TV producer Norman Lear had a lot of smash hits during his career, but "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman" was not one of them. The short-lived 1976-1977 soap opera parody did, however, afford actor Philip Bruns the role of father George Shumway for 18 episodes. To more contemporary audiences, Bruns is noted for having been the original Morty Seinfeld on "Seinfeld". As legend has it, he was replaced by Barney Martin because show co-creator Larry David was unhappy with the way the actor was essaying the part of Jerry's father. Bruns is now one of the great "Seinfeld" trivia question answers, having played Morty in just a single episode, entitled "The Stake Out." Early in his career, Bruns was also a very busy TV actor. In the mid to late 70s, he appeared on four episodes of cops comedy classic "Barney Miller", as Elvin Swift. His participation in the 1982 Peter O'Toole comedy "My Favorite Year" led later to an unusual fringe benefit: the preface to Bruns's advice book was written by the British actor.