Actor Phil Hartman, who portrays radio newsman Bill McNeal in the NBC sitcom "NewsRadio," and another man were shot to death in a home Thursday morning, KNX Radio reported.
The bodies of two men, both dead of gunshot wounds, were found in the house, police detective Brent Josephson said.Police and an ambulance responded to a call of shots fired shortly after 6 a.m. at the home in the Los Angeles suburb, Josephson said.
Lt. George Rock told KNX that one of the dead was Hartman, who has a home in Encino.
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 back-stabbing 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 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. The show was a critical favorite but had difficulty finding an audience as it bounced around NBC's prime-time schedule.
Like Aykroyd, the late John Candy and numerous other comics, Hartman was born in Canada. Unlike the others, he grew up in the United States - Connecticut and Southern California. He studied art and wound up in graphic design, doing album covers for rock bands.