The Rifleman
"Welcome to The McCain Ranch"

Rex Morgan Jr.

Honest Abe Rex Morgan Sr. as The Storekeeper

Rex Morgan, Jr. son of Rex Morgan Sr.: At the time the episode was filmed, my dad hosted Morgan in the Morning, a popular local show on WFIL-TV, Channel 6, in Philadelphia. The set for his show shared studio space with "American Bandstand" when it originated in Philly, and Dad had a office adjacent to Dick Clark's.

Dad was Philadelphia TV personality from 1961 to 1969, hosting a variety of shows on WFIL, including a stint as a kids show host "Ranger Rex." He also hosted a show called "Morgan at the Movies," which took him to movie sets around the world. He had a bit parts in a few, including a scene opposite Julie Andrews in "Star!" and a scene with Carol O'Connor in the Blake Edwards comedy "What Did You Do In the War, Daddy?"
My dad led an unforgettable life -- he grew up in Denver, where he was all-state in football, wrestling and track. He earned a football scholarship to the University of Pennsylvania, back when Penn was a national football power. He was a captain in the Army's Quartermaster Corps during WWII, where he was a assigned to a graves registration unit. Eventually, he became the "Chief Mortician of the European Theater," setting up American cemeteries around the continent with his men. This position garnered him two bits of infamy -- he was the attending mortician at the hangings of the top Nazis convicted at the Nuremberg Trials, and he embalmed and was a pallbearer for General George Patton when he died from injuries sustained in a car crash.

My dad passed in 1989 and was buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery. His grave is located alongside "George Patton Drive." Dad would have enjoyed that!  
Meanwhile, here's a link to a page about my dad from a Philly organization called Broadcast Pioneers. The page says that he was a "hangman at Nuremberg," which isn't correct. He was in charge of disposing of the bodies, which he had to cremate in secret.

You're right about the Rifleman booking local TV and radio talent on the show. Pick Temple, a Baltimore TV personality, also appeared in "Honest Abe."

My father, Rex S. Morgan, Sr., passed in 1989 and is buried along Patton Drive in Arlington National Cemetery. His life was an incredible journey and those knew him never forgot him. As mentioned above, he was a TV personality with Channel 6, then WFIL-TV, in Philadelphia from 1961-69, beginning with a show called "Morgan in the Morgan" (which shared the same studio space with Dick Clark and American Bandstand) He hosted a variety of other shows at the station, including a stint as the kid TV host "Ranger Rex." He appeared in an episode of "The Rifleman" (Honest Abe) and also had cameos in several Hollywood movies. Also of note: He was a captain in the Army''s Quartermaster Corps during WWII, where he eventually became the Chief Mortician of the European Theater. He and his men set up American cemeteries around Europe. He had two big claims to fame in that role: He embalmed and served as a pallbearer for General George Patton (if you exhume Patton today, you'll find Dad's business card in his be-ribboned Army jacket). Dad was also the attending mortician at the Nuremberg hangings, cutting down the bodies of the top Nazis and cremating their remains. (The ashes were disposed of in secret.) Dad was a proud graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where he played football before and after the war. There are many other notable achievements and stories to tell but suffice it to say that Dad was an original, a uniquely funny man, and an unforgettable character who was loved by many people. I miss him dearly to this day. 
Thanks to Rex Morgan Jr. for this great information on your "Pa'.

Rex Morgan Sr. & Johnny Crawford

Rex Morgan Sr., TV Personality During the 60's

Rex Morgan Sr. — Find A Grave

Character Actors Index Page
Have you ever been watching TV or a movie and wondered who is that guy?

Tragedy Among the Stars

Site Map
around The McCain Ranch