Harvey Korman

Harvey Herschel Korman (February 15, 1927  May 29, 2008) was an American actor and comedian, who performed in television and film productions. His big break was being a featured performer on CBS' The Danny Kaye Show, but he is best remembered for his performances on the sketch comedy series The Carol Burnett Show for which he won four Emmy Awards as well as his partnership with Tim Conway. Korman also appeared in several comedy films by Mel Brooks.

Harvey Korman
Harvey Herschel Korman

(1927-02-15)February 15, 1927
DiedMay 29, 2008(2008-05-29) (aged 81)
Resting placeWoodlawn Memorial Cemetery in Santa Monica, California
OccupationActor, comedian
Years active1950–2007
Donna Ehlert
(m. 1960; div. 1977)

Deborah Fritz Korman
(m. 1982)

Early life

Korman, who was of Russian Jewish descent, was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Ellen (née Blecher) and Cyril Raymond Korman, a salesman.[1][2][3] He served in the United States Navy during World War II.[4] After being discharged, he studied at the Goodman School of Drama at the Art Institute of Chicago (now at DePaul University) and at HB Studio.[5][6] He was a member of the Peninsula Players summer theater program during the 1950, 1957, and 1958 seasons.[7]


Early years

Korman's first television role was as a head waiter in The Donna Reed Show episode, "Decisions, Decisions, Decisions". He appeared as a comically exasperated public relations man in a January 1961 episode of the CBS drama Route 66. He was seen on numerous television programs after that, including the role of Blake in the 1964 episode "Who Chopped Down the Cherry Tree?" on the NBC medical drama The Eleventh Hour and a bartender in the 1962 Perry Mason episode, "The Case of the Unsuitable Uncle." He frequently appeared as a supporting player on The Danny Kaye Show from 1963 through 1967. He was cast three times, including the role of Dr. Allison in "Who Needs Glasses?" (1962), on ABC's The Donna Reed Show. He also guest-starred on Dennis the Menace and on the NBC modern western series Empire.

From 1964 to 1966, he appeared three times in consecutive years on the CBS comedy The Munsters starring Fred Gwynne and Yvonne De Carlo. During the 1965–1966 season, Korman appeared regularly on ABC's The Flintstones as the voice of The Great Gazoo in its final season on network television.

The Carol Burnett Show

Carol Burnett, guest star Madeline Kahn, and Harvey Korman in one of a series of "The Family" sketches on The Carol Burnett Show, 1976

The 1967 debut of The Carol Burnett Show gave Korman his greatest recognition. During his ten-year run on the show, he received six Emmy Award nominations and won four – in 1969, 1971, 1972 and 1974. The exact name of the category changed slightly during the period, but the award was for Outstanding Achievement by a supporting performer in music or variety show. He was also nominated for four Golden Globes for the series, winning that award in 1975.

Other work

While appearing on The Carol Burnett Show, Korman gained further fame by appearing as the villainous Hedley Lamarr in the 1974 film Blazing Saddles. He also starred in High Anxiety (1977) as Dr. Charles Montague. In 1978 he appeared in the CBS Star Wars Holiday Special providing levity in three of the special's variety segments: a cantina skit with Bea Arthur where he plays a barfly who drinks through a hole in the top of his head, another as Chef Gormaanda, a four-armed parody of Julia Child, and one as a malfunctioning Amorphian android in an instruction video. In 1980, he played Captain Blythe in the Disney comedy, Herbie Goes Bananas. The following year, he portrayed Count de Monet in History of the World, Part 1. In later years he did voice work for the live-action film The Flintstones as well as for the animated The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue. He also starred in the short-lived Mel Brooks TV series The Nutt House, and in his final Mel Brooks film, as the zany Dr. Seward, in Dracula: Dead and Loving It. In 1986, he starred in the failed CBS comedy series Leo & Liz in Beverly Hills with Valerie Perrine.[8]

In 1982 he reunited with Carol Burnett and Vicki Lawrence in the TV movie Eunice reprising his role of Ed Higgins from “The Family” sketches from The Carol Burnett Show. He continued the portrayal on the spin-off series, Mama’s Family in addition to introducing each episode of the series during its initial 2 season NBC network run, portraying fictional television host Alistair Quince as well as directing 31 episodes of the series.

He also reunited with fellow Carol Burnett Show alumnus Tim Conway, making a guest appearance on Conway's 1980–1981 comedy-variety series The Tim Conway Show. The two later toured the U.S. reprising skits from the show as well as performing new material.[9] A DVD of new comedy sketches by Korman and Conway, Together Again, was released in 2006.[10] Korman and Conway had been jointly inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 2002.[11]

Personal life

Korman was married to Donna Ehlert from 1960 to 1977, and they had two children together, Maria and Christopher Korman. He married Deborah Korman (née Fritz) in 1982 and was married to her until his death in 2008. They had two daughters together, Kate and Laura Korman.


Korman died at age 81 on May 29, 2008, at UCLA Medical Center, as the result of complications from a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm he had suffered four months earlier.[12][6] He is interred at Santa Monica's Woodlawn Cemetery.[13]



  • Carving Magic (1959) as Al (industrial short)
  • Living Venus (1961) as Ken Carter
  • Gypsy (1962) as Gypsy's press agent
  • Lord Love a Duck (1966) as Weldon Emmett
  • The Man Called Flintstone (1966) as Chief Boulder (voice)
  • Don't Just Stand There! (1968) as Merriman Dudley
  • The April Fools (1969) as Matt Benson
  • Blazing Saddles (1974) as Hedley Lamarr
  • Huckleberry Finn (1974) as The King of France
  • The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976) as Prof. Auguste Balls (scenes deleted)
  • High Anxiety (1977) as Dr. Charles Montague
  • Bud and Lou (1978) as Bud Abbott
  • Americathon (1979) as Monty Rushmore
  • Herbie Goes Bananas (1980) as Captain Blythe
  • First Family (1980) as U.N. Ambassador Spender
  • History of the World, Part I (1981) as Count de Monet
  • Curse of the Pink Panther (1983) as Prof. Auguste Balls
  • Gone Are the Dayes (1984) as Charlie Mitchell
  • Alice in Wonderland (1985) as White King
  • The Longshot (1986) as Lou
  • Munchies (1987) as Cecil Watterman, Simon Watterman
  • The Flintstones (1994) as Dictabird (voice)
  • Radioland Murders (1994) as Jules Cogley
  • Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995) as Dr. Jack Seward
  • Jingle All the Way (1996) as President
  • Diagnosis: Murder (1997) as Harvey Huckaby
  • The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue (1998) Floyd (voice)
  • Baby Huey's Great Easter Adventure (1999) (Direct-to-video) as Prof. von Klupp
  • The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas (2000) as Col. Slaghoople
  • Together Again: Conway & Korman (2006) (DVD) in various skits


  • Dennis the Menace

(October 29, 1961), as realtor in "Haunted House"

  • The Donna Reed Show (1960), as Head Waiter in "Decisions, Decisions, Decisions"
  • Hennesey (1961) as Dr. Don Spright in "The Gossip Go-Round"
  • The Red Skelton Hour (1961) as Artie in "Appleby's Office Party"
  • Route 66 (1961, 1963) as Len Statler in "The Quick and the Dead" and as Mr. Mills in "Suppose I Said I Was the Queen of Spain?"
  • Perry Mason (1962) as the bartender in "The Case of the Unsuitable Uncle"
  • I'm Dickens, He's Fenster (1962) as Mr. Rembar in "The Acting Game"
  • The Detectives Starring Robert Taylor (1962) as Gibson Holly in "The Jagged Edge"
  • Empire (1962) as Bunce in "Pressure Lock"
  • Dennis the Menace (1961) as Bowers in "Haunted House", (1963) as Mr. Griffin in "My Four Boys"
  • Sam Benedict (1963) as a reporter in "Of Rusted Cannons and Fallen Sparrows"
  • Saints and Sinners (1963) as Jerry Grant in "The Year Joan Crawford Won the Oscar"
  • Glynis (1963), with Glynis Johns, as Ken Bradford in "Three Men in a Tub"
  • The Munsters (1964), as Journalist Lennie Bates in "Family Portrait"
  • The Lucy Show (1964–1965), three episodes
  • Hazel (1964) as Max Denton in "Maid for a Day"
  • Gidget (1965) as Joe Hanley in "Daddy Come Home"
  • The John Forsythe Show (1965) in "Duty and the Beast"
  • The Munsters (1965) as the Psychiatrist in "Yes Galen, There Is a Herman"
  • The Munsters (1966) as Professor Fagenspahen in "Prehistoric Munster"
  • The Flintstones (1965–1966) as The Great Gazoo (voice)
  • Alice in Wonderland or What's a Nice Kid Like You Doing in a Place Like This? (1966) as the Mad Hatter (voice)
  • F Troop (1966) as Col. Heindreich von Zeppel in "Bye, Bye, Balloon"
  • The Carol Burnett Show (1967–1977) series regular
  • The Wild Wild West (1968) as Baron Hinterstoisser in "The Night of the Big Blackmail"
  • The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour (1971) guest appearance
  • Tattletales (1974) as himself
  • The Muppet Show (1976) as himself
  • The Carpenters at Christmas (1977) as Harvey, the coffee guy
  • America 2-Night (1978) as himself
  • The Harvey Korman Show (1978) eponymous lead
  • Star Wars Holiday Special (1978) as Chef Gormaanda, Krelman, and Toy Video Instructor
  • The Tim Conway Show (1980, 1981) guest star and regular
  • Eunice (1982)
  • The Invisible Woman (1983) as Carlisle Edwards
  • Carpool (1983)
  • Mama's Family (1983–1984) (spin-off of “The Family” sketches, from The Carol Burnett Show) as Alistair Quince/Host and Ed Higgins/Eunice's husband
  • Leo & Liz in Beverly Hills (1986) as Leo Green
  • Nutt House (1989) as Reginald Tarkington
  • Garfield and Friends (1994) as Professor Lamar (voice)
  • What a Cartoon! (1995) as O. Ratz (voice) in "Rat in a Hot Tin Can"
  • Dumb and Dumber: The Animated Series (1995) as Man #2, Manager, and Officer Doohickey (voice)[14]
  • Hey Arnold! (1996) as Don Reynolds (voice)[15]
  • Diagnosis: Murder "Comedy Is Murder" (1997) Guest star
  • The Wild Thornberrys (1999) as Earl (voice)
  • The Brothers Flub (1999) (voice)
  • Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child (2000) as The Lion (voice) in "Aesop's Fables"
  • Buzz Lightyear of Star Command (2000) as Gularis (voice)

Video games

  • The Flintstones (pinball) (1994) as the Dictabird (voice)
  • The Flintstones: Bedrock Bowling (2000) as The Great Gazoo (voice)[16]


  1. Bloom, Nate (December 26, 2003). "It's a Happy New Year For.. MIKE NICHOLS,ITZHAK PERLMAN,TONY KUSHNER,HARVEY KORMAN..." J. The Jewish News of Northern California. Archived from the original on 2010-12-17.
  2. Nelson, Valerie J. (May 30, 2008). "Harvey Korman, 81; versatile Emmy-winning comedian". Los Angeles Times.
  3. "Harvey Korman". The Daily Telegraph. London. June 3, 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-03.
  4. Cheng, Jim (May 29, 2008). "Carol Burnett Show' veteran Harvey Korman dies at 81". USA Today. Retrieved 2008-05-29.
  5. "Alumni". HB Studio.
  6. Thomas, Bob (May 30, 2008). "Harvey Korman, 81: Carol Burnett Sidekick". Toronto Star. Associated Press. Retrieved 2019-10-19.
  7. "Harvey Korman and Bob Thompson Serve as Honorary Chairmen of Capital Campaign" (Press release). Peninsula Players. June 26, 2005. Retrieved 2019-10-19.
  8. O'Connor, John J. (April 24, 1986). "'LEO AND LIZ' AND 'BRIDGES TO CROSS'". The New York Times.
  9. Klein, Marty; Svetkey, Benjamin (May 20, 2019). "Tim Conway's Longtime Agent Reveals Origins of Actor's Live Comedy Tours With Harvey Korman". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2019-10-19.
  10. "Tim Conway Harvey Korman Together Again DVD". Amazon. Retrieved 2019-10-19.
  11. "Television Hall of Fame Honorees: Complete List". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 2019-10-19.
  12. Berman, Marc (May 14, 2019). "I'm So Glad We Had This Time Together, Tim Conway". Forbes. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  13. "Harvey Korman". Find a Grave. May 29, 2008. Retrieved 2019-10-19.
  14. "Dumb and Dumber: The Animated Series". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved 2020-04-26.
  15. "Comic Actor Harvey Korman Dies:Korman voiced roles on shows like HEY ARNOLD!". Animation World Network. Retrieved September 22, 2009.
  16. "Harvey Korman". Behind the Voice Actors. Retrieved 2017-11-30.
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