Harvey Korman
Harvey Herschel Korman

(1927-02-15)February 15, 1927
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
DiedMay 29, 2008(2008-05-29) (aged 81)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Resting placeWoodlawn Memorial Cemetery in Santa Monica, California
Occupation(s)Actor, comedian
Years active1950–2008
Donna Ehlert
(m. 1960; div. 1977)
Deborah Fritz Korman
(m. 1982)

Harvey Herschel Korman (February 15, 1927 – May 29, 2008) was an American actor and comedian who performed in television and film productions. He is best remembered as a main cast member alongside Carol Burnett, Tim Conway and Vicki Lawrence on the CBS sketch comedy series The Carol Burnett Show (1967–1977) for which he won four Primetime Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe Award.

His early roles were on The Danny Kaye Show and The Lucy Show. Korman briefly starred in his own sitcom The Harvey Korman Show (1980) and continued to work with his The Carol Burnett Show cast mates in projects such as The Tim Conway Show (1980), and Mama's Family (1983–1984). He starred in several comedy films by Mel Brooks including Blazing Saddles (1974), High Anxiety (1977), and History of the World, Part 1 (1981). His other notable films include Herbie Goes Bananas (1980), Trail of the Pink Panther (1982), and Curse of the Pink Panther (1983).

Korman is known for his voice work, taking on roles such as The Great Gazoo in The Flintstones (1965–1966). He is also known for voice roles in Garfield and Friends, Alice in Wonderland, Dumb and Dumber, Hey Arnold!, The Wild Thornberrys, and Buzz Lightyear of Star Command.

Early life and education

Korman was of Russian-Jewish descent and born in Chicago, 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 theatre program during the 1950, 1957, and 1958 seasons.[7]


1959–1966: 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 afterwards 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 contemporary 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.

1967–1977: 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. Korman starred alongside Carol Burnett, Vicki Lawrence, and Tim Conway. During his ten-year run on the show, he received six Primetime Emmy Award nominations and winning 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. In 1977, he left The Carol Burnett Show to headline his own sitcom on ABC, The Harvey Korman Show, which lasted only five episodes.

While appearing on The Carol Burnett Show, Korman gained further fame by appearing as the villainous Hedley Lamarr in the 1974 Mel Brooks film Blazing Saddles starring Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder, and Madeline Kahn. Ron Pennington of The Hollywood Reporter praised his performance writing, "The performances are all comedy gems, with Korman especially delightful as Hedley Lamarr, scheming and plotting with all the finesse of a precocious brat."[8] He also starred in Brooks' 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 in which 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 Brooks' 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.[9]

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 two-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 and performing new material.[10] A DVD of new comedy sketches by Korman and Conway, Together Again, was released in 2006.[11] Korman and Conway had been jointly inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 2002.[12]

Personal life


Korman was married to Donna Ehlert from 1960 to 1977 and they had two children, Maria and Christopher Korman. He married Deborah Korman (née Fritz) in 1982 and was married to her until he died 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.[13][6] He is interred at Santa Monica's Woodlawn Cemetery.



Year Project Role Notes
1959 Carving Magic Al Industrial short
1961 Living Venus Ken Carter
1962 Gypsy Gypsy's press agent
1966 Lord Love a Duck Weldon Emmett
1966 The Man Called Flintstone Chief Boulder voice
1968 Don't Just Stand There! Merriman Dudley
1969 The April Fools Matt Benson
1974 Blazing Saddles Hedley Lamarr
1974 Huckleberry Finn The King
1976 The Pink Panther Strikes Again Prof. Auguste Balls Scenes deleted
1977 High Anxiety Dr. Charles Montague
1978 Bud and Lou Bud Abbott
1979 Americathon Monty Rushmore
1980 Herbie Goes Bananas Captain Blythe
1980 First Family U.N. Ambassador Spender
1981 History of the World, Part I Count de Monet
1982 Trail of the Pink Panther Prof. Auguste Balls
1983 Curse of the Pink Panther Prof. Auguste Balls
1984 Gone Are the Dayes Charlie Mitchell
1985 Alice in Wonderland White King
1986 The Longshot Lou
1987 Munchies Cecil Watterman
Simon Watterman
1994 The Flintstones Dictabird Voice
1994 Radioland Murders Jules Cogley
1995 Dracula: Dead and Loving It Dr. Jack Seward
1996 Jingle All the Way President
1997 Diagnosis: Murder Harvey Huckaby
1998 The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue Floyd Voice
1999 Baby Huey's Great Easter Adventure Prof. von Klupp Direct-to-video
2000 The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas Col. Slaghoople
2006 Together Again: Conway & Korman Various DVD release


Year Film Role Notes
1960 The Donna Reed Show Head Waiter Episode: "Decisions, Decisions, Decisions"
1961 Hennesey Dr. Don Spright Episode: "The Gossip Go-Round"
1961 The Red Skelton Hour Artie Episode: "Appleby's Office Party"
1961 Dennis the Menace Realtor Episode: "Haunted House"
1961-1963 Route 66 Len Statler 2 episodes
1962 Perry Mason Bartender Episode: "The Case of the Unsuitable Uncle"
1962 I'm Dickens, He's Fenster Mr. Rembar Episode: "The Acting Game"
1962 The Detectives Starring Robert Taylor Gibson Holly Episode: "The Jagged Edge"
1962 Empire Bunce Episode: "Pressure Lock"
1963 Dennis the Menace Mr. Griffin Episode: "My Four Boys"
1963 Sam Benedict Reporter Episode: "Of Rusted Cannons and Fallen Sparrows"
1963 Saints and Sinners Jerry Grant Episode: "The Year Joan Crawford Won the Oscar"
1963 Glynis Ken Bradford Episode: "Three Men in a Tub"
1964 The Munsters Journalist Lennie Bates Episode: "Family Portrait"
1964–1965 The Lucy Show Various 3 episodes
1964 Hazel Max Denton Episode: "Maid for a Day"
1965 Gidget Joe Hanley Episode: "Daddy Come Home"
1965 The John Forsythe Show H.H. Hopper Episode: "Duty and the Beast"
1965 The Munsters Dr. Leinbach Episode: "Yes Galen, There Is a Herman"
1966 The Munsters Professor Fagenspahen Episode: "Prehistoric Munster"
1965–1966 The Flintstones The Great Gazoo Voice; 13 episodes
1966 Alice in Wonderland Mad Hatter Voice; Television movie
1966 F Troop Col. Heindreich von Zeppel Episode: "Bye, Bye, Balloon"
1967–1977 The Carol Burnett Show Various roles Main cast; 244 episodes
1968 The Wild Wild West Baron Hinterstoisser Episode: "The Night of the Big Blackmail"
1971 The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour Himself Guest appearance
1976 The Muppet Show Himself Episode: Harvey Korman
1978 America 2-Night Himself Episode: Celebrity Night
1978 The Harvey Korman Show Himself Talk series
1978 Star Wars Holiday Special Chef Gormaanda, Krelman,
Toy Video Instructor
TV special
1980-1981 The Tim Conway Show Himself 8 episodes
1982 Eunice Ed Television special
1983 The Invisible Woman Carlisle Edwards Television movie
1983 Carpool Wendell Brooks Television movie
1983–1984 Mama's Family Eunice's husband / Various 26 episodes
1986 Leo & Liz in Beverly Hills Leo Green 6 episodes
1989 Nutt House Reginald Tarkington 10 episodes
1992 The Golden Palace Bill Episode: "Marriage on the Rocks with a Twist"
1994 Garfield and Friends Professor Lamar Voice; 2 episodes
1995 What a Cartoon! O. Ratz Voice; Episode: "Rat in a Hot Tin Can"
1995 Dumb and Dumber: The Animated Series Officer Doohickey Voice; 2 episodes[14]
1996 Hey Arnold! Don Reynolds Voice; 2 episodes[15]
1997 Diagnosis: Murder' Guest star Episode: "Comedy Is Murder"
1999 The Wild Thornberrys Earl Voice; Episode: "No Laughing Matter"
1999 The Brothers Flub Voice; 16 episodes
2000 Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child The Lion Voice; Episode: "Aesop's Fables"
2000 Buzz Lightyear of Star Command Gularis Voice


Year Project Role Playwright Notes
1950 The Tower Beyond Tragedy The King's Guard Robinson Jeffers ANTA Playhouse, Broadway
1950 Captain Brassbound's Conversion Ensemble George Bernard Shaw City Center, Broadway

Video games

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Project Result Ref.
1969 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program The Carol Burnett Show Won
1971 Won
1972 Won
1973 Nominated
1974 Won
1976 Nominated
1977 Nominated
1972 Golden Globe Awards Best Supporting Actor – Television Nominated
1973 Nominated
1974 Won
1975 Nominated


  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. Archived from the original on 2022-01-12. 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. ^ a b 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. ^ "'Blazing Saddles': THR's 1974 Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 20, 2024.
  9. ^ O'Connor, John J. (April 24, 1986). "'LEO AND LIZ' AND 'BRIDGES TO CROSS'". The New York Times.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ "Tim Conway Harvey Korman Together Again DVD". Amazon. Retrieved 2019-10-19.
  12. ^ "Television Hall of Fame Honorees: Complete List". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 2019-10-19.
  13. ^ Berman, Marc (May 14, 2019). "I'm So Glad We Had This Time Together, Tim Conway". Forbes. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  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.