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Tom Morga

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Tom Morga
Tom Morga 2009.jpg

Tom Morga in 2009

Birth name: Thomas Alvin Morga
Date of birth: 27 November 1941
Place of birth: Mission Hills, Burbank, California, USA
Roles: Stunt double, Stunt Actor
Character(s): Too many to list
Tom Morga and Frakes.jpg

Tom Morga and Jonathan Frakes

Tom Morga and Jonathan Frakes
You may also be looking for comic book artist Tom Morgan.

Thomas "Tom" Alvin Morga (born 27 November 1941; age 73) is a stuntman, stunt actor, and stunt coordinator who holds the record for being the most seen stuntman in Star Trek. Between 1979 and 2005 he appeared in six feature films and all four spin-off television series, doubled main actors and guest actors, and played almost every major species.

Morga also served as assistant stunt coordinator to Dennis Madalone on Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Star Trek: Voyager for fourteen years. This position included fight choreography for episodes such as "Blood Oath" and the creating of props such as the blade weapons in "Battle Lines". For the majority of his appearances he received no on-screen credits.

Several costumes worn by Morga were sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay, including his costumes from the episodes "The Abandoned", [1] "Body and Soul", [2] "Descent", [3] "First Flight", [4] which was also worn by background actor Michael McAdam, and "Darkling" [5] and costume parts from his appearance in "Violations". [6] The description for the latter costume features the sentence: A sewn in Voyager tag denotes wear by veteran stunt man Tom Morga, a name more known than the one he is doubling for.

Early life and career Edit

Spock double Tom Morga

Morga doubling "Spock" in 1979

Morga was born in Mission Hills, Burbank, California. While in college, he worked as a smokejumper, stationed in Missoula, Montana, between 1969 and 1974. Morga's work as a smokejumper landed him his first television appearance when he was featured in an episode of the animal documentary television series Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom. In the episode in which he appeared, his team saved a wild buffalo herd from a forest fire. This experience inspired him to take up a stunt career.

He began his career in the stunt industry in the '70s and performed in several live stunt shows, including one for the Universal Studios Tour. He moved on to work as stunt double for Patrick Duffy in the television series The Man from Atlantis (1977-1978), where he performed alongside Gene LeBell and Hubie Kerns under the coordination of the late Paul Stader. His work included doubling for Duffy in scenes outside the water and on the surface. This was also the first time he worked as stunt coordinator for an episode.

He also doubled Duffy in a few episodes of the long-running soap Dallas and landed parts in films such as the three-time Golden Globe-nominated Movie Movie (1978) and the first Star Trek feature film, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, in which he doubled Spock actor Leonard Nimoy.

1980s Edit

In the 1980s, Morga doubled actor Jeff Goldblum on the television series Tenspeed and Brown Shoe (1980), which starred Ben Vereen and was coordinated by Dennis Madalone. He then doubled Bruce Boxleitner on Scarecrow and Mrs. King (1983-1987), after which he was Star Trek Nemesis actor Ron Perlman's double in the fantasy series The Beauty and the Beast (1987-1990). This latter series also featured Armin Shimerman and Tony Jay.

In 1982 Morga became a member of the "Stuntmen's Association of Motion Pictures". He received screen-time on series such as Dynasty (starring Joan Collins), Hart to Hart, MacGyver, The Six-Million-Dollar Man, Matlock, Fantasy Island (starring Ricardo Montalban), Spenser: For Hire (starring Avery Brooks), and the first spin-off Star Trek series Star Trek: The Next Generation. Other actors he doubled for film and television projects include James Keach, James Coburn, David Hasselhoff, John Travolta, the late Walter Matthau, and Steve Railsback.

Besides his television work he was busy on the big screen, as well. He doubled Harold Ramis in Ghost Busters (1984) and performed in Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment (1985, with the late David Graf), Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins (1985, alongside Kate Mulgrew, Joel Grey, George Coe, Patrick Kilpatrick, and Michael Pataki), the sequel Jaws: The Revenge (1987), the science fiction film Alien Nation (1988, with Earl Boen, Roger Aaron Brown, Frank Collison, Jeff Kober, Brian Thompson, and Keone Young), and three more Star Trek feature films.

During this period he stepped into another genre he became famous for: the horror film. Morga played the lead villain, Michael Myers, in the first scenes of Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988). He also played another iconic villain, Jason Voorhees in Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985) and also appeared in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986).

1990s and beyond Edit

Tom Morga, Reman

Morga as a Reman in Nemesis

In the 1990s he continued his work in feature films, appearing in Hudson Hawk (1991), Child's Play 3 (1991, starring Brad Dourif), Sam Raimi's Army of Darkness (1992, again with Dennis Madalone, and with Christopher Doyle and Patricia Tallman), the seven-time Academy Award-nominated The Shawshank Redemption (1994, with Bill Bolender, Brian Brophy, Clancy Brown, Jude Ciccolella, Bob Gunton, Don McManus, Mark Rolston, William Sadler), Batman Forever (1995, with Rene Auberjonois and Ed Begley, Jr.), Independence Day (1996, with Brent Spiner), Deep Impact (1998, with James Cromwell and Denise Crosby), and The Mask of Zorro (1998). He again doubled Jeff Goldblum in the sequel The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) and performed in the sixth Star Trek feature, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.

He also continued appearing on television shows, including NYPD Blue (starring Gordon Clapp and Sharon Lawrence), Babylon 5 (starring Andreas Katsulas, Bill Mumy, and Star Trek stunt partner Patricia Tallman), Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, She Spies, Dragnet, and as stunt double for Michael Richards on Seinfeld (co-starring Jason Alexander).

Tom Morga, TNG Firstborn

Morga on a continuity polaroid from the episode "Firstborn" in 1994.

In 2001 he doubled Keith Carradine in the film Cahoots and appeared in Dr. Dolittle 2. He acted in Dennis Madalone's music video "America We Stand as One" (2002), on which he was also assistant director.

His additional credits include: the comic adaptation Spider-Man (2002) alongside Spice Williams-Crosby and starring Kirsten Dunst; the short film Jennifer is Dead (2002), with Pat Tallman, Dennis Madalone, and Lynn Salvatori; Steven Spielberg's Catch Me If You Can (2002); Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003, with stunts by Craig Jensen), National Treasure (2004, starring Christopher Plummer); Star Trek Nemesis, the tenth Star Trek film; and all three Pirates of the Caribbean films (2003, 2006, and 2007), with Lee Arenberg and fellow stunt performers Brian J. Williams, Theo Kypri, Christopher Leps, Dana Dru Evenson, Alex Chansky, and Jay Caputo.

In 2006, Morga served as co-producer for the television documentary UFO: The Greatest Story Ever Denied and was interviewed for the television special Halloween: 25 Years of Terror, which also featured interviews with J.C. Brandy, Kim Darby, Chris Durand, and George P. Wilbur.

In 2007 he was part of the stunt team that was awarded with a Taurus World Stunt Award for best fight sequence in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. He shared this award with Mark Aaron Wagner, Thomas DuPont, Lisa Hoyle, Tony Angelotti, Jeff Wolfe, Phil Culotta, Kofi Yiadom, and Jeremy Fry.

Morga served as stunt coordinator for Corbin Bernsen's horror film Dead Air (2009), which features Bernsen, Patricia Tallman, Justin Rodgers Hall, and Randy Mulkey and for the short comedy The Van Pelt Family (2008), and completed interviews for the television special His Name Was Jason: 30 Years of Friday the 13th (2009), alongside Derek Mears, Kane Hodder, Lawrence Monoson, Peter Mark Richman, Erich Anderson, and David Kagen. He also performed stunts on the comedy Bald (2008, with Michael Durrell) and on the drama series Castle (2010). On the latter one he worked together with Star Trek alumni Dennis Madalone, Christopher Doyle, Robert Picardo, and executive producers Rob Bowman and Rene Echevarria.

Also in 2010 Morga worked as stunt coordinator on the episode "Big Time Live" of the musical series Big Time Rush. This episode features Ed Begley, Jr.. Another project as stunt coordinator was the short film Penny (2010, with Don Stark). In 2011 he worked as stunt rigger on the Castle episode "Pretty Dead". This episode featured Michael McKean and fellow stunt rigger Chris Doyle and Dennis Madalone was again the stunt coordinator.

More recently, Morga worked as sword fight choreographer for a sword fight scene in the Academy Award nominated drama The Artist (2011) on which fellow Trek stunt performers Laura Albert, J. Mark Donaldson and Tanner Gill also performed stunts. Also in 2012, Morga received a Lifetime Membership Award from the Stuntmen's Association of Motion Pictures. [7]

Morga was interviewed for the 2013 documentary Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th, again along with Kane Hodder, Derek Mears, Peter Mark Richman, Michael Buchman Silver, Lawrence Monoson, Douglas Tait, Brannon Braga, Erich Anderson, and Whitney Rydbeck. In 2014 he completed filming on the Wayne Bauer action film Dogmike (2014) where he played Morgan Blackstone and worked opposite Lynn Salvatori. [8]

Tom Morga: Alien Stuntman Edit

Tom Morga, Descent continuity polaroid

Morga on a continuity polaroid for "Descent"

Tom Morga Alien Stuntman

The title card for the special feature in 2009

In 2009 Morga made an interview for the newly digital remastered and with new special features endowed DVD box Star Trek: Original Motion Picture Collection. In this about four minutes long interview he told that he is probably the person who holds the record for playing the most different aliens on Star Trek, including Klingons, Romulans, Vulcans, Borg, Nausicaans, Cardassians, and Jem'Hadar. He also told that the beauty being on Star Trek is that your face is never used up so he was able to have fights in one episode and probably die but also to appear on the next episode.

Morga told that the Klingons were a challenge to play because of the big heavy jackets and the fights he had to do in these jackets. The special feature also showed up with several images of Morga in his roles and costumes during the Star Trek films, including doubling Leonard Nimoy and playing one of the first new Klingons in Star Trek: The Motion Picture for which he was the first person to be measured up for the new uniform, portraying the workman in space in Star Trek II, as Starfleet officer and Klingon in Star Trek III, the ultimately-deleted "Rock Man" from Star Trek V, his makeup sessions and on location shoot on a glacier in Alaska as the Brute in Star Trek VI, and as a Reman in Star Trek: Nemesis.

The production of Nemesis needed thin people to portray the Remans. The costumes were later slightly modified and used for the Xindi in Star Trek: Enterprise and Morga got a call to portray such a Xindi because of his name tag in the costume. He joked that you should always make sure that your name stays in the costume if you want to be hired.

Star Trek notes Edit

Star Trek appearances Edit

Stunt double appearances Edit

Other appearances Edit

External links Edit

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