Six new inductees are receiving stars on Canada's Walk of Fame today, and the list includes a comedy icon, two of Canada's best-known musicians (and friends of the show), a CFL icon, a well-known ballet dancer, and the hockey team that led our country to victory against Team USSR 40 years ago.
Phil Hartman, Randy Bachman, Sarah McLachlan, Russ Jackson, Sonia Rodriguez and Team Canada 1972 are all being inducted at a ceremony in Toronto. Hartman's inclusion is especially noteworthy: Phil died tragically in 1998 at age 49, and his brother Paul Hartmann spent the past three years lobbying to get Phil's name on the Walk of Fame.
As for the other inductees, Russ Jackson was one of the greatest CFL quarterbacks of all-time, leading the Ottawa Rough Riders to three Grey Cup wins in 1960, 1968, and 1969. Sonia Rodriquez played Juliet in a recent ballet performance of 'Romeo and Juliet' by Alexei Ratmansky and has taken on many other successful dance roles.
Sarah McLachlan has sold more than 40 million albums worldwide, and won two Grammy and four Juno awards. Randy Bachman is a founding member of two legendary Canadian bands, The Guess Who and BTO. Plus, he hosts the CBC radio show Vinyl Tap.
Both Sarah and Randy have been in the red chair. Check out those interviews below:
It's been 14 years since Phil Hartman died. Born September 24, 1948 in Brantford, Ontario, Hartman was tragically killed in a murder-suicide by his troubled wife. He started his career designing record album covers and also created the official logo for Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. After joining the Los Angeles' improv group The Groundlings, he co-created manchild Pee-Wee Herman and appeared on Playhouse many times as Kap'n Karl.
He spent eight years on Saturday Night Live, and became known for his celebrity impersonations that ranged from Frank Sinatra to President Bill Clinton and set a record for most appearances - 153 - as one of the show's regular "not-ready-for-primetime" players.
After his departure from SNL, he joined the sitcom NewsRadio and played the egotistical anchorman on an AM radio news station in New York City for four seasons. He also provided countless voice-overs, including Troy McClure and Lionel Hutz on The Simpsons.
For the past three years, his brother worked full time on a campaign to get Phil this recognition, setting up a Facebook page and securing endorsements from many celebrities including Jerry Seinfeld and Will Ferrell. Voting for the stars is open to the public online.
"Phil would love all this stuff," Paul recently told digitaljournal.com. "He'd be glad he's being honoured in his homeland. A lot of this was done as a healing thing for fans as much as it was for us, and that contact we've had with the fans for the last three years, it's already changed things."
And the honours don't end there. Last month, the first Phil Hartman Comedy Award was handed out at the Canadian Comedy Awards. There's also a book due out in 2014, a cartoon series based on Phil's unproduced scripts, and who knows - maybe a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Paul Hartmann says the Canada Walk of Fame is "the first big step... and it signifies a celebration that'll last a few years."
Phil Hartman would've turned 64 on Monday.
We've got a couple of Walk of Fame-related guests who will be on the program soon.
Paul Henderson is in the red chair this Thursday at 7. He's being honoured as a member of Team Canada 1972.
And Paul Shaffer is hosting the Walk of Fame presentation. We'll have an interview with him on October 11. Don't miss it.