Phil Hartman will posthumously receive the 2,528th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame today for memorable performances on “Saturday Night Live,” “NewsRadio” and “The Simpsons.”
Hartman’s “Saturday Night Live” castmates Jon Lovitz and Kevin Nealon and his longtime agent Betty McCann are set to speak at the 11:30 a.m. ceremony in front of the Hollywood Toys & Costumes, one of his favorite stores in Hollywood. Hartman’s brother, John, will accept the star.
The ceremony comes nearly one month before the Sept. 23 release of the authorized biography of Hartman, “You Might Remember Me: The Life and Times of Phil Hartman,” written by Mikel Thomas.
Born Sept. 24, 1948, in Brantford, Ontario, Hartman and his family moved to Connecticut when he was 10 years old. They later moved to Southern California, and he graduated from Westchester High School and Cal State
Hartman parlayed the graphic arts degree he had from Northridge into designing album covers for such bands as America and Poco.
He began his performing career in 1975 with the comedy group The Groundlings. Hartman helped fellow member Paul Reubens develop the Pee-wee Herman character, portrayed Captain Carl on “The Pee-wee Herman Show,” a stage show later taped by HBO for a 1981 special, and co-wrote the screenplay for the 1985 adventure comedy “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure.”
Hartman joined the cast and writing staff of “Saturday Night Live” in 1986, remaining with the NBC late-night sketch comedy series through 1994. He was best known for his impressions of Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, Frank Sinatra and Phil Donahue and the Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer character.
Hartman and his fellow writers received Emmy nominations for outstanding writing in a variety or music program in 1987 and 1989, winning the latter year. He received an outstanding individual performance in a variety or music or comedy program Emmy nomination in 1994.
Hartman starred in the NBC ensemble comedy “NewsRadio” as news anchor Bill McNeal from its premiere in 1995 until his death in 1998. He received an outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series Emmy nomination in 1998.
Hartman supplied voices in 52 episodes of the Fox animated comedy “The Simpsons” beginning in 1991. He voiced the recurring characters of attorney Lionel Hutz and actor Troy McClure along with several one-time and background characters.
Hartman also appeared in the films “Houseguest,” “Sgt. Bilko,” “Jingle All the Way,” “Small Soldiers,” “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” “Three Amigos,” “Coneheads” and “So I Married an Axe Murderer.”
Hartman was shot and killed by his wife, Brynn, on May 28, 1998. She committed suicide by shooting herself in the head a few hours later.