Stephen Glenn Martin

portrait of Steve Martin
2008 Tribeca Film Festival, photo by David Shankbone (23 April 2008)
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Born: 14 April 1945, Waco, Texas

Martin was raised at Inglewood and Garden Grove, California and had a difficult and distant relationship with his father. His first job was selling guidebooks at Disneyland and he started working on magic tricks, juggling, and creating balloon animals. He started working on comedy routines while at Santa Ana Junior College, joining a comedy troupe at Knott's Berry Farm. A girlfriend who was a dancer on the show got him a job as a writer for the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, he also wrote for The Glen Campbell Good time Hour and The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour. Martin did stand-up comedy opening for concerts and appeared often on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and The Gong Show. He was "A Wild and Crazy Guy" and a star Jerk in a movie of that name, but over time his work in fifty films became more serious and varied. Roxanne, his interpretation of Cyrano, was well received. He was the most-frequent host of Saturday Night Live, but never was part of the cast. He had played the banjo as an element of his comedy, but won a Best Country Instrumental Performance Grammy for "Foggy Mountain Breakdown", recorded with Earl Scruggs in 2002 and accompanied James Taylor at Carnegie Hall on 12 April 2011. He is a significant art collector and recently wrote a novel, An Object of Beauty, set in the Manhattan gallery scene, he had written two previous novels and two volumes of short stories. He remains capable of humor and surprise, guests at his 2007 wedding to writer Anne Stingfield had been invited to a party and were surprised when former Nebraska Senator Bob Kerrey presided over the ceremony.

Biography from Wikipedia and National Public Radio

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