Martin Lawrence

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His career has been plagued by scandals and borderline behavior, but Martin Lawrence has persevered time and time again. When Eddie Murphy moved on to kinder, more gentle comedy, Martin Lawrence became the reigning king of raunchy comedy. The lifestyle took its toll, but Lawrence seems to be finally emerging as a comedic presence to be taken seriously in Hollywood

Lawrence spent the early years of his life traveling a lot with his mother and father. Dad was in the Air Force, so Martin’s early upbringing was as an Air Force Brat - shipping out when duty called. Indeed, Lawrence was actually born in Frankfurt Germany on April 16th, 1965. He didn’t stay there for long, and even his traveling days ended early when his father left his mother and her six children. The Lawrence clan spent the rest of their childhood in Maryland.

Martin developed a knack for comedy early on in an attempt to keep his hard working mom’s spirits up. He began developing routines which he would perform when she got home from working as a cashier. His love of laughter caused some trouble at school, where he was the class clown and every teacher’s worst nightmare. At one point, Martin even had a running bargain with one teacher that if he kept silent throughout class, he could have the final five minutes to himself. His mini comedy routines were a hit with his fellow students and Martin’s love of stand-up was born.

Like many other comedians, Lawrence got his earliest break on Ed McMahon’s Star Search. He did well, but the PG act was not really what he was after and he soon began a much raunchier stand-up act. Lawrence’s NC-17 act caught the attention of producers who were putting together a new comedy show, and Martin was soon hosting Def Comedy Jam. Small film roles followed close behind, including a role in Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing and in Boomerang with Eddie Murphy.

Martin Lawrence’s greatest claim to fame though was Martin, his long-running Fox television show. The show revolved around a music D.J. (Lawrence) and his upscale wife (Tisha Campbell). The two often engaged in explicit banter, full of sexual innuendo. Bill Cosby, among others, were not fans, but the show won acclaim from the NAACP. Lawrence continued to do stand-up during his sitcom years (and broke attendance records at Radio City Music Hall) and worked on his film career. He had a bonafide hit with Bad Boys, co-starring friend Will Smith. Lawrence also married Miss Virginia, Patricia Southall in 1995, with whom he has a daughter.

Then, just as everything looked like it was going great, things began to deteriorate. Family and friends became concerned at his increasingly erratic behavior. After he had a violent outburst on the set of A Thin Line Between Love and Hate, his family hired a private nurse to look after him and he began taking psychotropic medication. Lawrence was reported to be suffering from bouts of paranoia. Then in 1996, he was arrested after brandishing a pistol and screaming at cars on Ventura Boulevard. The official line was “exhaustion and dehydration,” but rumors of drug use circulated. The next scandal came a few months later and also involved a gun, this time when Lawrence tried to bring an unregistered pistol through airline security.

The greatest blows to Lawrence’s reputation were still forthcoming. After the last gun scandal, Lawrence checked into a drug rehabilitation clinic, but left two days later. Lawrence went after his wife and assaulted her, apparently upset that she had given his private nurse a few days off without consulting him first. His wife filed a restraining order against Lawrence and he was forbidden to go near either her or their daughter. Lawrence served her with divorce papers.

Next came yet another scandal involving a woman. This time it was Lawrence’s Martin co-star Tisha Campbell. She attempted to leave the show, claiming she could no longer work with Martin’s allegedly constant sexual harassment. The producers of the show, HBO, sued her and she filed a countersuit claiming that they had failed to protect her from Martin. In the end, she was forced to stay on the show and finish the fifth season. However, Lawrence was not allowed on the soundstage during her scenes - meaning that the supposedly happy couple never appeared together in the last episodes.

Since Martin went off the air, Lawrence has been relatively scandal-free. He has had some big screen success with Nothing to Lose and Life and continues to grow as an actor. In late August of 1999, Lawrence was reportedly hospitalized after slipping into a coma induced by heatstroke, but he recovered normally. As always, his ailments are surrounded by rumors of drug use, but nothing has been confirmed.

Most likely, Lawrence will continue to persevere and build on his most recent Hollywood success with films like Blue Streak and Big Momma's House.

 

Bio From Movie Thing.com

Box Office

Filmography

  • Big Momma's House
  • Blue Streak
  • Life
  • Nothing to Lose
  • Thin Line Between Love and Hate
  • Bad Boys
  • You So Crazy
  • Martin TV)
  • Boomerang
  • House Party 2
  • Talking' Dirty After Dark
  • House Party
  • Do the Right Thing
  • What's Happening Now!(TV)

 

Awards

Links

 

 

Real Name:         Martin Lawrence
D.O.B:           April 16,1965 
Place of Birth:  Frankfurt, Germany
Occupation:      Actor
Released Movie Name Role Total Gross
9/17/99 Blue Streak Miles Logan $68,208,190
4/16/99 Life Claude $64,016,268
7/18/97 Nothing To Lose T. Paul $44,477,235
4/3/96 Thin Line Between Love & Hate, A Darnell Wright $34,873,513
4/7/95 Bad Boys Marcus Burnett $65,647,413
7/1/92 Boomerang Tyler $66,747,692
10/23/91 House Party 2 Bilal $19,438,638
3/9/90 House Party Bilal $26,385,627
6/30/89 Do the Right Thing Cee $26,004,026
  Total Grosses $415,798,602