Phil Morris Is Always Trying to Imitate His Cool Father’s Footsteps
Phil Morris had a great role model to imitate.
The Young and the Restless actor was born the son of a Black Hollywood royalty, Greg Morris. And he followed the family trade, getting into the show business very young.
Phil did not like being talked about as someone who would follow in his father's footsteps when he was young. However, with age and experience, he did a 180 on that perspective.
Phil Morris's Father — A Cool Teacher
Phil inherited a lot of what he has, in terms of acting genes, from his father, Greg. And he rarely misses a chance to appreciate him.
His social media is filled with posts talking about the late Mission: Impossible actor, whether that be his posts on Father's Day or just any other random day of the year.
Phil often calls his dad "cool" and plays on nostalgia about him on Twitter.
He even thinks he's the one to bring back the cool factor on TV. He expressed so in his tweet from 2017.
"Just in case y'all forgot who brought the cool to TV back in the day," Phil wrote on February 10, 2017. "Greg Morris, actor, pioneer...dad. RIP Pop."
His Father's Day posts are similarly appreciative. On many of those, he calls Greg a TV legend and expresses how much he misses him.
"To the greatest dad, ever!!" Phil wrote on his Father's Day post from 2020, recalling "one of the greatest moments in television history" from The Dick Van Dyke Show.
And on June 20, 2021, he thanked his father for making him the person he is today. "He taught me what it meant to be a man, an actor, a husband, a professional and a human," the actor penned, posting an old newspaper snap of him alongside Greg and one of his sisters.
Phil is now a hugely successful actor with credits on TV shows such as Seinfeld and The Young and the Restless, and a father of two. It's safe to say he learned a lot from his father.
Phil Morris on His Father's Teachings and Following in His Footsteps
Phil is the second of three children of his father — his sister, Iona, is also an actress, whereas his younger sister, Linda, is a singer. All of them followed their dad into the show business, and he taught them hard, important lessons.
He wanted to become a traffic police officer when he was young. But he got hooked to the show business after working with his father on Com-Tac 303 in 1977 at just 13.
The movie never came out, but it gave him a taste of his father's line of work. He hated the thought that people had about him following in Greg's footsteps when he was just starting.
However, as he realized his father's legacy, he changed his thoughts on that. "It's a lot less stressful when you know that somebody else has been there before and it happens to be your old man," he told People in 1985.
Phil Morris's father, Greg Morris. (Photo: Phil Morris/Instagram)
Greg knew how difficult it was to make it in show business, especially for Black actors at the time. So, when he knew Phil and Iona were getting into acting, he was cautiously encouraging.
"My father was a tough guy. He knew how difficult it was, so he didn't want us to struggle like he did," Phil said during his interview with Hot 96.3. "He was very real about the adversity we'd have to face. He was also real about the creative challenges as well."
He made it clear to his kids that just because he was successful in the field did not mean his children would be, too. So, he wanted them to be as good as they could be.
"He encouraged us at every turn to take classes, to do theatre, to find out if this is something that was right for us," he detailed.
Phil imitated his father in ways more than one. Other than getting into cinema, he also became a part of the remake of Mission: Impossible, the thing his father is most famous for. Greg even made a few guest appearances.
His father passed away in August 1996. He claimed he was in remission from brain cancer and died under mysterious circumstances.
Phil doesn't have his father alongside him in the flesh now, but the lessons he taught him before his death have always remained with him.