Gary Morris is an American singer and stage actor who rose to fame in the 1980s with his country-pop hits and Broadway roles. He is best known for his 1983 ballad “The Wind Beneath My Wings,” which was later covered by Bette Midler and became a wedding staple. He has also starred as Jean Valjean in the musical Les Misérables, becoming the first American to play the part. More information about his life and career is provided below.
Early life and education
Gary Gwyn Morris was born in Fort Worth, Texas, on December 7, 1948. He has a twin sister, Carey, and a younger brother, Mark. He grew up in a musical family, with both sides of his parents being traditional country and gospel singers. He started singing early and won a talent contest with his sister in the third grade with a rendition of “This Old House.”
Morris was also a good athlete, playing four sports in high school. He earned an athletic scholarship to Cisco Junior College near Abilene, Texas, where he intended to study engineering and transfer to Texas Tech. However, his plans changed when he discovered his passion for music during a summer trip to Colorado with two college friends. They formed a trio and performed at a Colorado Springs bar, where they received positive feedback and tips from the audience. Morris decided to pursue a singing career and moved to Colorado permanently.
Morris began his music career singing in Denver clubs in the early 1970s. He also composed advertising jingles for local companies such as Frontier Airlines. In 1976, he got involved in Jimmy Carter’s presidential campaign and sang at several fundraisers. He was invited to perform at the White House after Carter won the election, where he caught the attention of Nashville producer Norro Wilson. Wilson signed Morris to Warner Bros. Records and helped him launch his country music career.
Morris had some success with upbeat country-rock songs, but he found his niche with romantic ballads that showcased his powerful voice. His 1983 album Why Lady Why was his breakthrough, spawning several top ten hits, including the title track, “The Love She Found in Me,” and “The Wind Beneath My Wings”. The latter became Morris’s signature song and one of the decade’s most popular songs. Bette Midler later recorded it for the movie Beaches and won a Grammy Award for Song of the Year in 1990.
Morris continued to record hit songs throughout the 1980s, such as “Baby Bye Bye,” “I’ll Never Stop Loving You,” “Leave Me Lonely”, and “100% Chance of Rain”. He also collaborated with other artists, such as Crystal Gayle (“Another World”), Lynn Anderson (“You’re Welcome to Tonight”), and Janie Fricke (“Till I Loved You”). He won several awards for his music, including two Academy of Country Music Awards for Male Vocalist of the Year in 1982 and 1983.
Morris also had a successful acting career on stage and screen. He made guest appearances on several TV shows, such as The Colbys, Designing Women, Matlock, The Love Boat, Murder She Wrote, and The Young Riders. He also starred in two movies: A Place to Grow (1995) and Oklahoma’s Deadliest Tornadoes (2013).
However, Morris’s most notable acting role was on Broadway as Jean Valjean in Les Misérables. He was offered the part in 1987 after producer Cameron Mackintosh heard him sing “Bring Him Home” at a benefit concert. Morris became the first American to play the role in the original London production before moving to New York. He received rave reviews for his performance and won a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical in 1988.
Personal life and philanthropy
Morris has been married three times and has five children. His first wife was Judy Morris, whom he married in 1968 and divorced in 1974. They had two sons, Matt and Hunter. His second wife was Terry Proveaux Morris, whom he married in 1980 and divorced in 1991. They had a son, Garon, and a daughter, Madison. He remarried his third wife, Terry Proveaux Morris, again in 2007.
Morris is also a philanthropist and a humanitarian. He has supported various causes, such as cancer research, wildlife conservation, veterans’ welfare, and children’s education. He founded the Gary Morris Celebrity Golf Classic in 1985, which has raised millions of dollars for charities over the years. He has received several awards for his charitable work, including the Minnie Pearl Humanitarian Award in 1987 and the Ralph J. Gleason Humanitarian Award in 1990.
Gary Morris’s Net Worth, Height and Income
Gary Morris’s Net Worth of $5 million as of 2021. He earned most of his wealth from his music and acting career, as well as from his endorsements and investments. He also owns a ranch in Colorado, where he breeds horses and cattle.
Morris is 6 feet (1.83 meters) tall and weighs about 180 pounds (82 kilograms). He has brown hair and blue eyes.
Morris’s income varies depending on his projects and activities. According to some sources, he made about $500,000 per year from his music royalties and $300,000 per year from his Broadway shows in the late 1980s. His current income is unknown, but it is likely that he still earns a decent amount from his past work and appearances.
Gary Morris is a versatile and talented artist who has succeeded in music and acting. He is best known for his country-pop hits, especially “The Wind Beneath My Wings,” and his Broadway role as Jean Valjean in Les Misérables. He is also generous and compassionate and has contributed to many charitable causes. He is a respected and admired figure in the entertainment industry and beyond.