Comedian's Comedian

Before fame dawned on him, he earned his bread by performing magic and selling Disneyland guidebooks.

From performing in an empty coffee house to hosting the Oscars, he garnered attention by every artistic medium: stand-up comic, starring in and scripting classic films, plays and bestselling novels, and playing banjo. 

In 2004, Comedy Central ranked him sixth on a list of 100.

Childhood

Stephen Glenn “Steve” Martin was born on August 14, 1945 in Texas. As a teenager, Martin sold guidebooks and performed magic tricks at Disneyland and at Knotts Berry Farm.

He enrolled in Long Beach State College to study philosophy, but soon transferred to the theater program at the University of California, Los Angeles. 

Comedian

In 1967, Martin began performing comedy in nightclubs around California. Dropping out of college at age 21, he got his first TV job as a writer and occasional performer on “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour”.  His first stand-up album, Let’s Get Small, was a huge success, launching Martin into rock-star status as a comic.

Actor

In 1979, he starred in his first full-length feature film, “The Jerk”. Throughout the 1980s, Martin continued to headline films including “The Man with Two Brains”, “Three Amigos!” and “Planes, Trains and Automobiles”.

Martin continued to act in the 1990s, branching out into dramas like “Grand Canyon” (1991) and “The Spanish Prisoner” (1998). He then began starring in “family” comedies like the “Father of the Bride” and “Cheaper by the dozen series”, as well as had two screenplays turned into films: L.A. Story (1991) and Bowfinger (1999).

Writer

A frequent contributor to “The New Yorker” magazine, Martin published “Shopgirl”, a novella, to great acclaim in 2001. In 2008, Martin published “Born Standing Up”, a memoir about his days as a hugely successful stand-up comedian.

Awards

1989: Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from California State University Long Beach

2005: Mark Twain Prize for American Humor

2005: Disney Legend award

2013: Academy Honorary Award

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