Martin Fitzgerald Lawrence born on April 16, 1965 is an American stand-up comedian, actor, producer, writer, and voice actor. He was born in Frankfurt, West Germany, to African American parents who were serving in the U.S. military in West Germany at the time of his birth but his parents divorced when he was only eight years old. His father worked as police officer and his mother Chlora had take on several jobs to support her family.
He is the fourth of six children. During his teen years he shined at boxing and seriously considered as a professional career until he suffered from a broken eye that led him to reconsider.
He ended up moving to New York City and found his way to the legendary The Improv (a comedy club franchise) , he made it to the final round but did not win. However the executives from the Columbia Pictures Television saw his performance and offered him a role Of Maurice in Whats Happening Now, his first acting job. Even though the show was cancelled he did small parts in the television series.
His breakthrough role in the comedy movie Do It Right (1989) as Cee lead him to grasp many roles in future such as House Party (1990), Talkin’ Dirty After Dark (1991), Boomerang (1992). He was selected by Russell Simmons to host his show Def Comedy Jam an HBO television series which gave him as well as many comedians mainstream exposure.
Along with the show he appeared in his own series named “Martin” a sitcom that aired for five seasons on Fox from August 27, 1992 to May 1, 1997. The series wsa a commercial hit. He also hosted Saturday Night Live on February 19, 1994 but after he made a crude remarks on women’s genitalia and personal hygiene he was banned fom the show for lifetime.
Many of his films were blockbusters at the box office, including Nothing to Lose, Life, Blue Streak, and Big Momma’s House. He also starred in critical- and box-office failures, including Black Knight and National Security. He reprised the role in Big Momma’s House 2 (2006) grossed almost $28 million its first weekend. Wild Dogs (2007) he played a bored suburbanite seeking adventure on the open road in a biker comedy alongside John Travolta, Tim Allen and William H. Macy.
In 2008, he starred in Disney’s College Road Trip co-starring with Raven-Symoné. In 2011, Lawrence reprised his role as FBI agent Malcolm Turner in Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son, the third film in the Big Momma’s House series.
He was engaged to actress Lark Voorhies in 1993. He married Miss Virginia USA, Patricia Southall in 1995. They have one child together Jasmine Page. They divorced in 1997. In 1997, he began a relationship with Shamicka Gibbs. They married on July 10, 2010, at Lawrence’s Beverly Hills home. They have two daughter Iyanna Faith and Amara Trinity. He filed for divorce from Gibbs on April 25, 2012, citing irreconcilable differences and asking for joint legal and physical custody of the children.
During August 1999, he slipped into a three-day coma after collapsing from heat exhaustion while jogging in 100-degree heat in preparation for “Big Momma’s House” while wearing heavy clothing and a “plastic suit. He recovered in the hospital after nearly dying due to a body temperature of 107 °F (41.7 °C), his breathing assisted by a ventilator.