Martin Lawrence is a German-born American comedian, actor, director, producer and musician, who has carved a niche for himself in the movie industry with his unique comedic skills. His most memorable performances can be seen in the eponymous TV series Martin, Big Momma’s House trilogy and Bad Boys franchise. After achieving stardom with his terrific displays in many critically and commercially acclaimed movies and TV series, the renowned actor encountered a career-low as a result of some on-and off-screen personal problems. Lately, he is working hard to get back on track.
Martin Lawrence’s Humble Beginning And Journey To Hollywood
Prior to becoming a movie star, Martin Lawrence was remarkably successful as a boxer. He became a Mid-Atlantic Golden Gloves boxing contender while in high school. He had wanted to become a professional boxer but changed his mind after suffering a broken eye injury.
Martin started out his comedy career at the legendary The Improv, New York City which has also served as the starting point for comedians like Jay Leno, Bill Cosby, and Joan Rivers. After emerging as runners-up on Star Search, his performance attracted Columbia Pictures Television who gave him his first acting role in the situation comedy What’s Happening Now!!.
Martin took up a number of other minor roles before getting his breakthrough as Cee in 1989 comedy-drama Do the Right Thing. His Hollywood prominence increased with movies such as House Party (1990), Talkin’ Dirty After Dark (1991), and Boomerang (1992) alongside Eddie Murphy. Between movies, Martin was selected by Def Jam boss Russell Simons as host of the TV show, Def Comedy Jam on HBO, the same TV show comedians like Dave Chappelle and Chris Tucker owe their prominence to.
His Meteoric Rise To Stardom
With the mainstream success he gained with Def Comedy Jam, Lawrence further attained star status with his eponymous hit series Martin which aired for 5 years from 1992 to 1997 on Fox TV. He additionally starred in a number of box office hits including Nothing to Lose (1997), Blue Streak (1999), Big Momma’s House (2000), and its sequels, as well as Bad Boys (alongside Will Smith) and its sequels.
Some of his other works include; College Road Trip (2008), and Death at a Funeral (2010), as well as the third sequel to Bad Boys, titled Bad Boys For Life.
Martin Lawrence’s awards include but are not limited to 2 NAACP Image Award, 1 BET Comedy Award, and numerous nominations. He was recently proffered honorary keys to the City of Miami and equally made an honorary police officer alongside Will Smith for their outstanding portrayal of Miami police officers in the Bad Boys trilogy.
Revelations About His Career Decline
The beginning of the actor’s many problems started when he made some extremely lewd remarks about the female genitalia while hosting Saturday Night Live on February 19th, 1994. Subsequently, he was banned from the show for life. Later on, many speculated that his actions were as a result of a medical condition. Well, let’s take a look at other factors that may have affected his career progression below.
Numerous Health Issues
Soon after being banned from SNL, the famed comedian began to show signs of a nervous breakdown. Firstly, while filming A Thin Line Between Love and Hate in July 1995, Martin Lawrence lashed out in fierce rage and was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he was hospitalized for exhaustion. Instead of taking a break to rest, he continued to book more works and that resulted in another burnout on May 8th, 1996.
This time, he was found in the middle of the busy Sherman Oaks interjection on Ventura Boulevard in LA with a pistol, shouting “They’re trying to kill me” at the motorists. After being rescued by the police and taken to hospital, his public-relations agent stated that the ugly incident was caused by exhaustion and dehydration. Furthermore, Martin Lawrence was arrested in March 1997 for hitting a man in a nightclub in Hollywood and was later subjected to community service.
Martin Lawrence’s Sexual Harassment Lawsuit
In January 1997, the comedian’s co-star in Martin, Tisha Campbell-Martin filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against him. In the suit, she alleged that Martin Lawrence groped and assaulted her on-and-off the set of the sitcom which resulted in her quitting the show temporarily. However, Lawrence denied the allegations, and the case was settled outside the court in April 1997. Campbell then returned and featured in the last two episodes of the sitcom.
His 3-days Coma Experience
While exercising in his Big Momma‘s ‘fat suit’ under extreme weather conditions of about 100 °F (38 °C), Martin Lawrence slumped on his lawn and slipped into a coma in 1999. He was hospitalized at Los Robles Regional Medical Center and regained consciousness after three days. He did survive the ordeal and was able to complete his role in the movie.
Details Of His Career Earnings And Net Worth
Although Martin Lawrence has involved himself in several business endeavors, it is known that the major bulk of his $110 million net worth came from his gigs in the entertainment industry. At the peak of his career, he made over $10 million per film role. The movies that fetched him big payday include Big Momma’s House 2, Wild Hogs, and Bad Boys for Life, with the latter grossing $112 million within the first four days of release.
Lawrence owns a farm close to Purcellville, Virginia. In 2013, he listed his swanky 15,000 sq ft 7 bedroom house in Beverly Hills for $26.5 million after it failed to find a tenant for $200,000 per month. He later sold the house to Bruce Makowsky for $17.2 million and bought a property at Encino, Los Angeles for $6.63 million.
The Truth About Martin Lawrence’s Death Hoax
The news about Lawrence’s death hit the media in March 2015 bringing immense shock to his fans around the world. The news carried by an entertainment website News Buzz Daily reported that Martin was found dead in a room at Los Angeles. It went further to mention that a certain hotel maid named Verna Del Sosa found Martin’s lifeless body on the floor of his room. And, that a paramedic called-in affirmed that the man’s body must have laid on the floor for several days. This news caused much concern as most of those who read the story believed it was true until April the same year when it was confirmed to be a hoax.
Martin Lawrence is still alive and doing well. He remained active on social media platforms even days after his supposed demise. In fact, in one of his twitter posts, he made fun of the death hoax saying he would be back from the dead for an exclusive, LIVE video chat.
Juicy Facts About Martin Lawrence’s Wife And Kids
The Bad Boys actor proposed to actress, Lark Voorhies in 1993 and later called off the engagement in the next year. He then tied the knot with Miss Virginia USA, Patricia Southall in 1995. The union produced a daughter, Jasmine Page who was born on January 15th, 1996. However, the marriage hit the rocks in the year 1997. The accomplished comedian then kicked off a romantic relationship with chef and businesswoman, Shamicka Gibbs in the same year and solemnized the union in the presence of their 120 guests on July 10th, 2010.
The ceremony was held in Martin Lawrence’s Beverly Hills home. The couple shares two daughters, Iyanna Faith, (born on November 9, 2000) and Amara Trinity (born on August 20, 2002). After staying married for two years, the pair got separated, as Martin Lawrence filed for divorce on April 25th, 2012, and cited irreconcilable differences as the cause. The former couple also asked for joint custody of their children during the marriage annulment process.
Lawrence is currently in a relationship with Roberta Moradfar, a certified aesthetics nurse specialist who serves as the founder of a medical spa called Effacé aesthetics. They got engaged in March 2017 with Martin presenting her an “M (heart) R” engagement ring. If the marriage pushes through, it would then be Martin’s third marriage.