GALVESTON — Danny Lee Morgan, 66, better known as Mr. Mardi Gras, died at 8:28 p.m., central time, on April 15, 2010, after a year-long battle with cancer.
He owned and operated Morgan Studios on Broadway in Galveston, Texas. A trip to his unique studio was like a trip to a Carnival with multi-colored lights and several intriguing things to see.
For the past twenty-five years, Danny made contributions to Galveston’s Annual Mardi Gras through his creations of costumes and decorative masks for the entire fleet of the Momus floats. Every fall he would review the float sketches from Blaine Kern and create each costume and mask to suit the float’s theme. Danny loved to design the headdresses for all the ladies attending the Tremont Ball, ranging from elaborate Venetian masks to Spanish mantillas. All were inspired by his enthusiasm and stylish hand.
He was the “official costumer of Mardi Gras! Galveston,” the City he loved and took great pride in designing costumes for such Galveston luminaries as Mr. and Mrs. George Mitchell and Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas. Danny Morgan’s legendary Masks were known throughout Texas and were part of a traveling Mask collection that toured the country. Earlier this year, Danny was officially named “Mr. Mardi Gras - 2010” by proclamation, presented to him by Galveston’s Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas.
After graduating from Baylor University, Danny spent a brief time at NASSA before moving to New York City in 1965, where he worked at the fashionable SAKS 5th Avenue. He soon applied his incredible design talent to Broadway musicals (“Pippin,” directed by Bob Fosse), television (“That’s Life,” starring Robert Morse), film (“Sophie’s Choice,” starring Meryl Streep), and for celebrities such as Brooke Shields, Lucille Ball, Grace Slick, George Burns and Paul Newman. Danny was a great cook and loved giving parties for such celebrities as Ms. Carol Channing, among others. Before relocating to Galveston in 1985, Danny was the chief costume coordinator and designer for Eaves Costumes, New York’s premiere costume company. In 1968, Danny opened Morgan Studios in a small storefront on West 45th Street, the precursor to his famous Morgan Studios on Broadway in Galveston, Texas. Many singers, actors and dancers from the neighboring Broadway shows frequently visited his studio.
He is survived by his brother Collins Morgan and sister-in-law Shirley; nephew Mitchell Collins Morgan and wife Laura; nieces Melody Ann Huggins and husband Paul, and Michelle Lea Parks and husband Michael; eight grand nieces and nephews; two aunts and many cousins. Funeral services will be held at the Niday Funeral Home, 12440 Beamer Road, Houston, Texas, 77089 (281-464-7200). Viewing will be held on Monday, April 19, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. with a Funeral Service on Tuesday, April 20, at 2:00 p.m., the Rev. John Morgan officiating. The funeral service will continue on to the Grand View Memorial Park, 8501 Spencer Highway, Pasadena, Texas. Notes of condolences can be sent to Collins Morgan, 766 Rinconada Lane, El Paso, Texas, 79922.
Celebrate Danny Morgan’s life by wearing one of his costumes to his funeral. Friends are invited to stop by Morgan Costume Studio, 3510 Broadway, Galveston, Texas, between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on Monday, April 19, and pick out a costume or accessory of their choice to wear at the funeral service on Tuesday, April 20 at 2:00pm. This is Danny Morgan’s gift to all his friends who have shared his sense of style and beauty.