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Harvey Korman

Harvey Korman

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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

A gifted comic performer with a dignified voice and appearance that belied his skill for outrageous characters, Harvey Korman was an award-winning actor, writer and director whose often under-appreciated career spanned more than 40 years. After a decade of struggling off-Broadway and in summer stock theater, Korman made small gains on film and television with appearances in "Living Venus" (1961) and on the comedy-variety program "The Danny Kaye Show" (CBS, 1963-67). Generations of cartoon fans would also remember his distinctive voice as the unctuous alien, the Great Gazoo on "The Flintstones" (ABC, 1960-66). It was, however, as a cast member on the beloved sketch-comedy series "The Carol Burnett Show" (CBS, 1967-1978) that Korman truly rose to prominence. The perfect foil for the chameleon-like Burnett - and later, paired to perfection with comic-actor Tim Conway - Korman's performances lent an understated, manic brilliance to the very best skits the long-running show had to offer. He portrayed several memorable characters on film, as well - perhaps the most frequently quoted being that of the dastardly Hedley Lamarr in Mel Brooks' classic Western parody "Blazing Saddles" (1974). As one of Brooks'...

A gifted comic performer with a dignified voice and appearance that belied his skill for outrageous characters, Harvey Korman was an award-winning actor, writer and director whose often under-appreciated career spanned more than 40 years. After a decade of struggling off-Broadway and in summer stock theater, Korman made small gains on film and television with appearances in "Living Venus" (1961) and on the comedy-variety program "The Danny Kaye Show" (CBS, 1963-67). Generations of cartoon fans would also remember his distinctive voice as the unctuous alien, the Great Gazoo on "The Flintstones" (ABC, 1960-66). It was, however, as a cast member on the beloved sketch-comedy series "The Carol Burnett Show" (CBS, 1967-1978) that Korman truly rose to prominence. The perfect foil for the chameleon-like Burnett - and later, paired to perfection with comic-actor Tim Conway - Korman's performances lent an understated, manic brilliance to the very best skits the long-running show had to offer. He portrayed several memorable characters on film, as well - perhaps the most frequently quoted being that of the dastardly Hedley Lamarr in Mel Brooks' classic Western parody "Blazing Saddles" (1974). As one of Brooks' favorite actors, he was invited back for choice roles in "High Anxiety" (1977), "History of the World: Part I" (1981) and "Dracula: Dead and Loving It" (1995). Whether playing the put-upon straight man or a hilariously over-the-top villain, Korman and his impeccable comic timing could always be counted on to deliver the laughs.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

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

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas, The (2000) Colonel Slaghoople
3.
 Baby Huey's Great Easter Adventure (1999) Professor Von Klupp
5.
 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.
 Based on an Untrue Story (1993) Dr Meir
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.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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