Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan
Television and film character actor equally adept at dramatic and comic characterizations, Bratsburg originally wanted to be a lawyer but changed his life direction to acting. He started on the New York stage around 1937 under his real name, but changed it when he entered films. Though he continued to work in film he is best known for his prolific television career, spanning some 10 series, including December Bride (1954–61), Pete and Gladys (1960–62) a spin-off of the Bride series, Dragnet (1967–70), M*A*S*H (1975–83) for which he won an Emmy for his portrayal of Col. Sherman Potter, and 3rd Rock from the Sun (1996– ). His films include Inherit the Wind (1960) with Spencer Tracy, Frankie and Johnny (1966) with Elvis Presley, Support Your Local Sheriff (1969) with James Garner, and Dragnet (1987) with Dan Aykroyd.