Man Of A Thousand Voices

And finally, there's 3rd Rock. Hartman played an irate boyfriend who kidnaps alien Harry (French Stewart) in the show's May season cliff-hanger. Last week, the producers reached a decision that has little TV precedent: They'll reshoot Hartman's scenes and rerun the finale with a new actor before the fall season. "We wrote that role especially for Phil," says Turner, "and I have far too much respect for him to try to find some clever way of getting around this real tragedy."

Unfortunately for Hartman, there will be no clever way to write around his real-life tragedy. A few gunshots in the wee hours of May 28 silenced one (or, rather, hundreds) of entertainment's most treasured voices. "I still don't believe it," laments Dick, his voice cracking. "Phil would always say he was sitting on top of the world. And he had a lot of dreams for the future. It's so fantastically horrific to see it all taken from him like this. This is not the way he deserved to die."

(Additional reporting by Anita M. Busch, Joe Flint, and Ken Tucker)

Originally posted Jun 12, 1998 Published in issue #436 Jun 12, 1998 Order article reprints
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