Fred was a
character actor who appeared in scads of TV shows and movies. He
was not the first actor to play Harry Morton on the Burns & Allen
TV show. Hal March and John Brown came before him. Every
time an actor took the mantle of Harry Morton, the character changed
dramatically. Never was there as sharp of change in the Harry
Morton character than when Fred Clark played him. He was, without
a doubt, the most distinct and, in my opinion, the best of the
actors. I'm a huge, HUGE fan of Larry Keating (who played Harry
Morton after Fred did), but Fred made the most interesting character.
When Fred came, Harry Morton was a big guy. In one episode,
Blanche remarks that he's 6' 2". Other sources say 6' 1".
In any case, he was tall for the times and towered over the other cast
members. He was bald-headed, mustachioed, with a permanently
fixed grumpy expression on his face. His Harry was fairly
athletic and not real fat, but just a little pot belly on him.
Harry ate ALL the time. As much as he ate, it was surprising that
he wasn't fatter than he was. Fred's Harry was fairly swift (he
was, after all, a realtor), but childlike in personality. He's
not a terrible brute, just grumpy.
It was also convincing, appearances wise, that he played husband to
Blanche Morton. They looked about the same age. Actor Hal
March looked way too young for actress Bea Benaderet. John Brown
was maybe about the right age, but looked just slightly too old.
Plus he was a shrimp and someone Blanche could've easily overpowered if
she wanted to, although Brown's Harry was always on top. Larry
Keating, who came after Fred Clark, looked too old for Bea and too
distinguished. Blanche was a bit too plain and regular; down to
earth. I still love Larry on the show, greatly, but Fred's a bit
closer to reality. It also made sense that Harry, being married
to Blanche, was a jock type. He seemed the type she would've gone
for. Blanche herself had a bit of the cheerleader/school girl in
her that would've been attracted to a big dope like Harry.
Although maybe the most memorable Harry Morton, Fred Clark stayed with
the show from 1951 to 1953. Larry Keating, also an excellent, but
different, Harry Morton picked up where he left off and stayed with the
show until the series ended, and played the character again in the
George Burns Show of 1958-1959.
I would like to know much more about Fred Clark than I do. If you
can help, please CONTACT ME.