On this day in Duluth in 1893, actor Philip Morris was born Francis Charles Philip Morris. Like his father before him, Morris made his money as a traveling salesman, and by 1920 he had married, had two children and moved to California. Some time during the next ten years he caught the acting bug, adopted the screen name Philip Morris and landed his first part in the 1931 short drama Framed. Over the next 19 years he would appear in over 100 films, often playing a detective or police officer. He took small, uncredited roles portraying a politician in Citizen Kane (1941), a police officer in The Magnificent Andersons (1942), and a customer of Bailey Brothers Building & Loan in It’s a Wonderful Life (1946). He did receive credit for some roles, including that of a guard in the mystery Return of the Terror (1934) and a U.S. Marshal in the 1948 western West of the Pecos. His final appearance on film was as a bartender in The Flying Saucer (1949); he died in Los Angeles on December 18, 1949, just a few months after shooting The Flying Saucer. Read David Ouse’s biography of Morris here.
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