Martin Lawrence (born April 16, 1965), is an German-born actor, comedian, and producer. The native of Frankfurt has two sisters, three brothers and an daughter. His father is in the U.S military and his mother is an former cashier.
When Lawrence was six, his family moved to the New York City borough of Queens. His family then moved to Landover, Maryland. When his father left the family; Lawrence claims he got his start to as an comedian to cheer up his mother Chlora, who was forced to cashier at various department stores. He attended Eleanor Roosevelt High School while living there.
Several years later, Lawrence recieved a chance to perfrm on Star Search. He then led to a role in the 1985 series What's Happening Now!. Lawrence made his motion picture debut by perfoming a minor role in Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing. He perfomed another minor role in House Party and House Party 2 and a more prominent role in Eddie Murphy's Bommerang. He MCed Def Comedy Jam as well.
In 1991, Lawrence got his first role starring role in a cinema project called Talking Dirty After Dark.
By 1992, Lawrence made his own sitcom, Martin on Fox. Martin ran from 1992 to 1997, and now remains in syndication on many networks worldwide. The show won a NAACP Image Award for Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Series.
In 1994, Lawrence released the controversial concert film, You So Crazy!. The film received the NC-17 rating and was later released unrated. Its crudeness , however, didn't much matter. You So Crazy! went to become one the highest-grossing concert films of its time.
Lawrence once married Patricia Southall, former Miss Virginia in 1995. In 1996, they had a daughter and later divorced. After the divorce, Lawrence's success story began to slip. His off-camera behavior sounded to some like a fascinating E! True Hollywood Story setting up. It has been talked about a restraining order that the Martin! show co-star had against him and a series of other things and rumors involving Lawrence.
Lawrence starred, directed, co-wrote, and was executive producer of A Thin Line Between Love and Hate. Thin Line was filmed around Martin production schedule; a diffucult task to say the least. Lawrence erupted in a violent outburst and began taking drugs on the set of his directorial debut.
Lawrence was popular as ever starring in successful commerical movies such as Bad Boys with Will Smith, Nothing to Lose with Tim Robbins, Life with Eddie Murphy, and independently in Blue Streak. These movies made Lawrence extremely wealthy - his salary broke the mark for Big Momma's House.
After the success of Big Momma's House, his salary went to $13 million for What's the Worst Thing That Could Happen with Danny DeVito. He then earned $16.5 million dollars for Black Knight. Lawrence's next film appearance, Martin Lawrence Live: Runteldat, had him take the stage. Other film appearances are National Security (2003), and sequels to Bad Boys and Blue Streak.
His filmography includes:
- What's Happening Now! (1985)
- A Little Bit Strange (1989)
- Do the Right Thing (1989)
- House Party (1990)
- Hammer, Slammer, & Slade (1990)
- House Party 2 (1991)
- Talkin Dirty After Dark (1991)
- Boomerang (1992)
- Martin (1992-1997)
- You So Crazy! (1994)
- Bad Boys (1995)
- A Thin Line Between Love and Hate (1996)
- Nothing to Lose (1997)
- Life (1999)
- ''Blue Streak (1999)
- Big Momma's House (2000)
- What's the Worst That Could Happen (2001)
- Black Knight (2001)
- Martin Lawrence Live: Runteldat (2002)
- National Security (2003)
- Bad Boys II (2003)
- Rage Control (2004) (pre production)