Born in Missouri
September 20, 1934, Morris was raised in Lubbock, Texas. In
high school he played football for Lubbock High. After high school, he went
Hollywood and worked his way into movies and television.
At first, he parked cars
at Lawry's Restaurant and at Trader Vic's, where he met and somehow
convinced Broderick Crawford to give him a small part on Highway
Patrol. His first acting job turned out to be a disaster, when the
young actor got so nervous that he forgot his lines and ran from the
set. This small setback aside, Jeff Morris soon began to rack up a
steady stream of character roles that would gain him notice. Along
the way, he worked with many of Hollywood's greats, including Clint
Eastwood, Jack Nicholson, and Meryl Streep.
According to fellow west Texan, Whitney Rix Victory II, "Shortly
after arriving in Hollywood, Jeff called his father in Lubbock in
the wee hours of the morning. It went something like this: “Dad?”
“Yes Morris, what's wrong?” “Dad, I just met Johnny Carson at a
party!” “Morris, call me back in the morning when I wake up, you'll
still have just met Johnny Carson!!!”
roles was Bob, the owner of Bob's Country Bunker, in The Blues
Brothers. He later reprised his role in Blues Brothers 2000. He also
had roles in many war films, including Private Cowboy in Kelly's
Heroes and in television westerns, Death Valley Days.
Morris also acted in the hit TV series Bonanza with fellow
west Texan Dan Blocker.
Morris appeared in a number of films starring Jack Nicholson, among
them Goin' South, The Border, Ironweed, The Two Jakes, The Crossing
Guard and Anger Management.
Respected as a "fine
actor" by all who knew him, Jeff Morris was also known as a
hard-charging, no-nonsense fellow who would let you know exactly
what he was thinking As Nicholson said of Jeff shortly after his
death, "Jeff was an old-fashioned, rough man."
Morris died in Los Angeles July 12, 2004 when he was 69.