Robert Alan Morse (May 18, 1931 – April 20, 2022) was an American actor and singer who was best known for his roles as Bertram Cooper in the critically acclaimed AMC drama series Mad Men (2007–2015).
And also as the star of both the 1961 original Broadway production and the 1967 film adaptation of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.
This article is more focused on the early life of Robert Morse and his father, Charles Morse.
Early Life Of Robert Morse
Morse was born on May 18, 1931, in Newton, Massachusetts, to parents Charles and Mary (Silver) Morse.
He was the second of their three children. He went to a number of different schools until discovering Henry Lasker, a theater teacher at Newton High School, who served as his inspiration and mentor.
When he graduated, he moved to New York City to pursue his dream of becoming an actor, where he joined his older brother Richard, who was already enrolled in acting classes at the Neighborhood Playhouse.
He appeared in the film The Proud and the Profane (1956), which also starred William Holden and Deborah Kerr, but was given no credit.
Shortly after, he was cast as Barnaby Tucker in the original Broadway production of Thornton Wilder’s play The Matchmaker, which marked the beginning of his professional acting career.
Charles Morse, Meet Robert Morse’s Father
Charles Wyman Morse (October 21, 1856 – January 12, 1933) was an American businessman and speculator who was known for his deception and unethical business methods. He formerly had control over 13 banks.
Early in his career, he became known as the “Ice King” after establishing a monopoly in New York’s ice market through Tammany Hall corruption, before buying other shipping firms and going into high finance.
His attempt to control copper-share prices triggered a wave of selling that culminated in the Panic of 1907. He was imprisoned for breaking federal banking regulations but was freed after feigning significant sickness.
He was later charged with war profiteering and fraud.