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Martin Lawrence

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Also Known As: Martin Fitzgerald Lawrence Died:
Born: April 16, 1965 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Germany Profession: comedian, actor, director, screenwriter, producer, music supervisor, gas station attendant

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Arguably one of the most popular and successful comedians of the mid-1990s, not to mention being the man who first popularized "Wassup?" as a socially acceptable expression of hello, actor Martin Lawrence quickly rose to prominence on the back of his popular sitcom "Martin" (Fox, 1992-97), only to become embroiled in personal travails that very nearly ruined his career. While basking in the early success of "Martin," Lawrence began making strides in the feature world, starting with the hit action-comedy, "Bad Boys" (1995). But trouble began to surface when he landed in the hospital following an outburst while on the set of his first directing job, "A Thin Line Between Love and Hate" (1996), which precipitated a series of embarrassing events that included sexual harassment charges from his "Martin" co-star, a brutal divorce from his first wife, and a strange episode where he was found waving a gun at tourists in Los Angeles. Despite his personal problems, Lawrence had a popular hit with "Big Momma's House" (2000) while maintaining a steady career pace that saw its share of misfires, but always kept Lawrence in the public eye.

Arguably one of the most popular and successful comedians of the mid-1990s, not to mention being the man who first popularized "Wassup?" as a socially acceptable expression of hello, actor Martin Lawrence quickly rose to prominence on the back of his popular sitcom "Martin" (Fox, 1992-97), only to become embroiled in personal travails that very nearly ruined his career. While basking in the early success of "Martin," Lawrence began making strides in the feature world, starting with the hit action-comedy, "Bad Boys" (1995). But trouble began to surface when he landed in the hospital following an outburst while on the set of his first directing job, "A Thin Line Between Love and Hate" (1996), which precipitated a series of embarrassing events that included sexual harassment charges from his "Martin" co-star, a brutal divorce from his first wife, and a strange episode where he was found waving a gun at tourists in Los Angeles. Despite his personal problems, Lawrence had a popular hit with "Big Momma's House" (2000) while maintaining a steady career pace that saw its share of misfires, but always kept Lawrence in the public eye.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:


CAST: (feature film)

2.
4.
5.
 Wild Hogs (2007)
6.
 OPEN SEASON (2006)
7.
 Big Momma's House 2 (2006) Malcolm Turner
8.
 Rebound (2005) Cast
9.
 Bad Boys II (2003) Detective Marcus Burnett
10.
 National Security (2003) Earl Montgomery
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Began performing stand-up on the local nightclub circuit in Washington DC
:
Moved to NYC where he performed in Washington Square Park
:
Worked at Sears in Queens, New York with Salt-N-Pepa and Kid 'N' Play (Christopher Reid and Christopher Martin)
1987:
Won the first round of a "Star Search" competition
1987:
Cast in a recurring role on the syndicated sitcom, "What's Happening Now!!" as a smartmouthed busboy
1989:
Feature debut in Spike Lee's "Do The Right Thing"
1990:
Teamed with Kid 'N' Play for the feature "House Party"; first collaboration with actress Tisha Campbell
1990:
Provided a voice for the short-lived cartoon, "Kid 'n' Play" (NBC)
1991:
Reunited with Kid 'N' Play and Campbell for a sequel, "House Party 2"
1992:
First film with Eddie Murphy, "Boomerang"; third film with Campbell
:
Starred in the HBO comedy special, "One-Night Stand"
1992:
Hosted the HBO comedy series, "Russell Simmons' Def Comedy Jam"
1992:
Starred (also executive produced) in the Fox sitcom, "Martin"; co-starring Campbell as his girlfriend
1993:
Released first concert album, <i>Talkin' Shit</i>
:
Founded production companies You So Crazy and You Go Boy
1994:
Starred in the concert film "You So Crazy"; feature debut as executive producer; film received an NC-17 rating
1994:
Banned from NBC after some controversial comments made while hosting "Saturday Night Live" (NBC)
1995:
Co-starred with Will Smith as two undercover Miami cops in Michael Bay's feature directorial debut, "Bad Boys"
1996:
Feature directorial debut (also co-wrote, co-starred and produced), "A Thin Line Between Love and Hate"
1997:
Starred opposite Tim Robbins in "Nothing to Lose"
1999:
Re-teamed with Eddie Murphy as prisoners in "Life"
1999:
Starred as a diamond thief impersonating a cop in "Blue Streak"
2000:
Scored a hit as an FBI agent going undercover in "Big Momma's House"; also executive produced
2001:
Starred opposite Danny DeVito in "What's the Worst That Could Happen?"
2001:
Starred (also executive produced) in "Black Knight"
2002:
Released "Martin Lawrence Live: Runteldat" a concert film
2003:
Starred in the comedy feature "National Security"
2003:
Re-teamed with Will Smith for "Bad Boys 2"
2005:
Starred in the basketball comedy "Rebound" as flamboyant coach Roy McCormick
2006:
Produced and starred in "Big Momma's House 2" the sequel to the 2000 comedy
2006:
Voiced BOOG, a happily domesticated grizzly bear in the animated comedy "Open Season"
2007:
Cast in the comedy-adventure "Wild Hogs" as one of four middle-aged friends who decide to rev up their routine suburban lives with a freewheeling motorcycle trip
2008:
Starred in the comedy, "Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins"
2008:
Co-starred with Raven-Symoné in the father/daughter comedy, "College Road Trip"
2010:
Co-starred in the Chris Rock produced black comedy, "Death at a Funeral," a remake of the 2007 British film of the same name
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Eleanor Roosevelt High School: Greenbelt , Maryland -
Friendly High School: Fort Washington , Maryland -
Thomas G. Pullen School of Creative and Performing Arts: Landover , Maryland -

Notes

Lawrence was accused of sexual harrassment by co-star Tisha Campbell in a lawsuit filed in January 1997. Campbell, who had quit the Fox sitcom in November, agreed to complete the final two episodes of the five-year run of "Martin" on the condition that she would not have to appear in any more scenes with him. This provided a real a challenge for the writers who had to to make the pair seem like a loving couple, though they never stood in the same room.

Actor Martin Lawrence collapsed while jogging and lay in a coma for three days before regaining consciousness, hospital officials said Wednesday. He was running in heavy clothing to try to lose weight for a movie role, putting himself near death when his body temperature rose to more than 107 degrees. --From USA Today, August 26, 1999.

" . . . it's like Arsenio [Hall] says: If you're doing comedy and you haven't stolen from [Richard] Pryor, then you ain't doing it right. I agree with that. All I studied was Pryor. Pryor, [Eddie] Murphy, Redd Foxx, Moms Mably. I looked to the old school. I looked to those I considred to be the best of their times. I consider Richard Pryor the best of all time." --Martin Lawrence quoted in Rolling Stone, November 11, 1993.

"If you gave the same publicity they've given me about language to missing kids, they'd have found them all by now." --Lawrence to Jay Martel in Rolling Stone, April 21, 1994.

Regarding the flap over his inappropriate remarks on "SNL": "People know I can be clean every Sunday at 8. On 'Saturday Night Live', it's 11:30, and things get a little more risque. In my monologue, I made sure to ask if people had their kids in bed yet. Maybe I misjudged my material, but the people at the show said, 'You're the host. Do what you do and have a good time.' That's what I did."

Referring to a previous "SNL": "I saw Alec Baldwin playing a camp counselor and licking a little boy's fingers. That seems worse to me than what I had to say. Let's be clear about what's in bad taste. What I said wasn't any harsher than what you hear on a douche commercial. But I'm not mad at NBC. I laugh and take my lumps. They made the decision they thought they had to, and I'll live with that." --Lawrence to the Los Angeles Times, March 8, 1994.

"When I was growing up, people cracked on my ears, a lot. Kids are blunt. They don't know no better, so they'll say, 'Oooh, you got some big ears,' or 'Hi, Mr. Elf.' So there came a time when I had to learn to joke on my own ears." --Lawrence, quoted in New York Post, April 9, 1996.

On his erratic behavior: "He's not sick, he's not taking drugs. I think [his behavior] was a combination of many things--a marriage that didn't go well, doing movies back to back with his sitcom. I think he's learned how to pace himself." --an inside source quoted in New York Post, July 16, 1997.

About his first meeting long ago with Eddie Murphy at the Comedy Store on Sunset Boulevard: "I watched Eddie on 'Saturday Night Live' and I couldn't believe it when I looked down and saw Eddie Murphy in the audience. I thought I might need oxygen or something. I still can't believe I did two movies with him.

"I learn something from him each time. Eddie's a great teacher." --Lawrence to Cindy Pearlman in Chicago Sun-Times, April 11, 1999.

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Lark Voorhies. Actor. Born on March 25, 1975; engaged in 1993; alumna of "Saved by the Bell: The New Class" (NBC) and "The Bold and the Beautiful" (CBS); had regular roles on "In the House" and "The Parkers".
wife:
Patricia Southall. Born c. 1971; former Miss Virginia; married on January 7, 1995; Lawrence filed for divorce on September 17, 1996; later married sports star Emmit Smith.

Family close complete family listing

mother:
Chlora Lawrence. Former cashier. Divorced from Lawrence's father c. 1973.
sister:
Rae Proctor. Personal assistant. Serves as Lawrence's assistant.
sister:
Ursula Lawrence. Born c. 1966; runs Lawrence's fan club.
daughter:
Jasmine Page Lawrence. Born on January 15, 1996; mother Patricia Southall.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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