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Tracy Morgan recalls fighting to get out of coma for daughter: ‘I had to be here for her’

The actor and comedian appeared on TODAY to discuss the latest season of his TV show "The Last O.G.," which draws on Morgan's life and features his daughter, Maven.
/ Source: TODAY

Tracy Morgan got emotional during a visit to TODAY Tuesday when discussing his 8-year-old daughter, Maven, whom he called his "greatest costar ever" as she appeared in a few scenes in the new season of his TV comedy "The Last O.G."

"She's very close to me. We're very close. She's my baby," the former "30 Rock" star told Hoda Kotb.

Maven was just a newborn when Morgan nearly died in a 2014 truck crash that placed him in a two-week coma and took the life of his friend, fellow comic James McNair. That baby girl, Morgan said, gave him a reason to fight for his life while he was in critical condition.

"People don't just come out of comas," Morgan told Hoda. "I had to fight. I knew I had to be here for her. I wanted to see my daughter. I've always wanted a daughter and have a female version of me. And I'm looking at it every day as she grows under my gaze. And I love her."

Tracy Morgan fought back tears when opening up to Hoda Kotb on TODAY Tuesday.
Tracy Morgan fought back tears when opening up to Hoda Kotb on TODAY Tuesday.Nathan Congleton / TODAY

In newer episodes of "The Last O.G.," art imitates life in some ways as Morgan's character, Tray, is just waking up from a coma after he was shot.

"It was surreal," he said on TODAY. "It's like looking at yourself down in the bed. And you say, 'Lord have mercy, that was me.' I was this close to it. I was knocking on the door."

In the show, Tray experiences a bit of a reawakening this season as he also deals with a traumatic brain injury, which Morgan said he related to. The accident gave Morgan a new perspective, especially when it comes to his family.

"I just want to leave a legacy," he said. "When I'm long gone, I want them to go to my star in Hollywood and say, 'That's my grandpa.' My great-great-great-grandkids. 'That's my grandfather.' Make them build on top of that."