David Hartman
Date of Birth
May 19, 1935
Birth Place:
Pawtucket, RI


American actor David Hartman was born into a family of German immigrants. Unable to provide for his family as a Methodist minister, Hartman's father became a salesman for the J. Walter Thompson ad agency. As the Hartman's lifestyle improved, the family unit disintegrated -- a fact not lost on young David, who swore to have a firmer control on his own life if he ever achieved success. With single-purposed determination, Hartman entered acting, toiling first in commercials and ultimately winning the pivotal role of singing waiter Rudolph in the original 1964 Broadway production of Hello Dolly. This assignment led to a contract with Universal, where after several desultory pilot films (including I Love a Mystery) Hartman was costarred in two series: The Virginian and The Bold Ones. David was given an opportunity to carry a weekly program by himself with 1974's Lucas Tanner, but its early cancellation led him to seek a more secure outlet for his talents. Thus he accepted the hosting chores for the ABC early-morning daily Good Morning America, a job he held from 1975 through 1987. Opinions vary as to Hartman's offscreen demeanor during this period: Some found him caring, concerned, well-prepared and knowledgable, while others (including professional journalists who were envious that a mere actor was anchoring an information program) insisted that Hartman was demanding, obstreperous and autocratic. After leaving Good Morning America, David Hartman more or less dropped out of the public view, though he has occasionally resurfaced as the emcee of late-night infomercials. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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