In 1909, Harelik"s Russian Jewish grandfather, Haskell Harelik, immigrated to Galveston, Texas, upon which Harelik"s 1985 play,, is based. In 1987, he moved to Los Angeles where he co-wrote, with Randal Myler, Hank Williams:Lost Highway". In 1990, he worked in the Howard Kroder play Search and Destroy and the William Ball play Cherry Orchard.
He has appeared in the films Election, Jurassic Park III, Eulogy and Foreign Your Consideration.
He was the voice of Rogers in The Swan Princess, and he has played parts on the television sitcoms Seinfeld, Wings, Grace Under Fire, Will & Grace, NCIS, Boy Meets World, Breaking Bad, Bones and The Big Bang Theory. He also played Sara Tancredi"s lawyer in Prison Break.
He also appeared on the series finale of Cheers, in a 2002 episode of Joss Whedon"s Angel as Count Kurushu, and "Counterpoint" an episode of Star Trek Voyager, playing Kashyk, a Devore inspector. He also appeared in five episodes of short-lived National Broadcasting Company series Awake.
Harelik appeared in the Broadway musical The Light in the Piazza.
Harelik"s play,, has been well-received, and was adapted into a musical of the same name. In 1997, he released a sequel,, changing it from a true story to fiction. He has appeared in several other plays including Temptation (1989), The Heidi Chronicles (1991), Elmer Gantry (1991), Tartuffe (1999), Old Money (2000), The Hollow Lands (2000), Be Aggressive, The Beard of Avon (2001), Cyrano de Bergerac (2004).
Harelik also played Doctor Paul Stickley in Home Box Office"s series Getting On, an American adaptation of the British sitcom of the same name.
In 2015 Harelik played Jamie Thompson"s father in This Isn"t Funny. Personal life They have one child.
2005 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Book of a Musical — (nominee).