Harvey Atkin

Elliot Harvey Atkin (18 December 1942 – 18 July 2017), known as Harvey Atkin, was a Canadian actor and voice actor who worked in feature films and television.

Harvey Atkin
Elliot Harvey Atkin

(1942-12-18)18 December 1942
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Died18 July 2017(2017-07-18) (aged 74)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
OccupationActor, voice actor
Years active1969–2017
Celia Tessler (m. 1963)

Early life

Atkin was born 18 December 1942 in Toronto, Ontario to parents of Russian-Jewish descent.[2] He developed his interest in acting while a student at Northview Heights Secondary School[3] by performing in a high school production of Eugene O'Neill's one-act play The Rope, for which he won an award at the Simpson's Drama Festival.[1] Atkin initially worked at his father's construction company. He then became a real estate agent, eventually transitioning to acting in commercials.[4]


Atkin played Morty Melnick in the comedy film Meatballs (1979), for which performance he earned a Genie nomination.[5]

Atkin had a role in William Fruet's horror film Funeral Home (1980), as well as the role of Sam in The Adventures of Sam & Max: Freelance Police, and also played Mario's and Luigi's archenemy King Koopa on DiC Entertainment's cartoon version of Super Mario Bros. (notably, he was the first English voice actor for the character). Playing Koopa in all three Mario animated series, he was the only voice actor to appear in all three series as the same character.

He voiced Mr. Mushnik on Little Shop, loosely based on the movie Little Shop of Horrors. He also played characters in other series such as Beetlejuice, Bad Dog and Ruby Gloom. Atkin appeared in more than 75 films and on many television series. He did voice-over work in approximately 3,000 television and radio commercials, notably for the Leon's Furniture chain, for which he won three Clio Awards.[6][1]

He appeared in 95 episodes of Cagney & Lacey as Sergeant Ronald Coleman.[4] Atkin played Judge Alan Ridenour in a recurring role on the television drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, a role he also played in Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Law & Order, and was the voice-over in Leon's and "Buy Israel Bonds" commercials in Canada. He also made a cameo playing a bus driver in the classic film Atlantic City (1980) starring Burt Lancaster, and was the voice for Morty in the television series Jacob Two-Two. He made a guest appearance in 2010 as a rabbi on the CBC Television series 18 to Life.

Atkin died of a brain tumor on 18 July 2017 in Toronto, Ontario, at the age of 74.[5][1] A re-animated version of the Super Mario World episode "Mama Luigi", commissioned and directed by animation artist Andrew Dickman within a year with over 227 animators and artists participating, was dedicated to Atkin alongside Tony Rosato (Luigi) who died earlier that year on 10 January. The video was released on 29 August 2017.[7]


Film performances[8]
Year Title Role Notes
1976 Silver Streak Conventioneer
1978 High-Ballin' Buzz
1978 Power Play Anwar
1979 Meatballs Morty Melnick
1980 Atlantic City Bus Driver
1980 Funeral Home Harry Browning
1981 The Incubus Joe Prescott
1981 Improper Channels Sergeant
1981 The Last Chase
1981 Heavy Metal Alien / Henchman Voice
1981 Ticket to Heaven Mr. Stone
1982 If You Could See What I Hear Bert
1982 Rubberface
1982 Visiting Hours Vinnie Bradshaw
1983 All in Good Taste
1984 Finders Keepers
1985 Carried Away Voice
1985 Joshua Then and Now Dr. Jonathan Cole
1986 Separate Vacations
1987 Mr. Nice Guy Jerry Reeman
1989 Speed Zone Gus Gold
1989 Mindfield
1989 Eddie and the Cruisers II: Eddie Lives! Lew Eisen
1991 Snake Eater II: The Drug Buster
1991 The Lump Voice
1991 Every Dog's Guide to the Playground Voice
1991 The Apprentice Voice
1993 Guilty as Sin Judge Steinberg
1996 The Stupids Deli Guy
1997 Love and Death on Long Island Lou
1997 Critical Care Judge Fatale
1998 One Tough Cop Rudy
1998 Jo's Wedding
2010 Barney's Version
Television film performances[8]
Year Title Role Notes
1977 The War Between the Tates
1992 Terror on Track 9
1994 Seasons of the Heart
1994 Janek: The Silent Betrayal;
1995 Between Love and Honor
1995 Family of Cops
1996 Radiant City
1996 Rebound: The Legend of Earl "The Goat" Manigault
2000 Out of Sync
2001 Club Land
2006 Why I Wore Lipstick to My Mastectomy
Television series performances[8]
Year Title Role Notes
1975 Down Home Country Chuck Wagon
1977–1980 King of Kensington various 4 episodes
1982–1988 Cagney & Lacey Sergeant Ronald Coleman 95 episodes
1982 Claim to Fame
1986–1993 Under The Umbrella Tree The Great Goldberg
1987–1989 ALF: The Animated Series Additional Voices Voice
1988–1989 AlfTales Additional Voices Voice
1989 The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! King Koopa Voice
1989–1991 Beetlejuice Lipscum Voice
1990 Piggsburg Pigs! Additional Voices Voice
1990 The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 King Koopa Voice
1991 Super Mario World King Koopa Voice
1992 Stunt Dawgs Badyear Voice
1996 Goosebumps Mr. Malik Episode: "Bad Hare Day"
1997 The Adventures of Sam & Max: Freelance Police Sam Voice
1998 Bad Dog Mr. Potanski Voice
1998–2001 Bob and Margaret Additional Voices Voice
2000–2009 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Judge Alan Ridenour 18 episodes
2003 Jacob Two-Two Morty Voice
2006–2008 6teen George Bickerson 3 episodes
2010–2013 Scaredy Squirrel 7 episodes


  1. Morrow, Martin (4 August 2017). "Canadian actor Harvey Atkin had a gift for comedy". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  2. "Elliot Harvey Atkin – Steeles Memorial Chapel". Retrieved 27 August 2017.
  3. Lucas, Ralph. "Harvey Atkin Biography". Northern Stars. Retrieved 4 October 2015.
  4. TV Data (9 November 1986). "Harvey Wants To Work (And His Wish Is Granted)". Toledo Blade. p. TVT-5. Retrieved 4 October 2015.
  5. Vlessing, Etan (18 July 2017). "Harvey Atkin, 'Cagney and Lacey' and 'Meatballs' Actor, Dies at 74". The Hollywood Reporter. ISSN 0018-3660.
  6. Rubin, Rebecca (18 July 2017). "Harvey Atkin, 'Cagney & Lacey' and 'Meatballs' Actor, Dies at 74". Variety. Retrieved 23 February 2018.
  7. "YouTube". YouTube. 17 April 2017. Retrieved 23 February 2018.
  8. "Harvey Atkin Filmography". Northern Stars. Retrieved 4 October 2015.
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