Ernie Kovacs

Ernie Kovacs

Created the first kaleidoscopic images on live television with a large metal can with two mirrors inside of it, taped to the lens of a television camera.

Daughter actress Mia Kovacs died in an auto accident on 8 May 1982. Daughter Kippie Kovacs died after a long bout of ill health on 28 July 2001.

Ernie Kovacs died only 10 days before his 43rd birthday.

He had three daughters: 'Betty (Elizabeth) Kovacs' (b. 1947) and 'Kip Raleigh' (4 January 1949 - 28 Jul 2001) with first wife Bette Wilcox and Mia Kovacs(20 June 1959 - 8 May 1982) with second wife Edie Adams.

He was nicknamed "Mister Moustache" by other television celebrities.

His daughter Kippie was married to Burt Lancaster's son, screenwriter Bill Lancaster. She had one daughter, Keigh.

His father was a bootlegger during prohibition.

Interred at Forest Lawn (Hollywood Hills), Los Angeles, California, USA.

It is suspected that his death in a car crash was caused by losing control of the steering as he was trying to light a cigar by striking a match against his shoe sole. He hated to use lighters, believing they ruined the taste of a cigar.

Kovacs got custody of his oldest two daughters after his divorce, but in 1953 their mother kidnapped them and they were not returned to him until 1955. After Kovacs died, his widow successfully fought their mother for their custody.

Many of the kinescopes he made on the DuMont television network have been lost.

Married Edie Adams in Mexico City. The ceremony was presided over by former New York City mayor William O'Dwyer, and performed in Spanish, which neither Kovacs or Adams understood; O'Dwyer had to prompt each to say "Si" at the "I do" portion of the vows.

Portrayed by Jeff Goldblum in Ernie Kovacs: Between the Laughter (1984) (TV).

The car in which he was killed was a new 1962 Chevrolet Corvair.

Was chosen originally to play the character of Melville Crump in It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963), but he died in a one-car accident before principal shooting. In real life he was married to Edie Adams, who played Melville Crump's newlywed wife, Monica Crump, in the movie. The role of Melville Crump was finally played by Sid Caesar.

When he died, he owed the IRS several hundred thousand dollars in back taxes (he felt the tax system was unfair, and simply refused to pay it). His widow, Edie Adams, made television commercials and did other work to finally pay the back taxes, refusing help from her celebrity friends. She now owns all the rights to all of Ernie Kovacs' surviving television work.