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Martin Lawrence (American-German comedian) Bio, Facts. 

Martin Lawrence
Birth name: Martin Fitzgerald Lawrence
Born/Date of Birth: April 16, 1965
Place of Birth: Frankfurt, Hesse, West Germany
Height: 1.71 m
Nationality: American
Genres: Observational comedy, physical comedy, satireblue comedy
Subject(s): Human sexuality, African-American culture, racism, race relations, self-deprecation
Spouse: Patricia Southall ​(m. 1995; div. 1997)​, Shamicka Gibbs ​(m. 2010; div. 2012)​
Children: Iyanna Faith Lawrence, Jasmine Page Lawrence, Amara Trinity Lawrence

Martin Fitzgerald Lawrence (born April 16, 1965) is a German-born American stand up comedian, actor, producer, talk show host, writer, and former Golden Gloves boxer. Lawrence came to fame during the 1990s, establishing a Hollywood career as a leading actor. He is known for playing Maurice Warfield in What's Happening Now!! (1987-1988). He was a leading actor in the Fox television sitcom Martin, the Bad Boys franchise and the films House Party, Boomerang, Wild Hogs, Nothing to Lose, Blue Streak, Life, Big Momma's House, and A Thin Line Between Love and Hate.

Early life
The fourth of six children, Martin Fitzgerald Lawrence was born on April 16, 1965, in Frankfurt, Germany, to African-American parents. His father, John Lawrence, was serving in the U.S. military at the time of his birth. Lawrence was named after civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and U.S. President John F. Kennedy. When Lawrence was seven, his father left the military, and the family moved from Germany back to the United States, settling in Landover, Maryland, in the Washington, D.C., area. Following his parents' divorce when he was eight years old, Lawrence rarely saw his father, who was a police officer. His mother, Chlora (née Bailey), worked several jobs, including as a sales representative and cashier at various department stores to support her family.

During his teen years, Lawrence excelled at boxing. While living in Maryland, Lawrence attended Eleanor Roosevelt High School and Friendly High School, and he lived in Apple Grove, becoming a Mid-Atlantic Golden Gloves boxing contender.

Career
In his early days, Lawrence did comedy shows in the Washington, D.C., area and supported himself through odd jobs. Comedian Ritch Snyder saw his act and suggested Lawrence make connections in New York. 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 Warfield 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 Party series, Talkin' Dirty After Dark, and the Eddie Murphy vehicle Boomerang. During this period, entertainment mogul Russell Simmons selected him to host the groundbreaking series Def Comedy Jam on HBO. Def Comedy Jam gave many comedians (including Chris Tucker, Dave Chappelle, Mike Epps, Bernie Mac and Cedric the Entertainer) mainstream exposure.

During his stint with Def Comedy Jam, Lawrence appeared in his own hit series, Martin, which aired on Fox. The show ran from 1992 to 1997 and was an enormous success. Martin was the flagship of Fox's Thursday-night line-up, which drew millions of viewers away from NBC's "Must See TV" line-up. He hosted Saturday Night Live on February 19, 1994, where he made crude remarks about women's genitalia and personal hygiene; the monologue was completely edited out of NBC reruns and syndicated versions, and Lawrence was banned from the show for life. Martin's ratings continued to skyrocket so much that Fox became more of a contender against NBC and came closer to being considered among the top television networks. In 1995 he stood along side Will Smith in Bad Boys with wide success.

After Martin ended its run in 1997, Lawrence found work in comedy films. He often starred as the second lead opposite actors including Eddie Murphy, Danny DeVito, and Tim Robbins. 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. Regardless, his salary steadily increased to over $10 million per film role. He continues to work in film, with such films as Big Momma's House 2, which opened at No. 1 at North American box office and grossed almost $28 million its first weekend, and Wild Hogs (2007), in which 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 2006, Lawrence appeared on Inside the Actors Studio, during which Lawrence briefly brought back to life some of the characters he had portrayed on Martin. He also appeared in Open Season as Boog, one of the main characters of the film. The movie also starred Ashton Kutcher, Debra Messing, and Gary Sinise.

In 2008, Lawrence starred in Disney's College Road Trip co-starring with Raven-Symoné. It was his first G-rated film, but not his first appearance in a children's film: he supplied a voice for Open Season (2006) opposite Ashton Kutcher.

At the 2009 BET Awards he appeared in a spoof movie trailer with Jamie Foxx for a fictional movie, The Skank Robbers, that featured their respective television characters Sheneneh Jenkins and Ugly Wanda. In 2010, Fox announced that it was producing a film based on the sketch, featuring Foxx, Lawrence, and actress Halle Berry.

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 series.

In January 2013, it was announced that Lawrence and Kelsey Grammer were considering pairing up to star in a comedy for Lionsgate TV. Partners, paired the two actors as Chicago lawyers from "vastly different backgrounds who unexpectedly meet in court on the worst day of their lives." The show premiered August 4, 2014, but was cancelled after one season after receiving poor reviews.

In 2020, Lawrence reprised his role as Detective Marcus Burnett in the third installment of the Bad Boys franchise, Bad Boys for Life, again alongside Will Smith. The film was considered a financial success, grossing $112 million in its first four days of release.

Personal life
Relationships and family
Lawrence was engaged to actress Lark Voorhies in 1993. He married Miss Virginia USA, Patricia Southall, in 1995. Lawrence and Southall have a daughter, Jasmine Page (born January 15, 1996). They divorced in 1997. In 1997, Lawrence began a relationship with Shamicka Gibbs. They married on July 10, 2010, at Lawrence's Beverly Hills home. Actors Eddie Murphy and Denzel Washington were among the 120 wedding guests; Lawrence and Gibbs have two daughters, Iyanna Faith (born November 9, 2000) and Amara Trinity (born August 20, 2002). Lawrence filed for divorce from Gibbs on April 25, 2012, citing irreconcilable differences and asking for joint legal and physical custody of the children.

Lawrence owns a farm near Purcellville, Virginia. For several years, he owned a large mansion in the Beverly Park community in Beverly Hills, where he wedded Gibbs. However, following their divorce, the property was available for lease at $200,000 per month in June 2012. In 2013, the property was up for sale for $26.5 million, and eventually he sold it for $17.2 million to Bruce Makowsky, buying an Encino, Los Angeles property for $6.63 million.

Arrests, lawsuits and health problems
In July 1995, while on the set filming A Thin Line Between Love and Hate, Lawrence lashed out in a violent rage and was then hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

On May 8, 1996, he became increasingly erratic and was arrested after he brandished a pistol in the middle of an intersection on Ventura Boulevard in Los Angeles, screaming, "They're trying to kill me!" He was again hospitalized, with his public-relations agent citing exhaustion and dehydration as the reasons for this episode. On July 29, 1996 he tried to take a 9mm gun onto a plane and received two years probation and a fine.

In January 1997, Lawrence's Martin co-star Tisha Campbell-Martin filed a lawsuit against him, alleging sexual harassment and abuse both on and off set. By April 1997, Campbell had settled the lawsuit, and returned to appear in the last two episodes of the series. In March 1997, Lawrence was arrested after punching a man in a Hollywood nightclub.

During August 1999, Lawrence slipped into a three-day coma after collapsing from heat exhaustion while jogging in 100 °F (38 °C) heat in preparation for Big Momma's House while wearing heavy clothing and a "plastic suit." He recovered in the hospital after entering a near fatal coma due to a body temperature of 107 °F (42 °C), his breathing assisted by a ventilator.

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