Legendary actor Garrett Morris has had a career that is closing in on the 60-year mark. Morris spent a great portion of his early career in dramatic roles, with his training at The Julliard School of Music, as well as Dillard University being put to great use. The New Orleans native found greater success after college in a great deal of theatre and Broadway work, before breaking into film and television roles.
Morris would begin to cross into comedy, as he found himself as part of the original cast of Saturday Night Live from 1975 and remaining for five years. He would also receive his breakout role in the 1975 film Cooley High. He would continue to appear in numerous films during the 70s and 80s, but in 1992 the actor’s world would begin to shift.
Fox picked up the largely successful show Martin, starring comedian, and actor Martin Lawrence as the titular character, and the show ran from 1992 to 1997. Morris was cast in the role of “Stan Winters”, the owner and founder of radio station WZUP and also Martin’s boss. Everything seemed to be going smoothly until a tragic event occurred that would change the course of the actor’s life.
During the middle of shooting for the second season of the show, Morris fell victim to a botched attempted robbery, where he ended up getting shot in the chest and in the stomach. The actor was in the South Central neighborhood of Los Angeles to get his vehicle serviced when armed assailants approached him from behind. The two men demanded money from him and being a first-degree black belt, he reacted quickly. However, the two men left him seriously wounded from the gunshots after he claimed to not have any money.
The incident led him to have to undergo multiple surgeries in order to recover. This process would lead him to miss several episodes of the show, so while in the hospital the actor shot a few scenes on the hospital bed, as he described he received a script saying that his character was selling the radio station and moving to China. When the show returned for its third season, Morris came to reprise the role of Stan once more and was never seen or heard from again on the show.
It’s over 25 years later, and Morris is still very confused as to why he was fired. He’s spoken about his termination from the show in the past, never pinpointing the person responsible for his firing.
That is, until a recently resurfaced interview the actor had with Netflix’s “Strong Black Lead”, where he spoke on his surprising departure. “…The man who produced “Martin” basically was Martin Lawrence. And after I had no bad words with him, still to this day, I do not understand why he decided to fire me while I was in Daniel Freeman Hospital. Not only fired me while I was in the hospital itself but then went around telling people in interviews that he came and sat by my bed and cried and stuff like that. The same person.”
Give @brokeymcpoverty an award for investigative journalism 🏆— Strong Black Lead (@strongblacklead) February 27, 2019
We got the inside scoop on what really happened to @_GarrettMorris ‘s character Stan on “Martin.” #StrongBlackLegends
LISTEN for more👇🏾https://t.co/Df66EobFDF pic.twitter.com/GhDMuhMm9p
Martin has never responded to Morris’s claims of his firing. Since his departure, however, Morris was cast in the role of Junior “Uncle Junior” King on The Jamie Foxx Show, and “Earl Washington” in 2 Broke Girls.