Steve Martin

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Martin, Steve,

1945–, American comedian, actor, and writer, b. Waco, Tex. An Emmy-winning television comedy writer in the late 1960s, he began performing stand-up comedy in the early 70s and became a recurrent host on Saturday Night Live beginning in the late 70s. His catchphrases, e.g., "I'm a wild and crazy guy," became instant clichés, and his characters, e.g., a hopelessly gauche Eastern European swinger, instant classics. He also recorded several comedy albums, two of them Grammy winners, and starred in TV specials. Turning to films, Martin starred in and wrote The Jerk (1979), Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982), The Man with Two Brains (1983), and Bowfinger (1999). He also starred in the comedies All of Me (1984), Little Shop of Horrors (1986), and Roxanne (1987) as well as in the despairing Pennies from Heaven (1981), the drama Grand Canyon (1991), David MametMamet, David
, 1947–, American playwright and film director, b. Chicago. He taught drama (and produced some of his early plays) at Goddard College. His work, often dealing with the success and failure of the American dream, is noted for its sharp, spare, compressed, often
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's dark The Spanish Prisoner (1998), and the thriller Novocaine (2001). Martin has written humorous pieces, plays, novellas (including Shopgirl, 2000; he also wrote and starred in the 2005 film), and a novel, An Object of Beauty (2010). An accomplished banjo player as well, he has won two Grammys for his bluegrass recordings.


See his memoir, Born Standing Up (2007).

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Martin, Steve

(?1945–  ) comedian, actor; born in Waco, Texas. He wrote television comedy for others before perfecting his own wacky routines for national television in 1975. After 1978 he became a successful film actor and director, drawing on a mix of slapstick and absurdism.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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