Phil Hartman Death Photos Biography
Philip Edward Hartmann was born in Brantford, Ontario, Canada to Rupert and Doris Hartmann; the family was of German Catholic descent.
Hartman's family emigrated to the United States in the 1950s, and Hartman attended Redondo Union High School and Cal State Northridge in Los Angeles, California, becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen in the early-1990s.
The exact timing of his switch from "Hartmann" to "Hartman" is unknown, but all of his acting credits after 1986 were billed under the surname "Hartman".
Hartman and his wife Brynn had two children, Sean Edward Hartman (born 1987) and Birgen Hartman
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0367005/bio (born 1992).
Looking for what he described as "a psychological release valve", he joined the California-based comedy group The Groundlings in 1975. Hartman met comedian Paul Reubens while working with the group and the two became friends, often writing and working on material together. One such collaboration was the character of Pee-wee Herman and the script of the feature film Pee-wee's Big Adventure. Hartman also met Jon Lovitz while with The Groundlings.
Hartman was fluent in German, and a video circulated once of him doing a standup routine in the language.
Hartman worked part time as a graphic artist, including designing album covers for popular rock bands. Hartman's covers include:
Poco's 1978 album Legend
Firesign Theatre's 1980 album Fighting Clowns (photo)
Steely Dan's 1977 album Aja
Three album covers for the band America
History: Greatest Hits in 1975 (photo)
Harbor in 1977 (photo)
Silent Letter in 1979 (photo).
He was also the designer for the logo of Crosby, Stills & Nash.
Television CareerIn 1986, Hartman joined the cast of NBC's popular variety show Saturday Night Live and stayed for eight seasons, which was a record at the time. Hartman was known for his impressions, which included Ronald Reagan, Charlton Heston, Frank Sinatra, Telly Savalas, Ed McMahon, Michael Caine, Jack Nicholson, Barbara Bush, Burt Reynolds, Phil Donahue, and former president Bill Clinton, which was perhaps his best-known impression. His other Saturday Night Live characters included Frankenstein's monster and Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer. He returned twice to host the show following his 1994 departure and was honored at the show's 25th anniversary special in 1999 by the members of the cast who worked with him: Jan Hooks, Nora Dunn, Dennis Miller, Kevin Nealon, Jon Lovitz, Mike Myers and Victoria Jackson.
Also in 1986, Hartman reprised his role as Captain Carl, one of Pee-Wee Herman's close friends and famed sea captain in the first season of Pee-Wee's Playhouse. He left after the 13th episode. He also lent his voice to the cartoon version of Dennis the Menace, playing Henry Mitchell (Dennis' father).
From 1991 to 1998, Hartman also provided the voices for a number of characters on the popular animated series The Simpsons, including dubious attorney Lionel Hutz, B-movie actor Troy McClure, Bart's "bigger brother" Tom, and slippery monorail shyster Lyle Lanley; Hartman expressed interest in making a live action version of Troy McClure, but the film was never made due to his death. In the episode "Selma's Choice", he lent his voice to five different characters, including McClure and the aforementioned Hutz.
In 1994, Hartman left SNL. His last scene on Saturday Night Live consisted of him consoling Chris Farley (who was dressed as his Matt Foley character). Hartman's next project was to be a self-titled network variety show; after Dana Carvey announced plans for his own variety show, Hartman instead cast his eye on a more standard sitcom.
In 1995, he became one of the stars of the NBC sitcom NewsRadio, where he portrayed fatuous radio news anchor Bill McNeal. Many have attributed the cancellation of the show to Hartman's passing, citing that the humor was thrown off balance despite the casting of Lovitz (who replaced Hartman).
Before his death, he was also set to play the character of Zapp Brannigan on Futurama, but died before production started. As a result, Billy West inherited the role instead.
Hartman's filmography includes often secondary or supporting roles in such feature films as Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, Greedy, Houseguest, Coneheads, Stuart Saves His Family (voice only), Sgt. Bilko, So I Married an Axe Murderer, CB4, Jingle All the Way and Small Soldiers, the last of which would become his final silver screen appearance and was thus dedicated to him.
His last role was in the English version of Hayao Miyazaki's Kiki's Delivery Service, where he provided the voice of Jiji the cat. The movie was dedicated to his memory.
Hartman provided the voice of Captain Blasto in the PlayStation video game Blasto. Although there were plans for a sequel to the game, the sequel was immediately cancelled when Hartman died.
Hartman was a victim of murder-suicide. He was murdered by his wife Brynn on May 28, 1998, in his Encino, California home, at the age of 49. While Phil slept, Brynn came into the bedroom with a revolver that reportedly Phil had given to her as a present, aimed it at Phil and shot him in the head, fatally wounding him. Death was presumably instant. She drove to the home of Ron Douglas, a friend of hers, and said "I shot Phil," after which she passed out. Douglas did not believe her initially, but he found the gun in her handbag and understood. Brynn woke back up and drove the two back to Phil's house, where Douglas saw Phil's lifeless body. He called paramedics and the police, but when the police arrived Brynn fled to the bedroom where Phil was. Brynn pulled out a second revolver and committed suicide by shooting herself in the head.
Hartman was mourned greatly in Hollywood. NewsRadio produced a special episode where the cast tearfully mourned the death of Hartman's on-screen counterpart. Jon Lovitz joined the show in his place and stayed with it until its ultimate cancellation. Lovitz had been a Saturday Night Live cast member alongside Hartman for four seasons, and had also worked with Hartman when they both had cameos in the 1986 comedy Three Amigos. Lovitz and Hartman's former SNL collegues also gave him an emotional remembrance at the SNL 25th Anniversary show in 2000.
Out of respect, the writers on The Simpsons retired Hartman's characters, rather than finding another voice actor. The episode "Bart the Mother" marked his final appearance on the show, and was dedicated to him. On audio commentary tracks accompanying The Simpsons DVD releases, the appearance of a Hartman character uniformly evokes heartfelt praise from the writers, show runners, directors, and creators, et al., who are commenting. A number of major Simpsons players talk at length about their experience of Hartman as a rare combination of professionalism, effortless comedic facility, friendliness, and decency. The most frequent commentators often spoke of their practice to work in a Hartman character whenever possible, simply to get him into the studio. On at least one occasion, the writers commenting admitted that they considered bringing Hartman in as a form of cheating, as his voice acting would mine humor out of even a mediocre script. Hartman's death is mentioned by the writers only in the course of explaining that replacing him with another voice actor was not considered.
Hartman was appearing in a cliffhanger on the series 3rd Rock from the Sun at the time of his death. His character did not appear in the second episode of the cliffhanger.
At the time of his death, Hartman was preparing to voice Zapp Brannigan, a character on Simpsons creator Matt Groening's other animated series Futurama. Groening wrote the character specifically for him, but Hartman had nonetheless insisted on auditioning. After he died, the lead character, Philip J. Fry, was named in his honor. Billy West (the voice of Fry, among many other Futurama characters) took his place. West's original audition characterization formed the basis for Brannigan's voice, but by coincidence his portrayal bears many similarities to Hartman's own vocal stylings.
Hartman was posthumously nominated for an Emmy Award for his portrayal of Bill McNeal in NewsRadio, but lost out to actor David Hyde Pierce. Upon learning Hartman did not win the award, NewsRadio co-star Dave Foley joked "What's this guy gotta do to win an Emmy?"
in law, who are unable to have children of their own. As guardians of Sean and Birgen, they were awarded $50,000 per Phil Hartman's will http://www.rotten.com/library/bio/entertainers/actors/phil-hartman. In May 2000 the Hartman children were awarded more than $10,000 each in a wrongful death suit. Per Phil Hartman's will, each will receive a third of their inheritance when they reach age 25 (or obtain a bachelor's degree from a four-year accredited university). They get half their inheritance when they turn thirty, and the remainder of Phil Hartman's assets when they turn 35 http://www.rotten.com/library/bio/entertainers/actors/phil-hartman.
Hartman was a classmate of future Manson family member Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme at Orville Wright Junior High School and the two took an acting class together .
Hartman died two weeks after Frank Sinatra died; during his time on SNL, Hartman did impressions of Sinatra.
The English dubbed version of the cartoon movie Kiki's Delivery Service was dedicated to Hartman. He was the voice actor for Kiki's pet cat "Jiji". This was his last work before his death .
He was once a roadie for the Jimi Hendrix Experience .
His appearances on The Simpsons were: