Martin Fitzgerald Lawrence Biography

Martin Lawrence is an African-American actor, director, producer, screenwriter and stand-up comedian. Go through his biography to know more about his childhood, career,profile and timeline.

Quick Facts

Birthday: April 16, 1965

Nationality: American

Famous: Actors Directors

Age: 54 Years, 54 Year Old Males

Sun Sign: Aries

Born in: Frankfurt am Main, Hesse, Germany

Famous as: Actor and Comedian

Height: 5'7" (170 cm), 5'7" Males


Spouse/Ex-: Patricia Southall (m. 1995–1996), Shamicka Gibbs (m. 2010–2012)

father: John Lawrence

mother: Chlora Lawrence

siblings: Rae Proctor, Robert Lawrence, Ursula Lawrence

children: Amara Trinity Lawrence, Iyanna Faith Lawrence, Jasmine Page Lawrence

More Facts

education: Thomas G. Pullen School of Creative and Performing Arts, Fairmont Heights High School, Eleanor Roosevelt High School, Friendly High School

Continue Reading Below

Martin Lawrence is a leading Hollywood actor with the popular sitcom ‘Martin’ to his credit. As a teen, he loved boxing and was a gifted comedian. In school, he made an agreement with his teacher that he would stop acting funny during class, if he was given some time to perform for his friends at the end of the class. A chance performance at a local night club, egged on by his teacher, started his career as a comedian. During his teenage years, he was a Mid-Atlantic Golden Gloves boxing contender. He seriously considered a professional career in boxing, until he suffered an eye injury and decided otherwise. The turning point in Lawrence's career was the sassy sitcom, ‘Martin’, in which he became the creator, executive producer and concurrently the main actor. He played multiple wild characters as his own mother Mama Payne, Bob the white guy, and many more. Compliments poured in for the simple and entertaining humour offered by the sitcom. However, the critics lashed at it for portraying a false image of black people. Despite being in the middle of marital and behavioural troubles, this workaholic continued to achieve great success in his career. Read on and learn all about this prominent comedian.

Recommended Lists:

Recommended Lists:

Childhood & Early Life
  • Born in Frankfurt, Germany, Martin’s parents John and Chlora Lawrence named him after civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. and U.S. President John F. Kennedy.
  • He attended schools in Maryland including the Thomas G. Pullen School of Creative and Performing Arts at Landover, among others.
    Continue Reading Below
  • He moved to New York City and got an opportunity to perform at ‘The Improv’, the legendary comedy club. He earned himself a spot on ‘Star Search’, a television show and reached the final round.
  • His performance was noticed by the executives of ‘Columbia TriStar Television’ and he bagged his first role. He played ‘Maurice’ on their very successful television sitcom ‘What’s Happening Now’, in 1986.
  • In 1989, he played some roles in films and television series and was catapulted into the limelight for his role in the Spike Lee film, ‘Do the Right Thing’, and also the ‘House Party series’ and ‘Talkin' Dirty After Dark’.
  • He became a national star in 1992 when he appeared with Eddie Murphy in the comedy movie, ‘Boomerang’. This was a dream come true for Lawrence, as he had long admired the established star.
  • King of entertainment, Russell Simmons selected him to host the first- of- its- kind series, ‘Def Comedy Jam’ on HBO in the year 1993.
  • NBC’s ‘Saturday Night Live’ was hosted by him for some time in 1994. His crude remarks on women in one of the episodes earned him a life-ban from the show.
  • Lawrence’s own hit series, ‘Martin’, was aired on Fox TV for five years, from 1992 to 1997, which became immensely popular.
  • Several commercially successful films followed, such as, ‘Nothing to Lose’, ‘Life, Blue Streak’ and ‘Big Momma's House’.
  • In 2006, he was seen in the television show, ‘Inside the Actors Studio’, and revived a few of the characters he had played on ‘Martin’.
    Continue Reading Below
  • In 2008, he was cast alongside Raven-Symone in Disney’s ‘College Road Trip’. He had earlier provided his voice for ‘Open Season’ opposite Ashton Kutcher.
  • In January 2013, it was announced that Lawrence and Kelsey Grammer are pairing up to star in a comedy for Lionsgate TV, as mismatched Chicago lawyers who develop an unlikely friendship.
Major Works
  • His films such as ‘Nothing to Lose’, ‘Life’, ‘Blue Streak’, and became huge commercial success, which made him immensely popular. The success helped him bag second lead roles opposite star actors including Eddie Murphy and Tim Robbins.
  • In 2011, he revived his role as FBI agent Malcolm Turner in ‘Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son’, the third film in the Big Momma's House series which collected $83,915,414 at the box-office.
Awards & Achievements
  • He won the ‘Image Award’ for two consecutive years—1993 and 1994—in the category, ‘Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series’ for the series ‘Martin’.
  • He was named the ‘Male Star of Tomorrow’ by the ShoWest Convention, USA in 1995.
  • He won the ‘Icon Comedy Award’ in 2005 in BET Comedy Awards.
Personal Life & Legacy
  • He married Patricia Southall, a former Miss Virginia USA, in 1995. The couple have a daughter, named, Jasmin Page and the they divorced in 1997.
  • He married Shamicka Gibbs in 2010 and they have two daughters. This marriage also lasted only two years and he divorced her citing irreconcilable differences.
  • He went into a coma for three days in August 1999 after collapsing from heat exhaustion while jogging.
  • His erratic behaviour led to his arrest, when he brandished a pistol in the middle of an intersection on Ventura Boulevard in Los Angeles in 1996.
  • Once a teen Mid-Atlantic Golden Gloves boxing contender, this personality later went on to become a leading American comedian with his own television show.

See the events in life of Martin Fitzgerald Lawrence in Chronological Order

How To Cite

Article Title
- Martin Fitzgerald Lawrence Biography
- Editors,
Last Updated
- October 06, 2017
Martin Fitzgerald Lawrence

People Also Viewed

Brie Larson
Dwayne Johnson
Jason Momoa
Macaulay Culkin

Leonardo DiCaprio
Chris Pratt
Jon Favreau
Will Smith