"Welcome to The McCain Ranch"
Rex Morgan Jr.
― Rex Morgan Sr. as The
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,
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!
a link to a page about my dad from a Philly organization
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'.
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