Harvey Herschel Korman (February 15, 1927 – May 29, 2008) was an American comedic actor who performed in television and movie productions beginning in 1960. His big break was being a featured performer on The Danny Kaye Show, but he is best remembered for his performances on the sketch comedy series The Carol Burnett Show and in several films by Mel Brooks, most notably as Hedley Lamarr in Blazing Saddles.
Korman, who was of Russian Jewish descent, was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Ellen (née Blecher) and Cyril Raymond Korman, a salesman. He served in the United States Navy during World War II. After being discharged, he studied at the Goodman School of Drama. He was a member of the Peninsula Players summer theater program during the 1950, 1957, and 1958 seasons.
His early television work included voice-over work as the Great Gazoo on The Flintstones. He appeared on numerous television programs, including the role of Blake in the 1964 episode "Who Chopped Down the Cherry Tree?" on the NBC medical drama The Eleventh Hour. He frequently appeared as a supporting player on The Danny Kaye Show from 1963 through 1967. From 1964-1966, he appeared three times in consecutive years on the CBS's comedy The Munsters starring Fred Gwynne and Yvonne De Carlo. During the 1965-1966 season, Korman made regular appearances on The Flintstones as The Great Gazoo, in what would be its final season on network TV. He also starred in the short-lived Mel Brooks TV series The Nutt House.
In later years he did voice work for the live-action film The Flintstones as well as the animated The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue. In his final Mel Brooks film he starred as the zany Dr. Seward in the 1995 film Dracula: Dead and Loving It.
The Carol Burnett Show
It was his work on The Carol Burnett Show which brought Korman his greatest fame. Korman was nominated for six Emmy Awards for his work on The Carol Burnett Show, and won four times - in 1969, 1971 (for "Outstanding Achievement" by a performer in music or variety), 1972 and 1974. He was also nominated for four Golden Globes for the series, winning in 1975. In later years he reunited with fellow Carol Burnett Show alumnus Tim Conway and toured the country reprising skits from the show, as well as new material. A DVD of new comedy sketches by Korman and Conway, Together Again, was released in 2006.
Korman was married to Donna Ehlert from 1960 to 1977, and they had two children together (Maria and Chris) and three grandsons (Scott, Noah and Ethan). He married Deborah (née Fritz) in 1982 and was married to her until his death. They had two daughters together (Kate and Laura).
Harvey Korman died on May 29, 2008, at UCLA Medical Center as the result of complications from a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm he had suffered four months previously. He was buried at Santa Monica's Woodlawn Cemetery.