Steve Martin (born 14.8.1945)
Steve Martin is an American comic actor, as well as a playwright, screenwriter and musician.
Steve Martin: Childhood
Steve Martin was born to Glenn and Mary Lee Martin, in Waco, Texas. He was later raised in California.
His first job was working at Disneyland, selling guidebooks to visitors, during his school breaks. During his time there, he would hang out at Merlin's Magic Shop and learn magic tricks there. In 1960, he was accepted for a job at the store, where he also learned to juggle, make balloon animals, and play the banjo.
Following his high school graduation, Martin took Drama and English classes at Santa Ana Junior College and then studied Philosophy at Long Beach State College. He later transferred to UCLA, where he majored in Theatre. Aged 21, he dropped out of his studies altogether.
Steve Martin: Breakthrough into Comedy
In 1967, Martin was dating Nina Goldblatt, a dancer on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. With her assistance, he landed a job as a writer on the show and went on to win an Emmy for his work, in 1969. In addition to this, he also wrote for The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour and The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour.
In the 1970s, Martin began appearing on shows such as The Gong Show, On Location and Saturday Night Live (on which he appeared alongside Dan Aykroyd), as a stand-up comic. At one point, Martin denied that his real name was Steve Martin and claimed it was Gern Blanston, a name that took on a life of its own and was briefly adopted by a rock band.
Martin's debut comedy album, Let's Get Small was a huge success, as was its successor, A Wild And Crazy Guy. Both of the albums won Grammy Awards for Best Comedy Recording.
Steve Martin: Film Career
Steve Martin's first film was the seven-minute The Absent-Minded Waiter, released in 1977. The film received an Academy Award nomination for Best Short Film, Live Action. He followed this up in 1979 by starring in The Jerk, which became a huge commercial success.
To avoid the dangers of being typecast, Steve Martin was keen to try his hand at a serious film. The result, Pennies From Heaven, was a failure, both critically and financially.
Martin's return to comedy was, thankfully, a success and he had a string of acclaimed performances in films such as Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid, The Man With Two Brains and All Of Me. He was reunited with his former Saturday Night Live performers, Chevy Chase and Martin Short in ¡Three Amigos! Continuing his string of lucrative collaborations, he starred alongside John Candy in Planes, Trains and Automobiles and Rick Moranis in Little Shop of Horrors.
In 1987, Martin co-wrote Roxanne, and earned himself an award from the Writers' Guild of America.
In 1989, he teamed up with Moranis again for Parenthood, a Ron Howard film and in 1991 starred in the hit film Father of the Bride.
In 2006, Martin reprised Peter Sellers' role in a remake of The Pink Panther, to a muted response.
Steve Martin: Books
Steve Martin has written two short novels, Shopgirl and The Pleasure of My Company. In 2007, he also published an autobiography, Born Standing Up
Steve Martin: Personal Life
Steve Martin was married to Victoria Tennant from 1986 to 1994. In 2007, he married Anne Stringfield. The guests, including Tom Hanks, Carl Reiner and Ricky Jay were not told beforehand that the 'party' was, in fact, a wedding.