While still a teenager, in 1982 Harlan received an unexpected introduction to the industry of entertainment when he was hired as an usher for the Elitch Garden Summer Stock Theatre, but before his first day of work was instead tapped to be the driver/assistant for Shelley Winters, who starred in the first production of the season and continuing in this capacity for the remainder of the season working with such artists as Cloris Leachman, Richard Kiley, Tammy Grimes, Tyrone Power Jr, Maureen O'Sullivan, David McCallum, etc

This unusual back-door to Hollywood brought him to Los Angeles, where Harlan continued working with noted performers as well as working part time for a number of established casting directors setting up casting calls and handling talent.  In 1989, shortly after the stalking murder of actress and friend Rebecca Schaeffer, Harlan was approached by a number of individual artists to help handle the scheduling their appearances as an additional security measure for charitable causes.  To date he has scheduled over a thousand appearances or participation by public personalities for non-profits such as L.I.F.E. (Love Is Feeding Everyone), Tuesdays Child, Childhelp USA, The John Wayne Cancer Foundation, AHF-Directors Guild benefit, Peer Education Programs, The William Holden Wildlife Foundation, The Patricia McCormick Youth Foundation, Camp Sunburst, Quaker Ridge Camp, APLA, Homestead Hospice & Shelter, Didi Hirsch Mental Health Center, The Los Angeles Public Library Foundation, The Aileen Getty Hospice House & Homestead, Aid for AIDS, Linda Blair World Heart, Actors & Others for Animals, City of Hope, and others.  Enlisting help from many of personalities from various fields, Harlan has had tremendous success in reaching and educating others, as a speaker, journalist and author, raising awareness of numerous topics ranging from hunger, homelessness, cancer, animal protection, civil rights, child abuse, HIV/AIDS, literacy, homosexuality and Christianity, etc.  

In 1988, Harlan accepted an invitation to travel to the People's Republic of China on an educational tour with F.A.C.E. (Friends of the Arts for Cultural Exchange).  Speaking to and performing before thousands of university students, he served on a team of sixteen as a representative of the artistic and cultural differences between the two great nations.  He again traveled to China in 1990, after the Tiananmen Square Protests of 1989, to work with Susan Howard ("Dallas") on the educational documentary film "By Way Of The Rainbow," filmed entirely in China for Anhui TV. In 1994, General Publishing Group released a book he produced entitled "Portraits of Life, With Love" with 141 personalities from various backgrounds (i.e. Elizabeth Taylor, Barbara Walters, Mother Teresa, Muhammad Ali, Walter Cronkite, Whitney Houston, Donna Karan, Whoopi Goldberg, Jane Goodall, Henry Mancini, Dr. Heimlich, J. Cousteau, Johnny Cash, etc.) to benefit children and their families living with HIV/AIDS.

In 1996, Harlan started co-producing the "Ribbon of Hope Awards," as a founding board member of TV CARES a service of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences foundation and in 1998, Harlan coordinated talent for the Television Academy's 50th Anniversary tribute book entitled “The Best In Television: Fifty Years Of Emmys,” arranging the sixty-five celebrity interviews that comprise a great deal of the books substance.  In 2009, Harlan produced and directed the Smithsonian Institute's Tribute to the Legendary Ladies of Stage and Screen, bringing nine icons together on one stage including, Angela Lansbury, Esther Williams, Tippi Hedren, Florence Henderson, Phyllis Diller, June Lockhart, Julie Newmar, Rose Marie and Carol Channing. In 2010, the Motion Picture Council presented Harlan with their Lifetime Achievement award-The Golden Halo. For several years Harlan penned “Harlan's Hollywood” for both Westside Life and MSN.com, a column that highlighted the not for profit and charitable concerns in the heart of Hollywood, before he began hosting the celebrated Legend Series. Harlan produced the critically acclaimed and award winning documentary, “Carol Channing: Larger Than Life,” in 2012.  The film directed by multi Tony award winner, Dori Berinstein, features, Loni Anderson, Lily Tomlin, Phyllis Diller and a host of others.

Harlan currently sits on the Board of Directors, Event committees and Advisory Boards for various charities including; The Actors Fund of America (Actorsfund.org), The Roar Foundation/Shambala Preserve (Shambala.org) and The National Association to PROTECT Children (Protect.org).

He lives in California with his partner of fourteen years and their cats (Emmy, Oscar and Tony). He is an independent publicist, specializing in literary, personality and event PR. A partial list of recent clients include a who's who of classic Hollywood: Carol Channing, Esther Williams, Tippi Hedren, Richard Sherman, Rose Marie, Rip Taylor, Florence Henderson, JoAnne Worley, Jerry Herman, Julie Newmar, Alison Arngrim, Christine Devine, Mary McDonough, Charles Fox, Barbara Van Orden, Dee Wallace, Phyllis Diller, Michael Learned, George Chakiris, The estate of the late Mr. Blackwell, Bob Hope/Bob Hope Enterprises, Inc., and The Bob Hope Legacy, the world famous Magic Castle, serves as special PR advisor to The Smithsonian Institution (NMAH): Entertainment Division and the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (Daytime EMMY® Awards).