To fans of The Simpsons, Troy McLure and Lionel Hutz are two of the most iconic characters of the show. Yet from around 1998 onwards, the cheezy actor and the incompetent lawyer just stopped appearing on the long-running cartoon series.
It seems an almost trivial fact to bring up, but the story behind the characters’ absence is one that’s almost too tragic to believe.
Almost exactly 20 years ago on May 28, 1998, Phil Hartman – the talented voice actor behind the two personas, who was also known for his time on Saturday Night Live and leading role in 90s sitcom NewsRadio – was killed in a murder-suicide that no one could have predicted.
In the months and years that followed, his family, friends, colleagues and the wider entertainment industry struggled to come to grips with how his life ended that night.
Hartman had got his big break in 1986 as a Saturday Night Live cast member alongside fellow comedians including Chris Rock, Adam Sandler, Chris Farley and Rob Schneider.
His next move was to join The Simpsons as the voice of two slightly pathetic - yet sympathetic - sleazeballs. In real life, his personality couldn't have been more different, described after his death as "man of tremendous warmth, a true professional and a loyal friend".
While lending his voice to cartoon characters, he also starred in family films Small Soldiers and Jingle All The Way and played news co-anchor Bill McNeal on TV sitcom NewsRadio.
But while his career was flourishing, his personal life was very much faltering.
After his first two marriages ended, Hartman married aspiring actress Brynn Omdahl in 1987 and in the years that followed they had a son and daughter.
Brynn never enjoyed the same success as her husband, despite his efforts to help land her roles. She has just two on-screen acting credits to her name, appearing as an unnamed Venusian on two episodes of Third Rock from The Sun and as a waitress in the 1994 film North.
It's this career disappointment that is thought to have exacerbated her drug and alcohol problems. People magazine reported in June 1998 that Brynn had taken up drinking in the months before her death and earlier that year had checked herself into rehab - but stayed less than a week. Friends told the publication that in the lead up to the horrific events of that night, Brynn had started using cocaine again.
On the evening on May 27, Brynn had met a friend for dinner who said she "was in a good frame of mind" and had drank just two cocktails.