Actor Phil Hartman, who impersonated President Clinton on "Saturday Night Live" and went on to star in the NBC sitcom "NewsRadio," was found shot to death in his home Thursday. His wife also died of a gunshot wound.
Police said they were investigating the possibility that Hartman's wife killed him and then herself.Police investigating a report of a gunshot were removing two children from the home when Hartman's wife, Brynn, 40, shot herself, police Lt. Anthony Alba said. The shooting came shortly after officers found Hartman's body in the master bedroom.
"We are investigating this as a possible murder-suicide," Alba said. "We know for sure that the female inflicted her own gunshot wound. She shot herself as police were removing the second child," Alba said. "Mr. Hartman had been dead for a while."
Police and an ambulance responded to a call of shots fired shortly after 6 a.m. at the Encino home. Alba said he didn't know who made the call.
Hartman, 49, appeared on "Saturday Night Live" for eight seasons, which he found stressful. He told People magazine in a 1995 interview, "The rejection and backstabbing could be painful but the hardest thing was competing against your friends for airtime."
He joined "SNL" in 1986, part of a cast that included Jon Lovitz, Dennis Miller and Dana Carvey. Hartman scored with his amazing skill at impersonation. During his seven seasons, he mimicked upwards of 70 famous people, including Clinton, Ed McMahon, Jimmy Swaggart and Phil Donahue.
"Even at Westchester High in West L.A., I was class clown, because I could do John Wayne, Jack Benny, Jack Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and entertain my friends on the senior lawn," he remembered in a 1995 Associated Press interview. "But I never seriously considered it as a career choice."
"NewsRadio" came along in 1995, with Hartman playing the vain anchor Bill McNeal. He also did voices for "The Simpsons."