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Revision as of 13:09, June 30, 2008

You may also be looking for comic book artist Tom Morgan.
Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)
Tom Morga and Frakes
Tom Morga and Jonathan Frakes

Thomas "Tom" A. Morga 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 race.

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 choreographies 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.

Early life and career

Morga was born in 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

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 appeared in the genre films Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985) and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986).

1990s and beyond

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).

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),; 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 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, and Jeremy Fry.

Currently he has been serving as stunt coordinator for Corbin Bernsen's Dead Air (set for 2008), also with Patricia Tallman. The film was completed in April 2008.

Star Trek notes

  • Morga played a rock monster in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, in a climactic sequence that was ultimately scrapped.
  • While filming a stunt for the episode "The Way of the Warrior", Dennis Madalone took a hit in his eye and Morga replaced him to fulfill the stunt sequence. In the final aired version both stuntmen played the holographic Skull warrior in the fight sequence with Michael Dorn.
  • Morga filmed scenes as a Starfleet crewman for the episode "The Visitor", in which he performed stunts followed by an explosion. These scenes however were removed from the aired version, and Morga did not appear on-screen.

Star Trek appearances

Stunt Double appearances

Other appearances

External links

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