He and his actress sister, Kipp Hamilton, grew up in Los Angeles, California. At the start of his entertainment career, he was a vocalist and songwriter for a group called The Skylarks.
He played the role of Duke Reeves in an episode of the NBC series Mama's Family (which he also produced).
With his first wife, Gloria Hartley, he had children named Dana, Kathleen, Jeffrey, Joseph, Nancy, John, Jennifer, and Judith. His second marriage -- to comedian and actress Carol Burnett -- resulted in daughters named Carrie, Erin, and Jody. In the last year of his life, he was married to Sandy Troggio.
He and Bob Banner co-produced the popular Carol Burnett Show.