Another of Julliard's illustrious alumni, Garrett Morris' first significant professional job was as performer and arranger with the Harry Belafonte singers. Morris went on to appear in such Broadway productions as Porgy and Bess, Hallelujah Baby, and Ain't Supposed to Die a Natural Death. He also wrote two plays, The Secret Place and Daddy Picou and Marie LeVeau. His first film gig was as a makeup artist on This Property is Condemned (1967); he made his movie acting bow in 1970. After a season's worth of supporting appearances on the 1973-74 sitcom Roll Out, Morris was hired as one of the Not Ready for Prime Time Players on NBC's Saturday Night Live. After his SNL stint, Morris could be seen in film supporting roles, most amusingly as "Famous Amos" takeoff Chocolate Charlie in the otherwise indifferent 1985 horror film The Stuff. He also made a return visit to Broadway, starring in I'm Not Rappaport. Back on TV, Garret Morris was seen regularly as Stan Kemrite on Martin (1992-1994) and on the weekly sitcoms of Ellen Cleghorne and Jamie Foxx.
Biography by Hal Erickson
- Raised by his grandfather, a Southern Baptist minister; started singing in the church choir at age 5.
- Sang as a soloist with the Harry Belafonte Singers from 1958 to 1968.
- Was drafted into the Army in 1961 and served an 18-month stint as an X-ray technician.
- Was the first African-American cast member of Saturday Night Live, from 1975 to 1980.
- Suffered a near-fatal gunshot wound when he was the victim of a botched robbery in 1994.
- Received an Independent Spirit Award nomination as Best Supporting Male for the 2001 film Jackpot.