Steve Martin

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Steve Martin : biography

August 14, 1945 –

Martin wrote and starred in Shopgirl (2005), based on his own novella (2000), and starred in Cheaper by the Dozen 2. In 2006, he starred in the box office hit The Pink Panther, as the bumbling Inspector Clouseau. He reprised the role in 2009’s The Pink Panther 2. When combined, the two films grossed over $230 million at the box office. In Baby Mama (2008), Martin played the founder of a health food company, and in It’s Complicated (2009), he played opposite Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin. In 2009, an article in The Guardian listed Martin as one of the best actors never to receive an Oscar nomination. In 2011, he appeared with Jack Black, Owen Wilson, and JoBeth Williams in the birdwatching comedy The Big Year.

Writing

In 1993, Martin wrote his first full length play Picasso at the Lapin Agile. The first reading of the play took place in Beverly Hills, California at Steve Martin’s home, with Tom Hanks reading the role of Pablo Picasso and Chris Sarandon reading the role of Albert Einstein. Following this, the play opened at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, Illinois, and played from October 1993 to May 1994, then went on to run successfully in Los Angeles, New York City and several other US cities.. Retrieved August 14, 2010 In 2009, the La Grande, Oregon school board refused to allow the play to be performed after several parents complained about the content. In an open letter in the local Observer newspaper, Martin wrote "I have heard that some in your community have characterized the play as ‘people drinking in bars, and treating women as sex objects.’ With apologies to William Shakespeare, this is like calling Hamlet a play about a castle […] I will finance a non-profit, off-high school campus production […] so that individuals, outside the jurisdiction of the school board but within the guarantees of freedom of expression provided by the Constitution of the United States can determine whether they will or will not see the play".. Retrieved August 14, 2010

Throughout the 1990s, Martin wrote various pieces for The New Yorker. In 2002, he adapted the Carl Sternheim play The Underpants, which ran Off Broadway at Classic Stage Company and in 2008, co-wrote and produced Traitor, starring Don Cheadle. He has also written the novellas, Shopgirl (2000), and The Pleasure of My Company (2003), both more wry in tone than raucous. A story of a 28-year-old woman behind the glove counter at the Neiman Marcus department store in Beverly Hills, Shopgirl was made into a film starring Martin and Claire Danes.. Retrieved August 14, 2010 The film premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in September 2005 and was featured at the Chicago International Film Festival and the Austin Film Festival before going into limited release in the US. In 2007, he published a memoir, Born Standing Up, which Time magazine named as one of the Top 10 Nonfiction Books of 2007, ranking it at 6, and praising it as "a funny, moving, surprisingly frank memoir." In 2010, he published the novel An Object of Beauty.

Hosting

Martin hosted Academy Awards solo in 2001 and 2003, and with Alec Baldwin in 2010.. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In 2005, Martin co-hosted Disneyland: The First 50 Magical Years, marking the park’s anniversary. Disney continued to run the show until March 2009, which now plays in the lobby of Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.

Music

Martin first picked up the banjo when he was around 17 years of age. Martin has claimed in several interviews and in his autobiography, "Born Standing Up", that he used to take 33 rpm bluegrass records and slow them down to 16 rpm and tune his banjo down, so the notes would sound the same. Martin was able to pick out each note, and perfect his playing.

Martin learned how to play the banjo with help from John McEuen, who later joined the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. McEuen’s brother later managed Martin as well as the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Martin did his stand-up routine opening for the band in the early 1970s. He had the band play on his hit song, "King Tut", being credited as "The Toot Uncommons" (as in Tutankhamun).