Extremely rare vintage 7x9-inch glossy black and white portrait, boldly signed and inscribed in blue fountain pen in the 1950s. In good condition, with corner pin holes, light handling bends in the background and a lengthy, but mild vertical bend running diagonally from the left border through his chest and the camera into the right border. The creases are light enough to be essentially invisible when the photograph is viewed head-on. Zany, mustachioed, cigar-smoking comic genius Ernie Kovacs is remembered for sublimely creative, ahead-of-its-time television work. He launched his television career at Philadelphia's WPTZ in 1950, where he stretched the limits of the primitive medium with wild sketches, non-sequitur sight gags and trick photography. He carried this innovative spirit into his first network program, 1952's "Kovacs Unlimited", which earned him an intense cult following. In 1954, Kovacs married singer Edie Adams, who frequently starred in his TV endeavors, and, three years later, embarked upon a film career. He was memorable, if not wasted, in offbeat flicks like Operation Mad Ball (1957) and Five Golden Hours (1961). After completing his last picture, Sail a Crooked Ship (1961), Kovacs concentrated his efforts on his ABC-TV monthly specials, wherein he transformed the running gag into an art form; brought inanimate objects to life; "visualized" the musical compositions of Beethoven, Stravinsky and Mahler; and hawked Dutch Masters cigars between the acts. The audacious brilliance of Ernie Kovacs came to an abrupt, tragic end when he was killed in an auto accident at the age of 42, and his autograph is highly elusive in any format.