Martin Lawrence, born on April 16, 1965 is a German-born American stand-up comedian, actor, director, producer, writer, singer, musician, and voice actor.
Lawrence came to fame during the 1990s, establishing a Hollywood career as a leading actor, most notably in the television sitcomMartin and the films House Party, Boomerang, Bad Boys, Wild Hogs, Nothing to Lose, Blue Streak, Life, Big Momma's House, and A Thin Line Between Love & Hate.
The fourth of six children, Lawrence was born in Frankfurt, West Germany on April 16, 1965, to African American parents who were serving in the U.S. military in West Germany at the time of Martin's birth. Lawrence was named after civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. and U.S. President John F. Kennedy. His parents divorced when he was eight years old and Lawrence rarely saw his estranged father, who worked as a police officer. His mother, Chlora (née Bailey), began working several jobs to support her family.
Lawrence ended up moving to New York City and found his way to the legendary The Improv. Shortly after appearing at The Improv, Lawrence won a performance spot on Star Search. He did well on the show and made it to the final round, but did not win. However, executives at Columbia Pictures Television saw Martin's performance and offered him the role of Maurice in What's Happening Now!!; this was his first acting job. Upon cancellation of that show, Lawrence found bit parts in various films and television series. His breakthrough role was as Cee in Do the Right Thing. Other roles followed in films such as the House Partyseries, Talkin' Dirty After Dark, and the Eddie Murphy vehicle Boomerang.