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Overview for Steve Martin
Steve Martin

Steve Martin

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Also Known As: Stephen Glenn Martin Died:
Born: August 14, 1945 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Waco, Texas, USA Profession: Cast ... actor comedian playwright producer screenwriter composer musician author
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BIOGRAPHY

" which was well received as much for its insightful romantic comedy script as for its successful capturing of the essence of certain L.A. character types and lifestyles. Martin returned to drama, playing a film producer in Lawrence Kasdan's ensemble "Grand Canyon" (1991), but went on to spend the majority of the 1990s in box office comedy successes that were disappointingly predictable for an actor whose early work was so exuberant and off-kilter. The first of these lackluster broad comedies were Disney's remake of "Father of the Bride" (1991) and "Housesitter" (1992), where he played an uptight architect whose life is disrupted by a female grifter (Goldie Hawn).

Light on his feet, if ultimately joyless and opaque, Martin played a charlatan faith healer in the moderately successful drama, "Leap of Faith" (1992). The following year, Martin - who was known off-screen as an intellectually-inclined art collector - made his playwriting debut with "Picasso at the Lapin Agile," a comic fantasy about a meeting between the celebrated painter and Albert Einstein in 1904 before both achieved worldwide fame. The play premiered in Chicago and went on to become a hit in Los Angeles and off-Broadway. "WASP and Other Plays" followed at New York's Public Theater and further confirmed Martin's broad talent. Back in Hollywood, Martin returned to Disney's Touchstone division as executive producer and scripter of "A Simple Twist of Fate" (1994), a polished yet problematic adaptation of George Eliot's "Silas Marner." He was effective as a gloomy recluse who reconnects with life by raising an abandoned infant, but audiences detected a downer and steered clear. Off-screen, Martin was feeling a bit down himself, when he and wife Tennant divorced in 1994 after a decade of marriage, though he rebounded with a two-year relationship with considerably younger actress, Anne Heche. In 1995, Martin returned to successful if unremarkable comedy with the sequel "Father of the Bride II" and "Mixed Nuts," a tiresome holiday offering that flopped, despite an all-star cast and script and direction from romantic comedy gold-spinner, Nora Ephron.

After the forgettable effort "Sgt. Bilko" (1996), Martin delivered a strong supporting turn as a mysterious businessman in David Mamet's psychological drama, "The Spanish Prisoner" (1997). He lent his voice to the wily servant Hotep in DreamWorks' animated Moses musical "The Prince of Egypt" (1998), and finally revisited his sorely missed "zany" persona in "Bowfinger" (1999), a successful Hollywood satire where Martin (who also penned the script) played a producer alongside co-star Eddie Murphy as an action film hero. Martin enjoyed further critical kudos that year for his book Pure Drivel, a collection of humor pieces he had previously published in The New Yorker magazine. A lackluster remake of the 1960s screwball classic "The Out-of-Towners" (1999), however, missed the mark and Martin detoured into new territory with director Stanley Tucci's serious-minded "J Gould's Secret" (2000), as well as the dramatic thriller, "Novocaine" (2001), where he played a dentist suspected of murdering a patient. Martin's first novella, Shopgirl, about a depressed glove saleswoman at a Beverly Hills Neiman Marcus, was released that year and became a bestseller. In a semi-return to stand-up, Martin was cheered for taking over hosting duties of the Academy Awards ceremonies in 2001 and 2003.

In an intentionally unexpected pairing that delivered mega box office returns, Martin co-starred opposite rapper-turned-actress Queen Latifah in "Bringing Down The House" (2003), a contrived "opposites comedy" about a lonely attorney who looks for love on the Internet and finds an escaped convict who wreaks havoc on his life. There were more genuine laughs to be had with "Looney Tunes: Back In Action" (2003) - a live action/animation mix starring the Warner Bros. cast of cartoon icons and Martin, throwing off his well-worn uptight act and cutting loose as the villainous Chairman of the Acme Corporation. He further banked on family fare, reprising his "exasperated suburban dad" in the remake of "Cheaper By the Dozen" (2003), an enormous box office hit that held little interest for critics. Conversely, Martin's screen adaptation of "Shop Girl" (2005) only received limited release but garnered resoundingly positive reviews for its smart, subtle, and sometimes painfully honest portrayal of a May-December romance. Martin reprised his role as overburdened parent in the sequel "Cheaper By the Dozen 2" (2005) and then seemed like a safe bet to take on the iconic role of the classic Peter Sellers character, Inspector Clouseau, in "The Pink Panther" (2006) reimagining. Audiences anticipated Martin's return to more physical comedy, but even the actor's valiant efforts onscreen were not enough to salvage the bad script.

In 2007, Martin released the heartfelt memoir Born Standing Up, a well-reviewed chronicle of his early years in show business, and followed it up with the children's book, The Alphabet From A to Y with the Bonus Letter Z, which was illustrated by fellow New Yorker contributor Roz Chast. He also took the plunge again, wedding longtime girlfriend (and former New Yorker staffer) Anne Stringfield before returning to the screen with a supporting role in the unexpected summer comedy hit "Baby Mama" (2008). The following year, Martin reprised his take on the bumbling Inspector Clouseau in "The Pink Panther 2" (2009), a box office dud that threatened to undermine a third installment to the series. Meanwhile, he was in fine form as an agoraphobic millionaire who tries to woo Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) on an episode of the critical darling, "30 Rock" (NBC, 2006- ). The role earned him an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series in 2009. Martin's connection to the show did not end there. Perhaps due in part to their onscreen chemistry, Martin and "30 Rock" star Alec Baldwin were announced as co-hosts of the 82nd Annual Academy Awards - an announcement that sent ripples of excitement through the public and industry at large.3). His role as a doctor who falls in love with a brain in a jar in "The Man with Two Brains" (1983) pleased fans, and Martin went on to give one of his most outstanding performances in Reiner's "All of Me" (1984), in which his physical comedy was a perfect fit for a character who is half-possessed on his body's right side only by a deceased, crotchety millionairess (Lily Tomlin). The 1985 romantic comedy "The Lonely Guy" was a flop, but ironically the next year, the long-time bachelor was wed to British actress and "All of Me" co-star, Victoria Tennant. The following year, Martin co-wrote the successful buddy comedy "Three Amigos!" (1986) and joined Chevy Chase and Martin Short on horseback with amusing results. Martin played a sadistic dentist in the well-received screen adaptation of the musical "Little Shop of Horrors" (1986) and dialed back the zany energy to give a surprisingly touching and graceful performance in "Roxanne" (1987), a modern-day comic revamp of "Cyrano de Bergerac" which Martin also wrote and executive- produced.

In one of the best-loved films of both their careers, Martin played alongside a surprisingly touching John Candy in the John Hughes' holiday classic, "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" (1987). Martin was the straight man of two mismatched travelers whose Thanksgiving plans are endlessly ill-fated, resulting in three intolerable days together. Co-star chemistry was again at the center of the successful "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" (1988), in which Martin and Michael Caine made for a deliciously deviant team of con artists. Martin maintained a reserved, high-strung persona to portray the father of a young family in "Parenthood" (1989), a huge box office hit beloved for its balance of comedy and heart. In 1991, Martin wrote, produced and starred in "L.A. Story,

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