|Birth name||Martin Fitzgerald Lawrence|
|Born||April 16, 1965
Frankfurt am Main, West Germany
|Medium||Stand-up comedy, Television, Film|
|Years active||1987 – present|
|Genres||Observational comedy, Physical comedy, Improvisational comedy|
|Subject(s)||Human sexuality, African-American culture, racism, race relations, self-deprecation|
|Influences||Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor, Bill Cosby, DeMaris Williams|
|Influenced||Dave Chappelle, Kevin Hart, Chris Tucker, Tracy Morgan|
|Spouse||Patricia Southall (1995-1996) 1 daughter|
Martin Fitzgerald Lawrence (born April 16, 1965) is an American actor, comedian, director, and producer. He came to fame during the 1990s, establishing a Hollywood career as a leading actor. Lawrence has acted in numerous movie roles and starred in his own television series, Martin, which ran from 1992 to 1997.
Martin Lawrence born in Frankfurt am Main, West Germany, where his American father, John Lawrence, served in the U.S. Military. After his parents divorced in 1973, Lawrence rarely saw his father, who worked as a police officer at the time. His mother, Chlora, began working several jobs to support her family. During his teen years, Lawrence excelled at boxing. While living in Maryland, he attended Thomas G. Pullen School of Creative and Performing Arts (Landover, Maryland), Fairmont Heights High School (Fairmount Heights, Maryland), Eleanor Roosevelt High School and also Friendly High School in Fort Washington, Maryland, becoming a Mid-Atlantic Golden Gloves boxing contender.
Lawrence moved to Los Angeles and found his way to the legendary Kings Wood comedy club. Shortly after appearing at the Wood, he won a performance spot on Star Search, a popular show in the United States. He did well on the show and made it to the final round before ultimately losing. However, executives at Columbia TriStar Television saw Martin's performance and offered him the role of "Maurice" on the television sitcom What's Happening Now!!; this was his first acting job. Upon cancellation of that show, Lawrence found bit parts in various films and television roles. His breakthrough role was as Cee in the Spike Lee film Do the Right Thing. Other roles followed in films such as the House Party series and the Eddie Murphy vehicle Boomerang. During this period, entertainment mogul Russell Simmons selected him to host the groundbreaking series Def Comedy Jam on HBO. Def Comedy Jam gave many comedians (including Chris Tucker, Dave Chappelle, Bernie Mac and Cedric the Entertainer) mainstream exposure.
During his stint with Def Comedy Jam, Lawrence appeared in his own hit series, Martin, which aired on FOX. The show ran from 1992 to 1997 and was an enormous success. "Martin" was the flagship of FOX's Thursday-night line-up, which drew millions of viewers away from NBC's "Must See TV" line-up. He hosted Saturday Night Live on February 19, 1994, where he made crude remarks about women's genitalia and personal hygiene; the monologue was completely edited out of NBC reruns and syndicated versions, and Lawrence was banned from the show for the rest of his life. "Martin"'s ratings continued to skyrocket so much that FOX became more of a contender against NBC and came closer to being considered among the top television networks. SNL was rumored to have invited Martin back to the show months later. It was said that he declined the offer. After Martin ended its run, Lawrence found ample work in comedy films. He often starred as the second lead opposite actors including Eddie Murphy, Will Smith, and Tim Robbins. Many of his films were blockbusters at the box office, including Boomerang (1992), Bad Boys (1995), Blue Streak (1999), Big Momma's House (2000) and Bad Boys 2 (2003). He also starred in critical and box office failures including Black Knight (2001) and National Security (2002). Regardless, his salary steadily increased to over $10 million per film role. He continues to work in film, with such films as Big Momma's House 2, which opened #1 at the North American box office and grossed almost $28 million its first weekend, and Wild Hogs (2007), in which he plays a bored suburbanite seeking adventure on the open road in a biker comedy alongside John Travolta, Tim Allen and William H. Macy.
Lawrence has reportedly signed on to star in an upcoming comedy titled Back To Africa. According to Variety, Lawrence will play a working-class man from Queens, New York who discovers that he is the heir to the throne of an African country and travels there to claim his birthright. Lawrence will serve as a producer on the film, which will be released via his Runteldat imprint and Alcon Entertainment. A release date for the film has not been announced. Also Produced show on tvone called Love that Girl
Lawrence was engaged to Lark Voorhies in 1993.
He married Patricia Southall, a former Miss Virginia USA, in January 1995. Lawrence has a daughter with Southall named Jasmine Page, born on January 15, 1996. They divorced in September 1996. Lawrence also has two other daughters, Lyana and America, born in 2001 and 2003.
In 1996, Lawrence's Martin co-star, Tisha Campbell-Martin, filed a lawsuit against Lawrence and the show's producers for sexual harassment and verbal and physical assaults. HBO Studios settled the lawsuit so the show's final season could be completed. Campbell-Martin agreed to complete the season on the condition that she not appear in any scenes in the last two episodes with Lawrence. No criminal charges were ever filed and the accusations were never brought to court.
In the mid-1990s, Lawrence began abusing psychotropic drugs, and during filming of A Thin Line Between Love and Hate lashed out in a violent outburst on the set. He became increasingly erratic and was arrested after he reportedly brandished a pistol and screamed at tourists on Ventura Boulevard in Los Angeles. He was also arrested at Burbank Airport for carrying a loaded gun in his suitcase. In March 1997, Lawrence was arrested again after assaulting a man in a Hollywood nightclub.
During August 1999, Lawrence slipped into a three-day coma after collapsing from heat exhaustion while jogging in 100-degree heat while wearing several layers of heavy clothing. He recovered in the hospital after very nearly dying and running a body temperature of 107 °F (41.7 °C), his breathing assisted by a respirator.
|1989||Do The Right Thing||Cee|
|1991||Talkin' Dirty After Dark||Terry|
|House Party 2||Bilal|
|1994||You So Crazy||Himself||stand-up acting
executive producer and writer
|1995||Bad Boys||Marcus Burnett|
|1996||A Thin Line Between Love and Hate||Narrator/Darnell 'Deeny/'D'/D.W.' Wright||also director, exc. producer,music supervisor and writer|
|1997||Nothing to Lose||Terrance Paul Davidson|
|Blue Streak||Miles Logan/Detective Malone|
|2000||Big Momma's House||Malcolm Turner/Big Momma||also executive producer|
|2001||What's the Worst That Could Happen?||Kevin Caffery|
|Black Knight||Jamal Walker/Skywalker|
|2002||Martin Lawrence Live: Runteldat||Himself||also executive producer
|2003||National Security||Earl Montgomery||also executive producer|
|Bad Boys II||Marcus Burnett|
|2005||Rebound||Roy McCormick/Preacher Don||also executive producer|
|2006||Big Momma's House 2||Malcolm Turner/Big Momma|
|2007||Wild Hogs||Bobby Davis|
|2008||Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins||Dr. RJ Stevens/Roscoe Steven Jenkins, Jr.|
|College Road Trip||Chief James Porter|
|2010||Death at a Funeral||Ryan Parlson|
|2012||Big Momma's House 3||Malcolm Turner/Big Momma|
|1993||Martin Lawrence Live Talkin' Shit||76||10|