Buz Kohan
Alan W. Kohan

(1933-08-09) August 9, 1933 (age 90)
Occupation(s)Television writer, record producer, composer, screenwriter
Years active1963–2008
(m. 1962)
Children3, including David and Jenji
Parent(s)Charles Kohan
May Kohan

Alan "Buz" Kohan (born August 9, 1933) is an American television writer, producer and composer.[1]

Early life

Kohan was born to a Jewish family[2] in the Bronx, New York City,[3] the son of Charles (b. 1902) and May Kohan.[3] His father was in the leotard business and his mother was a housewife.[3]


Kohan studied at the University of Rochester's Eastman School of Music, earning bachelor's and master's degrees in 1955 and 1956, respectively. After working in New York, in 1967, he was offered work on The Carol Burnett Show, relocating to Los Angeles.[4]

As a television producer, he produced many television specials, including Bing Crosby's Christmas Show (1970), Perry Como's Winter Show (1971), Bing Crosby and the Sounds of Christmas (1971), The Arthur Godfrey Special (1972), The Keane Brothers Show, Gene Kelly: An American in Pasadena (1978), and Shirley MacLaine: Illusions (1982).

As a writer, he wrote special material for Night of One Hundred Stars, produced at Radio City Music Hall, New York City in 1982, and also (with Marvin Hamlisch, Christopher Adler, and Larry Grossman) Shirley MacLaine on Broadway, produced at Gershwin Theatre, New York City, in 1984. He wrote songs with (and for) his dear friend singer-entertainer Michael Jackson, such as "You Were There" (a tribute to Sammy Davis Jr. sung by Jackson), "Gone Too Soon" (written during the early '80s, recorded later for Jackson's Dangerous album released in 1991 as a tribute to Ryan White), "Scared of the Moon" (a rare song from 1984, sung by Michael Jackson, released in 2004 by Sony Music), and "Make a Wish," a never-heard song written by Kohan and sung by Jackson, for the Steven Spielberg version of Peter Pan, Hook. He also co-wrote the Christmas classic "Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy" for David Bowie and Bing Crosby.[5]

Personal life

Kohan met his wife Rhea Arnold when she was working in Lake George, New York.[4] They married on July 17, 1962, and they have three children together: Jono, David Kohan (who are twins), and Jenji Kohan. As Rhea Kohan, his wife has published the novels Save Me a Seat (Harper & Row, 1979) and Hand-Me-Downs (Random House, 1980).

He and his children David and Jenji have all won Emmys, making them one of just 15 families with parents and children who have won.[6]


  1. ^ "Buz Kohan Biography (1933-)". Film Reference. Retrieved 8 August 2014.
  2. ^ Jewish Journal: "Jenji Kohan: Smoking the Stereotypes" by Danielle Berrin May 20, 2009
  3. ^ a b c Emmy TV Legends Interview: "Buz Kohan on how he got his nickname" retrieved October 10, 2015
  4. ^ a b Aushenker, Michael (27 March 2003). "Queen of Laughter: Rhea Kohan reigns as mistress of ceremonies at Jewish functions in Los Angeles". Jewish Journal. Retrieved 8 August 2014.
  5. ^ Zaleski, Annie (30 November 2017). "When David Bowie and Bing Crosby Rang in the Holidays". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved 20 December 2022.
  6. ^ September 20, EW Staff Updated; EDT, 2020 at 08:50 PM. "Emmy-winning parents and their Emmy Award-winning children". EW.com. Retrieved 2022-07-20.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)