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Phil Hartman

Phil Hartman
A portrait photo of a man looking side-ways on at the camera with a serious expression on his face. He has a red rimmed hat on, a brown jacket, a gold and red shirt and a button was a man's face on it.
Phil Hartman in character as Chick Hazard, Private Eye, circa 1978
Personal information
Birth namePhilip Edward Hartmann
Birth dateSeptember 24, 1948
Place of birthBrantford, Ontario, Canada
Date of deathMay 28, 1998(age 49)
Death placeEncino, Los Angeles, California, United States
Resting placeAshes scattered over Santa Catalina Island's Emerald Bay
Alma materCalifornia State University, Northridge
OccupationActor, voice actor, comedian, graphic artist, screenwriter
Years active1975 1998
SpouseGretchen Lewis (1970 unknown)
Lisa Strain (1982 1985)
Brynn Omdahl (1987 1998)
ChildrenSean Edward (b. 1989)
Birgen Anika (b. 1992)

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Philip Edward "Phil" Hartman (September 24, 1948 - May 28, 1998; né Hartmann) was a Canadian-American actor, comedian, screenwriter, and graphic artist. Born in Brantford, Ontario, Hartman and his family moved to the United States when he was 10. After graduating from California State University, Northridge, with a degree in graphic arts, he designed album covers for bands like Poco and America. Feeling the need for a more creative outlet, Hartman joined the comedy group The Groundlings in 1975 and there helped comedian Paul Reubens develop his character Pee-wee Herman. Hartman co-wrote the screenplay for the film Pee-wee's Big Adventure and made recurring appearances on Reubens' show Pee-wee's Playhouse.

Hartman became famous in the late 1980s when he joined the sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live. He won fame for his impressions, particularly of President Bill Clinton, and he stayed on the show for eight seasons. Called “the Glue” for his ability to hold the show together and help other cast members, Hartman won a Primetime Emmy Award for his SNL work in 1989. In 1995, after scrapping plans for his own variety show, he starred as Bill McNeal in the NBC sitcom NewsRadio. He also had frequent roles on The Simpsons as Lionel Hutz, Troy McClure, and others, and appeared in the films Houseguest, Sgt. Bilko, Jingle All the Way, and Small Soldiers.

Hartman had been divorced twice before he married Brynn Omdahl in 1987; the couple had two children together. However, their marriage was fractured, due in part to Brynn's drug use. On May 28, 1998, Brynn shot and killed her husband while he slept in their Encino, Los Angeles, home, then committed suicide several hours later. In the weeks following his death, Hartman was celebrated in a wave of tributes. Dan Snierson of Entertainment Weekly opined that Hartman was "the last person you'd expect to read about in lurid headlines in your morning paper...a decidedly regular guy, beloved by everyone he worked with".

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