Birgen Hartman was just a young child when her mother, Brynn Hartman, took a gun and shot her father, beloved comedian Phil Hartman, to death before turning the weapon on herself.
The loss of both parents – one at the hand of the other – would be a tough blow for any kid. However, Birgen appears to have built a positive life today mostly outside of the media spotlight, and she’s even recently married. She frequently posts photos on Instagram, showcasing her new marriage and cats, and she sometimes writes about her parents.
On May 28, 1998, Brynn Hartman shot and killed her husband as he slept in their Encino home in California. She then killed herself. Birgen, then 6, and her brother Sean, then 9, were both home when their parents died.
Here’s what you need to know about Birgen Hartman now:
1. She Was Raised by Brynn Hartman’s Sister in Wisconsin & Minnesota
After the double tragedy, family swept in – in the form of Brynn Hartman’s sister – and took Birgen and Sean under their wing. According to Distractify, Bergin Anika Hartman and her brother Sean Hartman were “sent to live with their maternal aunt and her husband in the Midwest.” The site claims they were raised with a different last name “to shield them from the media and allow them to grow up in relative obscurity.” However, Birgen uses the name Birgen Hartman on social media.
According to the Associated Press, the children were raised by Brynn Hartman’s sister, Katharine Wright, and her husband, Mike. They didn’t have biological children of their own. At first, they lived in Eau Claire, a community in northern Wisconsin.
In 2015, Bergin wrote on Instagram, “Sometimes I wonder why I haven’t moved back to LA… but then I drive through a forest, discover a deserted lake, trespass onto an old wooden dock and have a staring contest with an eagle, and I think meh… The north isn’t that bad.”
2. Birgen Was Recently Married & Called Her Father a ‘Dapper Dude’
Birgen has posted a lot about her 2018 wedding to a man named Brandon on her Instagram page. “Thank you to everyone who came to our 3rd and FINAL wedding celebration on Saturday! (if anyone lost a jacket, I have it…)” she wrote with one photo.
“Basically everything went wrong that night – they brought the wrong flowers, the wrong entrees, and 1/2 of the decorations and desserts that I ordered didn’t even show up ? but having 200 of my favorite people all hang out together made it just fine ? Watching your friends become friends with your other friends is literally the coolest thing!” she wrote. “Brandon and I are lucky to have such loving and easy-going people in our lives, and we’re both so honored to have joined each other’s families :) We hope you’re all still full of gelato and kransekake, and I’m sorry if any of you got maced outside the building during the Zombie Pub Crawl riots…??♀️??♂️?♂️”
On one recent Father’s Day, Birgen posted a photo of Phil Hartman and wrote, “as another father’s day comes to an end, I remind myself that no matter what, I’m very fortunate to have had a number of great father figures in my life. but this dapper dude will always have my heart.”
According to Yahoo, Birgen “completed a degree in Communications and Journalism at the University of St. Thomas” and she’s worked as a coffee shop barista, in sales at an athletic shoe store, and doing data entry for a bank. She has volunteered for organizations that help cats.
3. Birgen Thanked People for Support on the Anniversary of Her Parents’ Death & Has Written About Addiction
On May 28, 2017, the anniversary of her parents’ deaths, Bergin posted a photo of flowers she received with this caption:
Normally I wouldn’t address this day on social media, but I just wanted to thank everyone for all of the thoughtful messages (and the beautiful flowers) I’ve received this weekend… from friends, family, fans… It truly means the world to me, and my parents would be so happy to know that such a supportive community still exists for us after all these years. I don’t know what else to say, I’m just so grateful… It’s been a tough day but I certainly don’t feel alone. So thank you ❤️
Birgen has written about struggles. Birgen, in 2018, posted a graphic showing a Teenage Mutant Ninja turtle. The caption read, “Drug dealers are dorks. Don’t even talk to them.” In the caption, Birgen wrote, “? 6 years drug-free today! ? Thanks for the advice, Donatello!”
In 2016, she wrote, “If I can make it through the week without a full-blown-2007-Britney-Spears mental breakdown then I’m basically invincible.”
A family friend recalled to ABC the horrific moments when he went to the police station where the children were after the deaths. He took the children to a park. He said to Sean, “Is there anything I can do for you?” He said, “No my mom promised me she would take me to a lot of fun places, and now she won’t be able to.” He said Birgen looked like she was in shock and said she knew she would never see her mom and dad again.
4. Birgen Participated in a Saturday Night Live Tribute to Her Dad
When Saturday Night Live aired a special honoring Phil Hartman, Birgen was invited to attend, and attend she did.
Then 23, she told TooFab: “The 40th special was unbelievable. I’m so honored to have been invited, and to spend time with all of these people who knew and loved my father.”
She added to the site: “It was really special to see how they incorporated his memory into the show, too. It’s just heartwarming for me to see, after all these years, that he is still remembered and admired.”
Birgen concluded: “I can’t praise Lorne enough for putting all of it together. Everyone there worked so hard on this event and it really paid off; it was a great time!”
5. Phil & Brynn Hartman Left Their Estate to Birgen & Her Brother, Sean
She posted a photo on Instagram of her new Land Rover. However, according to the Associated Press, the Hartmans’ will took great care to make sure that their children, while taken care of, wouldn’t be spoiled by the money.
The estate was valued at $1.23 million and was left to the children. However, it was to be parceled out, with each of the children getting one-third of the inheritance at age 25 or when they received a “bachelor’s degree from a four-year accredited university.”
They were to get half of the money that remained at age 30 and the rest at 35, according to AP. For his part, Sean Hartman is working to become an artist and musician, according to ABC News.
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