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Steve Martin Biography

Produced on August 14, 1945, in Waco, Texas, Steve Martin left school in 1967 to write for TV. In 1979, he starred in his first full length feature film, The Jerk, and afterwards went to success with Father of the Bride and numerous other movies. More recently, in Martin released The Crow, an assortment of banjo compositions that went to earn him the Grammy for Bluegrass Album of the Year, and two follow up records.

Steve Martin was born August 14, 1945, in Waco, Texas, the son of a property executive. When he was five, Martin and his family moved from Waco to Inglewood, California, after which to Garden Grove, California, when he was 10.

As a teen, Martin sold guidebooks and performed magic tricks at Disneyland and at Knotts Berry Farm. He registered in Long Beach State College to study philosophy, but soon transferred to the theatre program in the University of California, Los Angeles. He left school totally to be a humor writer for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour (1967 68), winning an Emmy Award in 1969.

His offbeat and irreverent wit made him an instant star.

He also received a gold record for his hit comedy tune “King Tut” and composed his first novel Cruel Shoes, in 1977.

Martin received Best Actor awards from the New York Film Critics Association as well as the National Board of Review because of his performance in All of Me.

In 1987, Martin stretched his ability even further by co writing, executive-producing and starring in Roxanne (1987), a contemporary interpretation of the narrative of Cyrano De Bergerac. For his work in Roxanne he won a Best Actor award in the Los Angeles Film Critics Association in addition to an award for The Best Screenplay in the Writers Guild of America. In 1991, Martin wrote, starred in and co-executive produced L.A. Story.

In 1993, Martin had success as a playwright with Picasso at the Lapin Agile, which started at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre, moving to Boston and Los Angeles at the same time as running off Broadway.

More recent work comprised David Mamet’s The Spanish Prisoner (1997), a voice part in the animated Dreamworks movie The Prince of Egypt (1998) as well as a costarring role with Goldie Hawn in a remake of The Out of Towners (1999). In 2001, he starred opposite Helena Bonham Carter in the dark comedy Novocaine. The exact same year, he took on a fresh challenge, hosting the infamously long Academy Awards ceremony. His trademark wit and antics earned him an invitation to come back in 2003 and 2010.

In 2003, Martin starred opposite Queen Latifah in the romantic comedy Bringing Down the House, which debuted in a astonishing No. 1 at the box office. Then he wrote and starred in a different remake, 2006’s Pink Panther, which performed well in the box office. In 2008, Martin appeared in the Tina Fey/Amy Poehler comedy Baby Mama.

For his body of work, Martin received an honorary Oscar in 2013.

A regular contributor to The New Yorker magazine, Martin printed Shopgirl, a novella, to great acclaim in 2001. (A number of his New Yorker writings was published as Pure Drivel in 1998.) The story of a disenchanted saleswoman fighting to pick between a would be musician as well as a rich married man, the novel was adapted to film in 2005 starring Martin and Claire Danes. He followed that work with The Pleasure of My Company (2003), which likewise topped bestseller lists, and his autobiography, Born Standing Up: A Comic’s Life (2007).

When not busy writing or working on the big screen, Martin keeps active with music. His number of first banjo compositions, The Crow, premiered to critical praise in 2009, and with it Martin took home the Grammy Award for Bluegrass Album of the Year. Rare Bird Alarm subsequently appeared in 2011, and Love Has Come for You followed in 2013.

In 1986, Martin married actress Victoria Tennant, his future costar in L.A. Story (1991), but the couple divorced in 1994.

In the early 2000s, Martin started dating Anne Stringfield, a former staffer at The New Yorker. He and Stringfield wed in 2007 before 75 guests in a surprise ceremony, and in 2012 they welcomed their very first child—a girl—indicating Martin’s entry into fatherhood at age 67.

An avid art collector, Martin is a trustee of the La Museum of Art and possesses works by O’Keeffe, Diebenkorn, de Kooning, Frankenthaler, Hopper, Hockney, Lichtenstein and Picasso, amongst others. He was honored together with the prestigious Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in 2005. He received a Kennedy Center Honor in December 2007.

Steve Martin Biography