STEVE MARTIN (Peter Sanderson), one of the most diversified, prolific performers in the motion picture industry today – actor, comedian, author, playwright, producer – has been successful as a writer of and performer in some of the most popular movies of recent film history.
Born in Waco, Texas and raised in Southern California, Martin became a television writer in the late 1960s, winning an Emmy Award for his work on the hit series “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.” By the end of the decade he was performing his own material in clubs and on television.
Launched by frequent appearances on Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show,” Martin went on to host several shows on “Saturday Night Live,” and to star and co-write four highly rated television specials. He won Grammy Awards for his two comedy albums, “Let’s Get Small” and “A Wild and Crazy Guy,” and had a gold record with his single “King Tut.”
Martin’s first film project, “The Absent-Minded Waiter,” a short he wrote and starred in, was nominated for a 1977 Academy Award®. In 1979, he moved into feature films, co-writing and starring in “The Jerk,” directed by Carl Reiner. In 1981, he starred opposite Bernadette Peters in “Pennies From Heaven.”
In 1982, Martin co-wrote and starred in the detective thriller send-up “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid” and the science fiction comedy “The Man With Two Brains,” both directed by Carl Reiner. In 1984, Martin received a Best Actor award from both the New York Film Critics Association and the National Board of Review for his performance opposite Lily Tomlin in “All of Me,” his fourth collaboration with writer/director Reiner.
In 1987, “Roxanne” garnered Martin not only warm audience response, but also a Best Actor award from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and a Best Screenplay Award from the Writers Guild of America. Martin was also the executive producer on the film.
In 1988, he co-starred with Michael Caine in the hit comedy film “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,” and went on to “Parenthood” with Mary Steenbergen and Dianne Wiest.
In 1991, Martin wrote, starred in and co-executive produced the critically acclaimed comedy “L.A. Story.” That same year, he made a cameo appearance in “Grand Canyon,” starred with Diane Keaton in the hit Disney film “Father of the Bride,” receiving the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Actor in a Comedy Motion Picture for the latter. In 1992, he starred in the comedy “Housesitter” opposite Goldie Hawn, winning the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Actor in a Comedy for the second year in a row.
In 1996, he again starred with Diane Keaton in the hit sequel to “Father of the Bride,” and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award. The following year he received critical acclaim for his riveting performance in David Mamet’s thriller, “The Spanish Prisoner.”
More recently, Martin wrote and starred in “Bowfinger” with Eddie Murphy, and “Novacaine” with Helena Bonham Carter and Laura Dern.
His other films include “Little Shop of Horrors,” “Planes, Trains and Automobiles,” “Three Amigos,” “The Lonely Guy,” “Sgt. Bilko,” “Leap of Faith,” and “My Blue Heaven.”
In 1993, Martin’s original play, the comedydrama “Picasso at the Lapin Agile,” was presented by Chicago’s prestigious Steppenwolf Theatre. Following rave reviews and an extended run in Chicago, the play was presented successfully in Boston, Los Angeles, and Off-Broadway to nationwide critical and audience acclaim.
Martin was selected as Harvard University’s Hasty Pudding Theatricals 1988 Man of the Year. In 1996, he was honored with a retrospective of his work by the American Film Institute’s Third Decade Council at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival. He was also presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the ceremony.
He hosted the 73rd Annual Academy Awards® in 2001. The program was nominated for seven Emmy Awards, including his nomination for Outstanding Individual Performance In a Variety or Music Program. He hosts the 75th Annual Academy Awards® in March.
Martin’s best selling book, Pure Drivel, published in 1998, is a collection of witty short stories, and he continues to experience great success worldwide with the publication of his first novella, Shopgirl, which spent time on both the New York Times and Los Angeles Times Best Seller Lists, and recently had its 7th printing. He is currently adapting the novella into a motion picture in which he will star for Touchstone Pictures.
“The Underpants,” a dark comedy Martin adapted from a play originally written by Carl Sternheim in 1911 premiered Off-Broadway at the Classic Stage Company in April 2002.
Martin currently plans to write his second book for Hyperion, which will be called The Pleasure of My Company.