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Harvey Korman

Harvey Korman

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Three Bites of the Apple ... A mild-mannered Englishman leading a bus tour across Italy, Stanley Thrumm... more info $18.95was $21.99 Buy Now

Americathon ... Peter Riegert, Harvey Korman, Fred Willard, John Ritter. The President of the... more info $15.95was $17.99 Buy Now

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Also Known As: Harvey Herschel Korman Died: May 29, 2008
Born: February 15, 1927 Cause of Death: complications from an abdominal aortic aneurysm
Birth Place: Chicago, Illinois, USA Profession: actor, director, TV host, producer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

ut on his own, so he left the show in 1977, citing that at age 50, he had reached the now-or-never stage in regard to his own career. His departure devastated Burnett and hampered the show considerably. Even an established comic genius like Dick Van Dyke, who was hired to replace Korman in 1977, could not fill his shoes, and Burnett would bring the show to a close only a year later, still missing what her good friend had brought to the table.Unfortunately, Korman could never find a worthwhile vehicle as a solo performer. His comedy series, a sitcom entitled "The Harvey Korman Show" (ABC, 1978), lasted just one season, and subsequent efforts, including "Snavely" (1978), an ABC pilot based on "Fawlty Towers" (BBC, 1975-79) with Korman in the John Cleese role, met with similar fates. Korman eventually parlayed his fame into a steady string of guest appearances on television series and in the occasional feature, though most â¿¿ "Americathon" (1979) and "Herbie Goes Bananas" (1980) â¿¿ were less than deserving of his talents. He reunited with Burnett for the Emmy-nominated 1982 TV movie "Eunice," which took a more dramatic look at the squabbling Southern couple they played on her TV series, and would...

ut on his own, so he left the show in 1977, citing that at age 50, he had reached the now-or-never stage in regard to his own career. His departure devastated Burnett and hampered the show considerably. Even an established comic genius like Dick Van Dyke, who was hired to replace Korman in 1977, could not fill his shoes, and Burnett would bring the show to a close only a year later, still missing what her good friend had brought to the table.

Unfortunately, Korman could never find a worthwhile vehicle as a solo performer. His comedy series, a sitcom entitled "The Harvey Korman Show" (ABC, 1978), lasted just one season, and subsequent efforts, including "Snavely" (1978), an ABC pilot based on "Fawlty Towers" (BBC, 1975-79) with Korman in the John Cleese role, met with similar fates. Korman eventually parlayed his fame into a steady string of guest appearances on television series and in the occasional feature, though most â¿¿ "Americathon" (1979) and "Herbie Goes Bananas" (1980) â¿¿ were less than deserving of his talents. He reunited with Burnett for the Emmy-nominated 1982 TV movie "Eunice," which took a more dramatic look at the squabbling Southern couple they played on her TV series, and would reprise the role of Ed on episodes of the original network run of "Mama's Family" (NBC, 1983-85; syndicated, 1986-1990). He also doubled as the show's officious "host," Alastair Quince, in segments that aired before each episode. Korman also directed several episodes of the show, as well as "The New Dick Van Dyke Show" (CBS, 1971-74) and his own series. He later co-directed the Emmy-winning TV special, "Carol, Carl, Whoopi and Robin" (ABC, 1987), which partnered Burnett with the estimable talents of Carl Reiner, Whoopi Goldberg and Robin Williams.

Korman made two more attempts at starring in his own series in the 1980s â¿¿ "Leo and Liz in Beverly Hills" (CBS, 1986), which starred Korman and Valerie Perrine as former New Jersey residents who struggle to fit in with the wealthy scene in Beverly Hills, and was created by comedian Steve Martin, while Mel Brooks' "The Nutt House" (NBC, 1988) saw Korman as the snooty head of a madcap hotel staff. Neither show lasted an entire season, and Korman returned to his frequent guest star turns on television shows, animated programs, and in the occasional feature, including "The Flintstones" films and the holiday-comedy "Jingle All the Way" (1996).

Korman joined Burnett and the rest of the original "Burnett Show" cast for "The Carol Burnett Show: A Reunion" (CBS, 1993), which aired some of the program's best skits along with their stories about the production. The success of these specials spurred considerable interest in Korman and Conway's live shows, and the duo earned their own direct-to-video release, "Tim and Harvey in the Great Outdoors" (1998). The reunion showâ¿¿s popularity eventually led to a second special, "The Carol Burnett Show: Show Stoppers" (CBS, 2001), which highlighted much of what audiences remembered so fondly about the show â¿¿ Korman breaking down into hysterics mid-sketch over the antics of Conway. A third special, "Let's Bump Up the Lights!" (CBS, 2004), saw the cast answering questions about the show from a studio audience. Korman remained active in television and on stage until 2008, when an operation on a non-malignant brain tumor preceded a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm. Given just a few hours to live, he underwent several operations and lingered on until May 29, 2008, when he died of complications from the aneurysm. His passing was mourned by Burnett, Brooks, and many of his fellow performers, who paid tribute to his comic talents in statements to the press, as well as by his numerous fans who had grown up watching and waiting for their favorite sketch performer to inevitably crack up in scenes. Flintstones" (ABC, 1960-66), on which he voiced The Great Gazoo, an exiled alien who provided disastrous advice and cutting remarks for Fred and Barney. The character, though completely out of sync with the show's Stone Age setting, was nevertheless one of its most popular with audiences, thanks to Korman's delivery. He would enjoy an association with the series that lasted until the 1994 live-action film version, where he voiced the Gazoo-esque Dictabird, and the 2000 prequel, "The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas," where he played Colonel Slaghoople, the stuffed-shirt father to Kristen Johnson's Wilma. Korman would later provide the voice of Gazoo for a final time in the video game "Flintstones Bedrock Bowling" (2000).

When "The Danny Kaye Show" came to an end in 1967, Korman joined a new series tailored to the remarkable talents of another sketch comedy veteran, Carol Burnett. The former "Garry Moore Show" (CBS, 1958-1967) star found a perfect onscreen partner in Korman. He could be convincingly dashing or roguish, as in their acclaimed parody of "Gone with the Wind" (1939) in which he played Rhett Butler, or be loud and abrasive as the long-suffering husband to Burnett's frazzled Southern housewife in "Ed and Eunice," then convey the crotchety Roger in "Old Folks at Home" with equal dexterity. Korman was also unafraid to play over-the-top characters like the overbearing Jewish matron Mother Marcus or even a bell-happy Quasimodo. But he was perhaps best paired with comic Tim Conway, who joined the series in 1975 after serving as a longtime guest star. Their teaming, which frequently ended with Conway forcing Korman to break character and dissolve into peals of laughter, made for many of the audience's favorite sketches. Conway and Korman were such a popular comic duo that they revived many of their best "Burnett" show sketches for a live stage show, "Tim Conway and Harvey Korman: Together Again," that played to packed houses across the United States for most of the 1990s and into the new millennium.

Korman's versatility on "The Carol Burnett Show" earned him a large fan base, as well as three Emmys and a Golden Globe between 1969 and 1975. The acclaim he received on the iconic program allowed him to enjoy a modest movie career during the early 1970s, largely as a featured player for Mel Brooks, whose wife, actress Anne Bancroft, was a huge fan of Korman. In "Blazing Saddles" (1974), he was the conniving town mayor Hedley Lamarr, whose oily delivery and pencil mustache seemed to simultaneously pay tribute to and parody such Golden Age Hollywood heels as Zachary Scott. Brooks delighted in Korman's performance in the film â¿¿ Korman later listed it as his favorite movie role â¿¿ and cast him in several subsequent features, including "High Anxiety" (1977) as Brooks' rival Dr. Montague, who enjoys a spectacularly kinky relationship with Cloris Leachman's domineering Nurse Diesel, as the Count de Monet (mispronounced throughout the film as "Count de Money"). He also played haughty advisor to Brooks' King Louis in "History of the World: Part 1" (1981), and appeared as asylum head Dr. Seward in "Dracula: Dead and Loving It" (1995).

Korman also appeared opposite Peter Sellers in "The Pink Panther Strikes Again" (1976), and although his scenes were cut, he later reprised his role as Dr. Auguste Balls in 1982's dreadful "Trail of the Pink Panther" and 1983's "Curse of the Pink Panther." He also appeared as the river-rafting con man The King in a musical film adaptation of "Huckleberry Finn" (1974), and made a rare dramatic turn as comedian Bud Abbott opposite Buddy Hackett's Lou Costello in the TV-movie "Bud and Lou" (NBC, 1978). For the truly devoted sci-fi geeks, he also made an unfortunate appearance in the cult "Star Wars" TV special, "The Star Wars Holiday Special" (CBS, 1978) as Chef Gormaanda, an Amorphian instructor. Although "Star Wars" creator George Lucas later banned the hideously bad special, bootleg copies of Korman dressed in futuristic drag could still be seen on badly transferred copies years later.

The amount of work he was receiving outside of "The Carol Burnett Show" convinced him to strike o

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

2.
  Cracker Brothers, The (1984) Director
3.
  Eunice (1982) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas, The (2000) Ricky Slaghoople
3.
 Baby Huey's Great Easter Adventure (1999) Professor Von Klupp
4.
 Gideon (1998) Jacob Titleman
6.
 Jingle All the Way (1996) President
7.
 Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995) Dr Seward
8.
 Flintstones, The (1994) Dictabird
9.
 Radioland Murders (1994) Jules Cogley
10.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1945:
Served with the US Naval Reserve
:
Acted in small roles in Broadway plays
:
Appeared in TV commercials
1963:
First big break, featured performer on "The Danny Kaye Show" (CBS)
1965:
Voiced a recurring character, the Great Gazoo, on the popular ABC animated sitcom, "The Flintstones"
1966:
Feature debut, "The Last of the Secret Agents?"
1967:
Staged comedy sketches for "The Steve Allen Comedy Hour"
1967:
Co-starred as part of the company of regulars on the CBS comedy-variety series, "The Carol Burnett Show"
1969:
TV-movie debut, "Three's a Crowd" (ABC)
1970:
Appeared as a guest on "The Tim Conway Special"
:
Directed two episodes of "The New Dick Van Dyke Show" (CBS)
1974:
Played most noteworthy feature role, Hedley Lamarr, in Mel Brooks's "Blazing Saddles"
1978:
Starred as an aging acting teacher in ABC's short-lived series, "The Harvey Korman Show"
1978:
Co-starred (with Buddy Hackett) as comic Bud Abbott in the NBC TV-movie, "Bud and Lou"
1979:
First lead in a feature, "Americathon"
1980:
Appeared as a regular on the failed CBS variety series, "The Tim Conway Show"
1982:
Reprised role of Ed Higgins, husband of Burnett's Eunice (based on a series of sketches from "The Carol Burnett Show") for the comedy special "Eunice"
1983:
Reprised the role of Ed Higgins for the sitcom spin-off "Mama's Family" (NBC); also directed some episodes
1985:
First appeared as Leo Green in an installment of "George Burns Comedy Week"
1986:
Once again starred as Leo Green in the short-lived CBS sitcom, "Leo & Liz in Beverly Hills"; created by Steve Martin (also wrote and produced)
1987:
Co-directed the CBS Carol Burnett Special, "Carol, Carl, Whoopi and Robin"
1987:
Starred in the horror film, "Munchies"
1988:
Hosted "Comedy After Hours," a series featuring veteran stand-up comics broadcast on the Playboy Channel
1989:
Cast as Reginald J. Tarkington on the short-lived NBC sitcom, "The Nutt House"; produced by Mel Brooks (also wrote)
1993:
Co-executive produced (also performed) the CBS special retrospective, "The Carol Burnett Show: A Reunion"
1994:
Co-starred in the ensemble comedy feature, "Radioland Murders"; story by George Lucas
1994:
Provided the voice of the Dictabird for the live-action feature of "The Flintstones"
1995:
Re-teamed with Mel Brooks for the comedy feature, "Dracula: Dead And Loving It"
2000:
Voiced Colonel Slaghoople in the live-action prequel "The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas"
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Education

Wright Junior College: Chicago , Illinois -
Goodman School of Drama: Chicago , Illinois - 1949

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Donna Ehlert. Married on August 27, 1960; divorced in 1977.
wife:
Deborah Fritz. Married in September 1982.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Cyril Raymond Korman.
mother:
Ellen Korman.
daughter:
Maria Ellen Korman.
son:
Christopher Peter Korman. Mother, Donna Ehlert.
daughter:
Katrherine Korman. Mother, Deborah Fritz.
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