Steve Martin is an American actor, comedian, musician, writer, and producer. He was born in Waco, Texas, on August 14, 1945, and soon thereafter moved with his family to California. During his teenage years, Martin sold guidebooks and performed magic tricks at Disneyland and joined a comedy troupe at Knott’s Berry Farm. He attended Long Beach State College (where he studied philosophy) and then transferred to the University of California, Los Angeles, to study theatre. Eventually, he dropped out of college altogether.
In 1967, Martin’s former girlfriend, Nina Goldblatt, who was a dancer on CBS’s The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, helped land him a writing job with the show, and Martin began his foray into comedy writing, and he wrote for several variety shows, including The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour. Martin then became a stand-up comedian in his own right, appearing frequently on The Tonight Show and Saturday Night Live. As Martin’s persona as a comedian grew, he was elevated in the public eye to rockstar status, requiring concert stadiums to hold all the fans who wanted to see him perform.
By the late 1970s and early 1980’s, Martin forwent stand-up altogether to establish himself as an actor. He appeared in movies such as Little Shop of Horrors (as sadistic dentist Orin Scrivello) and the remakes of Father of the Bride (as the neurotic and crazed titular character) and Cheaper by the Dozen (as the patriarch of the enormous twelve-child family). Martin also writes in all genres, and has authored a few plays (for instance, 1993’s Picasso at the Lapin Agile, which explores what might have happened had Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso met up to converse in bars, and 2016’s Meteor Shower, which had a Broadway run starring comedian Amy Schumer and Broadway actress Laura Benanti). His interest and love for the banjo led him to collaborate with singer-songwriter Edie Brickell on the musical Bright Star, which was inspired by the duo’s 2013 bluegrass album. The show earned five nominations at the 2016 Tony Awards.
In 1986, Martin married actress Victoria Tennant, but the couple divorced eight years later. In the early 2000s, Martin began dating former New Yorker staffer Anne Stringfield, and they wed in 2007 in a surprise ceremony. In 2012, Stringfield gave birth to Martin’s first child, a daughter whose name he has never revealed publicly. Martin continues to be one of the most successful actors and comedians of this time.