Saturday, October 11, 2014

Phil Hartman Didn't Have to Die: A "What If" Story

A new book about the wonderfully talented Phil Hartman includes a detailed chronicle of his early morning murder. It is a fascinating and tragic read.

Read the excerpt, here.

It is a fact that every decision we make holds unforeseen, future consequences, good and bad. Each path we take presents alternative outcomes. Life is a big "What If?" story.

In the month of May, 1998, production began on "Baywatch" star Pamela Anderson's action/comedy "V.I.P."

Your Blog was there.

In an early production meeting in the weeks preceding the filming of the first episode, we were given a list of the expected cast, stars and guest stars.

At that time, Phil Hartman was in final talks to guest star as the "has-been" 1970s TV action star Colt Arrow. For whatever reason, negotiations broke down in the eleventh hour, and Phil declined the role.

Had Phil taken the role, he might still be alive today.

"What if?"

Had he taken the role, instead of being a sleeping sitting duck for his, (I'm gonna call it like I see it,) psycho third wife Brynn Omdahl, her temper and a gun, in the early hours of May 28th, 1998, he would have been hard at work, (or at least, enjoying a catered breakfast, sitting in my make-up chair,) at a port in San Pedro, CA.

But, he didn't take the role. And the rest is tragic history.

"What if?"

And, now, also, too...

Your PC doesn't want to trivialize Phil's murder, or suggest that backing out of a "V.I.P." guest star role came with some sort of superstitious curse....

(Even though, for four seasons, we regularly joked, darkly, about the "V.I.P. Curse." "David Cassidy has backed out of his cameo and will now be replaced by Ian Ziering? Has anyone warned David?")


In that same first episode, some guy named Charlie Sheen was originally slated to play movie idol Brad Cliff. (No one in casting was delusional enough think they could get Brad Pitt to play Brad Cliff. Get it?) Charlie, like Phil, passed at the last minute. And Charlie, instead of working a more or less honest living doing the acting thing that he does, found himself, instead, cooling his heels in a Las Vegas jail, charged with disorderly conduct. (Which takes some effort in Las Vegas.)

"What if?"

"What if?" Indeed.

Post Script...

The part of Colt Arrow went to a, mostly, unknown "working actor" by the name of Bryan Cranston.

Your Blog wonders whatever became of him.

No comments:

Post a Comment