Irv Korman is a writer, theatre critic, actor, clown, and magician.
It's not surprising Irv dabbles in the entertainment industry. His father, Ben, was a Big Band musician for more than 60 years. His mother, Bertha, was a dancer in her youth. And, his sister, Paula, is a retired Renaissance vocalist.
Irv started performing by lipsynching Jerry Lewis records at summer day camp talent contests when he was in grade school. He then graduated to lipsynching Jerry Lee Lewis rock n' roll records at junior high school talent shows. It was about this time he began taking elecution lessons from local community theater director Billie Lahrmer. Irv vividly remembers Billie backing him up against a wall, shoving her fist in his diaphragm, and forcing him to push out her fist by reciting vowels. Due to this exercise, Irv has never had a problem with volume on stage (or, in general).
Irv performed in plays for more than 60 years - ever since he was given the role of the king in "Breakfast for the King" in first grade. He appeared in plays in high school (including a production of "Arsenic and Old Lace" with John Lithgow) and in college. After college, Irv spent the summer of 1968 doing summer stock at Priscilla Beach Theater on Cape Cod. Aside from performing in local community theater productions, Irv acted professionally, including performances at Carousel Dinner Theater ("See How They Run" starring Mickey Rooney) and Actors' Summit ("A Midsummer Night's Dream").
While Irv was a speech pathologist for Akron Public Schools (1967-1997) he looked for ways to supplement his income to support his wife and two daughters. He started portraying Santa Claus at a local mall in 1973 and began clowning around as the local Ronald McDonald (1975-1989). Intrigued by being Ronald McDonald and performing magic, Irv created his own hobo clown character, "Marlowe the Magic Clown" in 1978. To cater to a more mature audience, he also created "Mildew the Mundane," a past-his-prime magician.
Another way of providing additional income came in 1978 when Irv contacted a local weekly magazine to pitch the idea of
reviewing theater productions that the local daily newspaper didn't regularly cover. This ultimately resulted in the unique opportunity for Irv to interview celebrities that appeared in Northeast Ohio. A complilation of select celebrity encounters resulted in Irv's first two books, "I Was Jerry Lewis' Bodyguard for 10 Minutes... and Other Celebrity Encounters" and "I Was Jackie Mason's Chauffeur for 5 Minutes... and More Celebrity Encounters." (Learn more about Irv's books and order copies by clicking here.)
Irv attended John R. Buchtel High School in Akron, Ohio. He received both his Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Pathology and Master’s Degree in Theater at The University of Akron.
Irv has received four Communicator Awards for his talents as a writer and theater critic, and one Chanticleer Award for acting. When he isn’t working on his books, Irv enjoys keeping up his 1978 red Volkswagen Super Beetle convertible, a good cigar, and spending time with close friends.
Irv currently resides in Copley, Ohio with his wife of more than 50 years, Francine. Francine frequently accompanied Irv to plays and celebrity performances. Her role as photographer can be seen in Irv's first two books since she was behind the camera for most of the celebrity photos in which Irv appears.
Irv and Francine have two daughters, Julie and Melanie.