." During this time, he launched his directing career, working on the pilot episode of the parody spy series "Get Smart" and the Doris Day vehicle "With Six You Get Eggroll." Meanwhile he appeared as Ernest T. Bass on "The Andy Griffith Show," the role for which he is best remembered. Throughout the rest of his career he worked tirelessly as a director, voiceover and screen actor. He went on to appear in classics like Mel Brooks's comedy "High Anxiety" and in Ron Howard's mermaid romantic comedy "Splash" and lent his voice to dozens of animated shows, including "DuckTales" and "Garfield and Friends." Morris gave up directing by the late 1980s, but carried on with voice work until his death in 2005.