Page last updated at 12:06 GMT, Friday, 30 May 2008 13:06 UK

Blazing Saddles actor dies at 81

Harvey Korman
Harvey Korman is survived by his wife and four children

Comic actor Harvey Korman, who played Hedley Lamarr in Blazing Saddles, has died at the age of 81 in Los Angeles.

Korman, who appeared in a number of other Mel Brooks films, was also known for co-starring in US TV classic The Carol Burnett Show.

He died in Los Angeles on Thursday after suffering complications from the rupture of an abdominal aortic aneurysm four months ago, his family said.

Brooks said: "A world without Harvey Korman - it's a more serious world."

It was comedy heaven to make Harvey Korman laugh
Mel Brooks

He added: "It was very dangerous for me to work with him because if our eyes met, we'd crash to [the] floor in comic ecstasy.

"It was comedy heaven to make Harvey Korman laugh."

Korman came to prominence on The Danny Kaye Show - which he joined in 1964 - appearing as a sidekick to the comedian.

He then became part of the cast of the Carol Burnett Show - a comedy sketch programme - in 1967.

But he will be best remembered for his scheming politician in Brooks' Western satire Blazing Saddles.

Guest appearances

Other films Korman appeared in included Herbie Goes Bananas, Huckleberry Finn and two Pink Panther movies.

It takes a certain type of person to be a television star. I didn't have whatever that is
Harvey Korman in 2005

He was also guest star in many other TV shows including The Muppet Show, Dr Kildare and ER.

In a 2005 interview, the actor said he was not altogether comfortable with being a TV personality.

"It takes a certain type of person to be a television star," he said.

"I didn't have whatever that is. I come across as kind of snobbish and maybe a little too bright."

Korman is survived by his wife and four children.

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