Phil Hartman

A gifted Canadian character actor with a distinctive speaking voice and a flair for comedy writing, Phil Hartman was born in Brantford, Ontario, on Sept. 24, 1948. He launched his career in 1975 as a member of the Groundlings, where he met fellow actor Paul Reubens, and later appeared on Reubens's hit kids show, "Pee-wee's Playhouse."

Although Hartman's résumé is long and varied, he's best known for his work on "Saturday Night Live," both as an Emmy-winning writer and a cast member, playing everyone from the Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer to former president Bill Clinton. He also lent his voice to "The Simpsons," appearing as ineffectual attorney Lionel Hutz and B-movie actor Troy McClure, and starred on the NBC sitcom "NewsRadio."

Tragically, Hartman's career was cut short when his wife shot him in his sleep on May 28, 1998. He died just a few months shy of his 50th birthday.