Richest CelebritiesRichest Comedians
Net Worth:
$3 Million
Date of Birth:
Sep 24, 1948 - May 28, 1998 (49 years old)
Place of Birth:
Graphic Artist, Voice Actor, Comedian, Actor, Screenwriter
United States of America
💰 Compare Phil Hartman's Net Worth

What Was Phil Hartman's Net Worth and Salary?

Phil Hartman was a Canadian-American actor, comedian, screenwriter, and graphic artist who had a net worth equal to $3 million at the time of his death. Known as "The Man of a Thousand Voices," Hartman was a cast member and writer on the NBC sketch comedy series "Saturday Night Live" from 1986 to 1994, and he played Bill McNeal on the critically-acclaimed NBC sitcom "NewsRadio" from 1995 until his death in 1998. Phil voiced Troy McClure, Lionel Hutz, and other character on the Fox animated series "The Simpsons" from 1991 to 1998, and he played Captain Carl in "The Pee-wee Herman Show" (1981) and "Pee-wee's Playhouse" (1986) after helping Paul Reubens develop the character of Pee-wee Herman as a member of The Groundlings. He was also a writer on "The Pee-wee Herman Show" and "Pee-wee's Playhouse" as well as the 1985 film "Pee-wee's Big Adventure."

Hartman had more than 90 acting credits to his name, including the films "Three Amigos!" (1986), "Coneheads" (1993), "So I Married an Axe Murderer" (1993), "Houseguest" (1995), "Sgt. Bilko" (1996), and "Jingle All the Way" (1996), and the television series "Magnum, P.I." (1984), "Sesame Street" (1991), "The Larry Sanders Show" (1993), "The Dana Carvey Show" (1996), "Seinfeld" (1996), and "3rd Rock from the Sun" (1996; 1998). Phil had voice roles in numerous animated projects, such as "Kiki's Delivery Service" (1998), "Buster & Chauncey's Silent Night" (1998), "The Jetsons" (1985), "Tom & Jerry Kids" (1991–1993), "Eek! The Cat" (1992), "The Critic" (1994), and "The Ren & Stimpy Show" (1996). Tragically, Hartman died on May 28, 1998, at the age of 49 after he was fatally shot by his wife, Brynn, and the loss of a man who brought joy to so many people has left comedy fans heartbroken for more than two decades.

Estate Value And Distribution

At the time of his death, Phil's estate was worth an estimated at $1.23 million. That's the same as around $3 million today after adjusting for inflation. The majority of that wealth was from the value of his home. The money was left to his two children, to be distributed in installments after their 25th birthdays.

Early Life

Phil Hartman was born Philip Edward Hartmann on September 24, 1948, in Brantford, Ontario, Canada. He was the son of Rupert (a seller of building materials) and Doris Hartmann, and he had seven siblings. Phil grew up in a Catholic household, and when he was 10 years old, the family moved to the U.S., settling in Lewiston, Maine. The Hartmann family later lived in Meriden, Connecticut, before moving to the West Coast. Phil attended Westchester High School in Los Angeles, where he was the class clown. After graduating from high school, he enrolled at Santa Monica City College, but he left in 1969 to be a roadie for a rock band. In 1972, Hartman began studying graphic arts at California State University, Northridge, and after launching his own graphic art business, he created dozens of album covers, such as Steely Dan's "Aja" and America's "Harbor," as well as the Crosby, Stills & Nash logo.


Phil joined the improv comedy group The Groundlings in the '70s and helped Paul Reubens create Pee-wee Herman and the live stage show "The Pee-wee Herman Show," which aired on HBO in 1981. He played Captain Carl in that show and the CBS series "Pee-wee's Playhouse," and he appeared as a reporter in 1985's "Pee-wee's Big Adventure." Hartman's first film was 1978's "Stunt Rock," and he made his TV debut in a 1979 episode of "The Dating Game" (which he won). In the '80s, he appeared in the films "The Gong Show Movie" (1980), "Cheech & Chong's Next Movie" (1980), "Pandemonium" (1982), "Last Resort" (1986), "Jumpin' Jack Flash" (1986), "Three Amigos!" (1986), and "Fletch Lives" (1989). In 1986, Phil joined the cast of "Saturday Night Live" after his friend Jon Lovitz recommended him to Lorne Michaels, telling him, "If you think I'm good, you should see Phil. He's even better!" Hartman was known as "Glue" for "his ability to hold the show together," and he played recurring characters such as Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer and the Anal Retentive Chef and impersonated Bill Clinton, Frank Sinatra, Ed McMahon, Phil Donahue, and many others. Phil left "SNL" in 1994, but he returned to host the show twice in 1996.

In the early '90s, Hartman appeared in the films "Quick Change" (1990), "Loaded Weapon 1" (1993), "CB4" (1993), "Greedy" (1994), and "Houseguest" (1995) and the "SNL" spin-off movies "Coneheads" (1993) and "Stuart Saves His Family" (1995), and he played John "Vicky" Johnson in 1993's "So I Married an Axe Murderer" alongside "SNL" castmate Mike Myers. In 1995, he began playing Bill McNeal on "NewsRadio" and reportedly earned $50,000 per episode. Phil appeared in 75 episodes of the series, and after his death, Jon Lovitz was brought in to help fill the void left by Hartman's absence. After agreeing to take the role, Lovitz stated, "I'm gonna make my character like how Phil was in real life, which was, you know, one of the nicest people ever, who got along with everybody. He was an expert sailor, he had his own plane, he was a pilot, he was a graphic artist … He was just the best." During his time on "NewsRadio," Hartman appeared in the films "Sgt. Bilko" (1996) and "Jingle All the Way" (1996), portrayed the President of the United States in the TV movie "The Second Civil War" (1997), and guest-starred on "The Dana Carvey Show" (1996), "Caroline in the City" (1996), "Seinfeld" (1996), and "3rd Rock from the Sun" (1996; 1998). In 1998, his films "Kiki's Delivery Service" (the Disney English dub), "Small Soldiers," and "Buster & Chauncey's Silent Night" were posthumously released.

(Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

Personal Life

Phil married Gretchen Lewis on March 12, 1970, and they divorced in 1972. He then wed real estate agent Lisa Strain on December 18, 1982, and they divorced in 1985. On November 25, 1987, Hartman married aspiring actress/former model Brynn Omdahl, and they welcomed son Sean in 1988 and daughter Birgen in 1992. Brynn was reportedly jealous of Phil's career and of other women in his life, and she once sent a letter to Strain in which she threatened to "rip [her] eyes out" if she ever spoke to Hartman again. During the marriage, Brynn went to rehab several times because of drug and alcohol abuse, and Phil sometimes sent their children to stay with family or friends as a result of her behavior when she was under the influence.

Death and Legacy

On May 27, 1998, Phil and Brynn had a "heated argument" after Brynn returned home from the Encino restaurant Buca di Beppo, where she'd had drinks with writer/producer Christine Zander. After Phil went to bed, Brynn entered their bedroom around 3 a.m. and shot him three times as he slept, killing the beloved 49-year-old comedian. At the time of the murder, Brynn had cocaine, Zoloft, and alcohol in her system. After murdering Phil, Brynn went to see her friend Ron Douglas and told him what had happened, but Douglas didn't believe her. They drove to the Hartman home separately, and Ron called 9-1-1 after finding Phil's body. The police arrived, and as they were escorting the children out of the house, a gunshot was heard inside. Officers rushed into Phil and Brynn's bedroom and discovered that Brynn had died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Hartman was cremated, and his ashes were scattered over Emerald Bay on Santa Catalina Island. Sean and Birgen were taken in by Brynn's sister Katharine and brother-in-law Mike, and in 1999, her brother Gregory sued Pfizer, the company that manufactures Zoloft, for wrongful death.

"NewsRadio" paid tribute to Hartman and his character, Bill McNeal, in the show's season five premiere, "Bill Moves On," and the cast broke down in tears several times while filming the episode. Stephen Root, who played Jimmy James on the series, said of the heart-wrenching episode, "We read it once on the day that we usually do, on a Monday. We all cried through it and we all decided, unilaterally that we weren't going to rehearse this show… And it was pretty tearful to shoot, but it was cathartic that we did something within the fictional structure that was real, because we really hurt that he was no longer there." "Entertainment Weekly" ranked Phil #87 on it's 2007 "Greatest TV Icons" list, and "Maxim" ranked him #1 on its list of "The Best 'Saturday Night Live' Performers." "The Simpsons" retired Hartman's characters after his death and dedicated his final episode, "Bart the Mother," to him. In 2002, Phil's brother John collaborated with to release the album "Flat TV," which consists of sketches Hartman recorded in the '70s. In 2012, the Canadian Comedy Awards began presenting the Phil Hartman Award in his honor, to be awarded to "an individual who helps to better the Canadian comedy community." In 2015, Phil was ranked #7 on "Rolling Stone" magazine's "insanely ambitious, ruthlessly exhaustive ranking of every 'SNL' player ever."

Awards and Nominations

Hartman was nominated for four Primetime Emmys, sharing the award for Outstanding Writing in a Variety or Music Program with his fellow "Saturday Night Live" writers in 1989. He was also nominated in that category in 1987, and he earned nominations for Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program for "SNL" in 1994 and Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series in "NewsRadio" in 1998 (posthumous). In 1995, Phil received a CableACE Award nomination for Informational or Documentary Host for "How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Special Edition," and in 1998, he earned Online Film & Television Association Award nominations for Best Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for "The Simpsons" and Best Supporting Actor in a Series and Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for "NewsRadio." Hartman posthumously earned a TV Land Award nomination for Broadcaster(s) of the Year for "NewsRadio" (2008) and received stars on Canada's Walk of Fame (2012) and the Hollywood Walk of Fame (2014).

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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