Philip Edward Hartmann (the second "N" was later dropped) (September 24, 1948 - May 28, 1998) was a graphic artist, writer, actor and comedian born in Brantford, Ontario, Canada. (Hartman became a US citizen in the early 1990s).
In 1975, he joined the California based comedy group The Groundlings. Hartman met Paul Reubens while working with the Groundlings, and the two became friends, often writing and working on material together. One such collaboration was the of character, "Pee-Wee Herman". Phil Hartman also met Jon Lovitz while with The Groundlings.
Hartman also worked part time as a graphic artist, including designing album covers for popular rock bands, like Poco's 1978 album "Legend", Firesign Theatre's 1980 album "Fighting Clowns", and three album covers for the band America ("History: Greatest Hits" in 1975, "Harbor" in 1977 and "Silent Letter" in 1979). Hartman also designed the logo for the band Crosby, Stills and Nash.
In 1986, Phil Hartman joined the cast of NBC's popular variety show "Saturday Night Live" and stayed for 8 seasons, which was a record at the time. Hartman was known for his impressions which included Ronald Reagan, 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 most well known impression.
From 1991 to 1998, Hartman also provided the voices for a number of characters on the popular animated television series, The Simpsons. Hartman's characters included dubious Attorney Lionel Hutz and B-actor Troy McClure.
Phil Hartman died on May 28, 1998 in his Encino, California home, when he was shot by his wife, Brynn Hartman. His wife then turned the gun on herself later that morning. The couple had two children, Sean Edward Hartman (born 1989) and Birgen Hartman.