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 Brynn <I>Omdahl</I> Hartman

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Brynn Omdahl Hartman

  • Birth 11 Apr 1958 Thief River Falls, Pennington County, Minnesota, USA
  • Death 28 May 1998 Encino, Los Angeles County, California, USA
  • Burial Thief River Falls, Pennington County, Minnesota, USA
  • Plot Ashes buried
  • Memorial ID 3024

Model, Actress, and wife of television actor and comedian Phil Hartman. She died by killing herself with a gun after shooting her husband as he slept. Born Vicki Jo Omdahl, the daughter of an engineer and owner of a retail shop, she was an average student growing up in an average family in a small town in Minnesota. While seeking to know her place in life, she decided to drop out of high school, and married Douglas Torfin, a telephone operator in her home town of Thief River Falls. Wanting more for herself in life, she soon divorced Torfin, and to support herself, she did some modeling in nearby Minneapolis. Still wanting to become successful, a year later she decided to try acting, and moved to Hollywood, California, changing her name to Brindon and later to Brynn. In 1986, she was working as a swimsuit model when she met aspiring actor Philip Edward Hartman on a blind date. He was a confident comedian and actor on his way up the Hollywood ladder. When Phil was hired for the television program "Saturday Night Live" in 1986, they would live in a small apartment in Manhattan. In November 1987, the two were married; it was the third marriage for Phil and her second marriage. Brynn would stay in their Manhattan apartment, where she took care of their two children, Sean Edward (born 1989) and Birgen Anika (born 1992). Brynn desired more, and wanted to become an actress, so she took acting lessons and had some cosmetic surgery done to improve her appearance. Despite her efforts, she obtained only small bit parts and cameo roles on such television shows as "Third Rock from the Sun" (1998) and "North" (1994), mostly due to her relationship to her husband. As Phil star rose in the competitive acting field of Hollywood, so did Brynn's jealousy of her husband's success and her perceived failure to achieve any significant notice. In 1994, they moved to Encino, California, purchasing a modest home, when Phil left "Saturday Night Live" to work on the television sitcom "News Radio." In the meantime, her husband's career began to take off, and tensions mounted between the two. Brynn had a temper which led to bitter arguments with her husband, as she became more jealous of his success, even as her identity as a person became more suppressed, heightening her sense of failure as an actress. Brynn would turn to alcohol and drugs, including cocaine, for relief. Brynn would have several trips to rehabilitation centers to get her off of drugs. Due to her fears of privacy invasion by celebrity fans and crazy stalkers, Brynn would purchase several handguns, and hide them around the house. On the evening of May 27, 1998, she visited with producer Christine Zander, but upon returning home, she had a heated argument with her husband. As the Police reconstructed the crime, Phil threatened to leave her if she ever started using drugs again (which she had that evening), and then went to bed. Brynn started drinking to rethink the evening's events. About 3:00 am, Brynn entered their bedroom while Phil was sleeping, and shot him twice in the head and once in the side. Still intoxicated, she drove to the home of her friend, Ronald Douglas, and confessed to him that she had killed her husband. Initially he did not believe her, but after she showed him the gun, Douglas took it away from her and went with her back to the Hartman house. Upon seeing Phil's body in the bedroom, Douglas called 911 at 6:20 am to report the shooting. When police arrived at the Hartman house, they escorted Douglas and the two children from the house, as Brynn ran to the bedroom and locked the door, and then shot herself through the mouth, killing herself instantly. An autopsy showed that she had consumed alcohol, cocaine and the antidepressant, Zoloft, that evening. The coroner's official determination of Brynn's death was suicide. After the tragedy their two children were turned over to Brynn's sister, Katharine Omdahl, and her husband, Mike Wright, to raise. There is some dispute as to the disposition of the remains of both Brynn and her husband; some reports have their ashes scattered off of Catalina Island, while other reports have their ashes buried at Forest Lawn.

Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 5 Jun 1998
  • Find A Grave Memorial 3024
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Brynn Omdahl Hartman (11 Apr 1958–28 May 1998), Find A Grave Memorial no. 3024, citing Greenwood Cemetery, Thief River Falls, Pennington County, Minnesota, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .