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Steve Martin Actor

Steve Martin

Comedian actor Steve Martin has come a long way to Hollywood stardom, and remains a favorite in the movie industry. Working as a Disneyland concessionaire in his teens, comedian Steve Martin's first experiences in entertainment were of the party performer variety -- he picked up skills in juggling, tap-dancing, sleight of hand, and balloon sculpting, among other things. He later attended U.C.L.A., where he majored in philosophy and theater before moving on to staff-writer stints for such TV performers as Glen Campbell, the Smothers Brothers, Dick Van Dyke, John Denver, and Sonny & Cher. Occasionally allowed to perform as well as write, Martin didn't go into standup comedy full-time until the late '60s, when he moved to Canada and appeared as a semi-regular on the syndicated TV variety series Half the George Kirby Comedy Hour. As the opening act for rock stars in the early '70s, Martin emulated the fashion of the era with a full beard, shaggy hair, colorful costumes, and drug jokes. Comedians of such ilk were common in this market, however, so Martin carefully developed a brand-new persona: the well-groomed, immaculately dressed young man who goes against his appearance by behaving like a lunatic. By 1975, he was the "Comic of the Hour," convulsing audiences with his feigned enthusiasm over the weakest of jokes and the most obvious of comedy props. His entire act a devastating parody of second-rate comedians who rely on preconditioning to get laughs, Martin became internationally famous for such catch phrases as "Excu-u-use me!," "Happy feet!," and "I am...one wild and crazy guy!" It was fun for a while to hear audiences shout them out even before he'd uttered them, but it wasn't long before Martin was tired of live standup and anxious to get into films.

Though Martin had roles in Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1977) and The Muppet Movie, Martin's true screen bow was The Jerk (1979), in which, with the seriousness of Olivier, he portrayed a bumbling, self-described poor black child-turned accidental millionaire. Had he been a lesser performer, Martin could have played variations on The Jerk for the remainder of his life, but he preferred to seek out new challenges. It took nerve to go against the sensibilities of his fans with an on-edge portrayal of a habitual loser in Pennies From Heaven (1981), but Martin was successful, even if the film wasn't. And few other actors could convincingly pull off a project like Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1983), wherein, and with utter conviction, he acted opposite film clips of dead movie stars.

After a first-rate turn in All of Me (1984), in which he played a man whose body is inhabited by the soul of a woman, Martin's film work began to fluctuate in quality, only to emerge on top again with Roxanne (1987), a potentially silly but ultimately compelling update of Cyrano de Bergerac. Though he participated in a fair amount of misses in the '80s and '90s (Mixed Nuts (1994), Housesitter (1992), Leap of Faith (1992), and Sgt. Bilko (1996), to name a few), Martin was unarguably full of surprises, as witnessed in his unsympathetic portrayal in Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1989), his hilariously evil dentist in Little Shop of Horrors (1986), his angst-ridden father in Parenthood (1989), his smooth-talking Italian in My Blue Heaven, and his callow film producer in Grand Canyon (1991) -- though the public still seemed to prefer his standard comic performances in The Three Amigos (1986), Father of the Bride (1991), and L.A. Story (1991). Martin then went out on yet another artistic limb with A Simple Twist of Fate (1994) -- a film update of that high-school English-class perennial Silas Marner.

After starring in a very dark role in David Mamet's The Spanish Prisoner (1997) and an unsuccessful return to comedy in The Out-of-Towners (1999), Martin again won acclaim for Bowfinger, a 1999 comedy-satire that cast him as its titular hero, an unsuccessful movie director trying to make a film without the aid of a real script or real star. Martin -- who also wrote the film's screenplay -- played the straight man against Eddie Murphy, once again impressing critics with his versatility. According to rumor, Martin based Heather Graham's character on former flame Ann Heche.

In addition to his Hollywood activities, Martin is well-known for his intellectual pursuits. His play Picasso at the Lapin Agile was produced successfully off-Broadway, and he has contributed numerous humor pieces to The New Yorker magazine, and penned the bestselling novella Shopgirl. Martin was also a featured artist in the PBS documentary series Art 21: Art in the 21st Century and discussed the visual arts as an integral form of self-expression.

The 2000's found Martin in a slew of smaller roles, including a cameo as a heckler in Remember the Titans (2000), and a supporting role in director Stanely Tucci's historical comedy drama Joe Gould's Secret (2000). In 2001's Novacaine, Martin found himself playing dentist for the second time in his life, though this dentist would be decidedly less sadistic than the one he had played in camp favorite Little Shop of Horrors (1986). Despite an all-star cast (besides Martin, Novacaine featured Oscar-winner Helena Bonham Carter and Laura Dern) the black comedy was dismally received. Luckily, 2003's odd-couple comedy Bringing Down the House with Queen Latifah, rapper and surprising Oscar nominee for her role in Chicago, fared relatively well in theaters. Martin teamed up with the likes of Brendan Fraser, Jenna Elfman, and Bugs Bunny in Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003), in which he plays the evil Mr. Chairman, head of the monolithic Acme Corporation. A film version of Shopgirl starring Martin and Claire Danes is currently slated for a 2005 release.

Steve Glenn Martin was born on August 14, 1945 in Waco, Texas, USA. His height is 6' (1.83 m).
His trade mark are: wearing "arrow through head" prop and white hair. Steve is an accomplished banjo player and appears playing the instrument in Earl Scruggs and Friends video for "Foggy Mountain Breakdown", for which he won a Grammy for Best Country Instrumental Performance. Stanley Kubrick liked his work in The Jerk (1979) and once considered having him play Bill Harford in Eyes Wide Shut (1999); the role which later went to Tom Cruise. Steve Martin is a trustee of the Los Angeles Museum of Art, and collects the art of O'Keefe, Diebenkorn, de Kooning, Kline, Twombly, Frankenthaler, Hopper, Hockney, Lichtenstein, and Picasso.

More fun stuff about Steve Martin

More appearances on 'Saturday Night Live' than anyone else (followed closely by Buck Henry). Some 25 at last count.

He is in the horn section of B.B. King's "In The Midnight Hour" music video.

Studied philosophy at California State University at Long Beach, and for a while, considered becoming a philosophy professor instead of an actor-comedian.

Once had a job at Disneyland in the Magic Shop on Main Street, USA.

Dated Bernadette Peters and Helena Bonham Carter.

Besides working for Disneyland, he also worked for the neighboring, Knott's Berry Farm as a comedian in their "Birdcage Theatre" after high school.

Graduated from Garden Grove High School in 1963.

Member of Saturday Night Live's "Five Timers Club" by hosting 13 times (the most one person has ever hosted).

Contrary to popular belief, Martin was never been a cast member on Saturday Night Live. He has, however, hosted the show more times than anyone else.

Is hosting the 75th Annual Academy Awards.

He is a fan of "Monty Python's Flying Circus" (1969).

As a vegetarian, he made fun of hotdogs in a 1970s standup act.

His study of philosophy was a source of much of his material for his 1970s standup act.

Was an extra in Bruce Lee's second movie, "Fist of Fury". He plays a policeman who shoots Bruce at the very end of the film.

Was listed as #50 in People Magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People" List (2003).

Was voted Most Talented by his classmates at Garden Grove high school.

Chosen as #6 in Comedy Central's 100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time

He is good with a rope or lasseu as can be seen in Three Amigos. He also plays the harmonica.

His personal quotes:

"I believe that sex is the most beautiful, natural, and wholesome thing that money can buy."

"The greatest thing you can do is surprise yourself."

"What is comedy? Comedy is the art of making people laugh without making them puke."

(While hosting The 73rd Annual Academy Awards (2001) (TV)) "And now, I'm pleased to introduce the star of the film 'Gladiator,' and a man I like to call a close, personal friend, but he told me not to..."

"I wrote a novel this year called 'Shop Girl,' and several producers came to me and wanted to turn it into a movie. And I said, "If you think you're going to take this book and change it around, and Hollywoodize it and change the ending... that's going to cost you."

"All I've ever wanted was an honest week's pay for an honest day's work."

"Chaos in the midst of chaos isn't funny, but chaos in the midst of order is."

"I believe entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you are an idiot."

"It's very hard being one of the most beautiful people. Having this kind of beauty is actually a burden. Sometimes I go to a party and not one of the other 49 most beautiful people is there. That makes me feel very solitary and alone, because it means I am the most beautiful person in the room. If I'm going to a party where I know there will be 'less-beautiful people,' I try to 'dress down' in order to hide my beauty. But this seems to have a counter-effect of actually making me more beautiful. I guess me and dungarees are a pretty potent combination. I try not to lord my beauty over others. This is very hard. I try not to mention that I am one of the most beautiful people, but somehow it always comes out. I will usually only bring it up when I'm asked to do a task, like open a garage door. People seem to enjoy my beauty and are genuinely happy for me, because after I mention it they always say, 'How nice for you.'" -- From People Magazine, 20 May 2003, in which Martin was listed as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People.

(Upon recieving a particularly unremarkable award) "When I first found out that I was going to win this award, I tried really hard - to care. And then I realised; we are all here tonight, because of a common love; me."

His Salary:
The Pink Panther (2005) $17,500,000
Cheaper by the Dozen (2003) $10,500,000
Sgt. Bilko (1996) $7,000,000

Steve Martin Gives $1 Million to Huntington Library

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California, has received a $1-million boost from actor and author Steve Martin.

A majority of the money will be used to fund up to four major library exhibitions over a five-year period; the remaining $250,000 is earmarked for acquisitions and smaller displays, American Art Department Curator Jessica Todd Smith said in the February 7 Pasadena Star-News. The gift is seen as a boon to the department, which previously had to mount fundraising efforts for each exhibit.

Martin—considered to be a serious art collector whose acquisitions have included works by Roy Lichtenstein, Pablo Picasso, Edward Hopper, and Georges Seurat—has loaned paintings to the Huntington from his own collection. He also funded the library’s acquisition of a sculpture by John Gregory.

“It’s extremely rewarding to have someone outside of the core group of supporters understand what we’re doing and see how they can help and really make a difference,” Todd Smith said.

Comedian Steve Martin to receive screenwriter’s tribute

Entertainer will be honored June 18 at 10th film festival.
Comedian Steve Martin, best known for his performances in films like “The Jerk” and “Roxanne,” and the classic characters he created on “Saturday Night Live,” will be honored on Nantucket this June for another talent: Screenwriting. Martin will be presented the NBC-Universal Screenwriter’s Tribute Award at the 10th annual Nantucket Film Festival on June 18.

“We’re incredibly honored to honor someone of Steve Martin’s caliber,” said Mystelle Brabbée, the festival’s artistic director. While Martin is perhaps better known as an actor, producer and even a novelist, film festival organizers jumped at the chance to honor him for his screenwriting talents. The award will put Martin in the same company as last year’s honoree Charlie Kaufman, the author of “Adaptation” and “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind;” James Schamus, (“The Ice Storm,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”); and Ruth Prawler Jhabvala (“Howard’s End,” “Remains of the Day”).

What most people don’t know, Brabbée said, is that Martin has written many of the films he’s starred in. He wrote the screenplays for “Roxanne” and “The Man With Two Brains,” and co-wrote films like “The Jerk” and “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid.” Most recently, Martin co-wrote scripts for “The Pink Panther” remake and a sequel of the film due out this fall.

Brabbée and film festival executive director Jill Burkhart have sent invites to Martin in past years to accept the tribute, but his production schedules always conflicted with the film festival dates. When he accepted the invitation this year, Brabbée and Burkhart had an easy programming choice.

“We’re really looking forward to the tribute this year,” Brabbée said.

Martin asked not to be interviewed prior to Film Festival. The festival runs from June 15-19 at various theater venues on Nantucket.

Steve Martin: Bringing Down the House

Steve Martin is arguably the most successful alumnus of US sketch show Saturday Night Live. He broke into movies with madcap comedies like "The Jerk" and "The Man With Two Brains", before graduating to more mainstream fare. In "Bringing Down the House", he returns to his wild man roots.

What motivates you these days to do a film - why this one?

I met the director, Adam Shankman and he had so much energy, which gave me supreme confidence. That's really why I did the movie. I felt he wanted to make a fast moving, fast paced comedy. It's hard to find those people like Adam; they can be too serious or too mechanical to make a comedy. A comedy has to have room to breathe. You just have to walk on that set on any given day and know that anything's a possibility.

Do you still have a passion for comedies like this? A lot of Hollywood observers are saying they're glad to see you return to the old Steve Martin type of film...

What I really have a passion for is the kind of fun we had on this one. The drudgery of making a movie can only be ameliorated by the fun you have making it. You've got to feel like you're in a creative space. Between Queen Latifah and Eugene Levy and Adam it was great. They're just bright people. But you know, I never viewed myself as having gone away from this kind of thing. For example I did "Bowfinger" three years ago, a big physical comedy which I wrote.

How well did you know Queen Latifah's work and music?

Not so well before the film, [whispers] but don't tell her. I knew who she was and I'd heard her music, but I didn't know what kind of person she was. When we met, it was an instant connection; she's a warm, happy, loving person.

You do some hilarious dancing in the film. Are you naturally a good mover?

I never considered myself as a dancer but I can learn things by rote. In this case it was a little different. This was not choreographed dancing. It was just, how insane you can go. And it was fun knowing I didn't have to get a Fred Astaire look. This was just me being crazy.

What did it feel like to be dressed up like a rapper?

I felt like I was in a robe. It was all kind of loose, and you do feel a little funny wearing baggy clothes when you're used to belts and sort of conservative dress. I felt like I was walking from the spa in a hotel to my room. But eventually I enjoyed wearing my pants real low. Yes, I did like that.

Do you have a favourite scene?

Yes, it's in "Gangs of New York" [laughs]. No, my favourite scene is when Queen Latifah teaches me how to make love to my wife. I loved doing that scene.

How many times did you have to grab her breasts?

Well, not that many! Three or four times. It was great fun, absolutely.

What happened on the set when you weren't filming?

Intercourse. No, not really. When the camera's off we would sit around talking. The director is lively and funny, so we always had fun. Sometimes we wouldn't go back to the trailer because you just want to hang out with funny people. And I played the banjo. I learned two new songs.

Steve Martin Plays Dad in "Cheaper by the Dozen"

Bonnie Hunt and Steve Martin play mom and dad to a brood of 12 kids in the family movie, "Cheaper by the Dozen." As Tom and Kate Baker, Martin and Hunt move there huge family from the small town of Midland, Illinois to the big city of Chicago. The move doesn't sit well with all members of the family and to further complicate matters, Kate has to leave Tom to watch over the family when she heads off on a publicity tour to promote the publication of her first book.

Director Shawn Levy ("Just Married") describes "Cheaper by the Dozen" as a love letter to the zaniness of large families. Levy believes casting Steve Martin as 'dad' helped bring the movie to a whole new level. "When you have Steve Martin, you get layers of character and comedy that go well beyond the scripted page.
Steve brings Tom Baker to life through his physical and verbal humor. His work starts where the words end," says Levy.

STEVE MARTIN ('Tom'):

Have the values of fatherhood changed?
You know how things come and go [and some things] seem more important? It used to be in the '50s, the father was obligated to always be away and be gruff. Now they seem to want to share the duties. It seems to be important. Fatherhood has taken on a more important role.

Do you feel uncomfortable taking on this movie since you don't have kids?
I played fathers so many times, it's like being one. I've had children of every age. And like I say, I get to do everything but the dirty work. Their parents have to take them home and deal with all that.

What discussions were there to make this film different from the original?
The script came to me finished. I was not a part of writing the script. I made some suggestions. I don't remember the early film. I knew the title, I knew what it was about, but I didn't know until halfway through the movie that in the original, the father dies. I go, "Hey, I may read that script again." So this is a long way from the original.

What is the funniest thing one of the kids said to you?
Those questions are hard to answer - the funniest memory - but the kids were just bright and sunny, and they're just funny. Their personalities are funny. They wouldn't say one-liners. Every one of their personalities was so different. They don't come off like actors. They don't come off like professionals. They come off like kids.

Did you have fun working with Bonnie Hunt?
Yeah, she is a very quick wit - very quick. I think she's very pretty. I think she played this role so well because the wife is often underwritten and her role is to go away. But her presence in the movie is very, very strong, very felt, and heartfelt, too.

How about working with the younger kids?
I did a movie, “A Simple Twist of Fate,” and I was working with two twins. They were about three. This is in Atlanta. And they were delightful. They were funny and they were sweet. And I asked the parents, I said, “Why are your children so fabulous?” And she kind of looked surprised and said, “Well, we raised them with humor.” And I thought, “Gee, what a great answer.” Get kids into the humor mode. There's so many things you can say through humor that if you say directly, you can be harsh. Because you can look at someone in an ugly dress and say, "What an ugly dress." Or you can say, "Gee, that's pretty." And they get the message in kind of a kinder way.

This film is about chaos. Is chaos funny to us now and would it have been funny 40 years ago?
40 years ago to have these kids with all these opinions would have been probably shocking to the audience. I don't know if it's chaos that is funny to us now. There's always something funny about precociousness. It's kind of a generic TV-kid quality, but none of the kids in this film are precocious. I think a couple of them use big words every once in a while. I don't know how to answer your question, because I'm not sure that it’s chaos that makes it funny. It's struggle, maybe, that makes it funny and trying to contain them.

Did you ever think the kids behavior in the movie was unreasonable?
There are a couple of moments that I thought they should be sent to bed for that. But also if you had 12 kids, you probably couldn't manage sending them to bed. You have to handcuff them to the bed frame.

Can you talk about working with Ashton Kutcher?
He was hilarious.

Did he try to 'punk' you?
No, I think he sensed it would be a bad idea! (Laughing)

He came out of nowhere and now he's huge.
First of all, I can tell you, he was so funny in this movie. He was hilarious and a lot of it is on the cutting room floor, because he can ad-lib and ad-lib. It was really funny. He was fabulous. If we ever do a movie of “The Pleasure of My Company,” I would like him to play it.

You think he's a good actor?
I do, I really do.
How did you keep yourself sane with all those kids running around?
You know, it's fun. They're sweet and funny. They were treated like Gods. Somebody walks you to the set and walks you back and, “Can I get you some water?” That's all taken care of. You really just have time to be funny and play with them and talk to them.

Do you have an opinion on parents putting their kids in show business?
It really all depends. I've seen parents who knew they were doing it for themselves. I've also seen parents, like on this movie, because the kids wanted to do it. It's a very different thing. I'm against it generally, but I kind of changed my mind with this movie because they were being educated and having fun. They are still very normal and excited about everything.

Are you preparing for the “Pink Panther?’
I'm in the middle of preparing for it, yes, meaning I'm co-writing the script.
I'm looking at the script very seriously and kind of every once in a while in the privacy of my home, [trying] out the accent. Working with the same director, by the way, Shawn Levy, who did this movie [and the] same producing team. We're actually really, really excited, but I took a long time to decide whether to do it or not. It was only when I started writing ideas down that it started to look like, “Oh, this could be actually really funny, rather than just a rehash of a genius."

Was Jackie Chan cast in “Pink Panther?”
That's a rumor. That is not done. It was printed in the trades before we even thought of it. I don't know if we're going to have Jackie Chan or not. We haven't really discussed it. I think he's a genius, by the way.

For “Shopgirl”, how did you get into the mind of a young girl?
You know, it's a tough question to answer because the answer is really just experience. Talking to people. I'm this age, I've lived a lot.

But you got into her mind.
Well, that's from listening and asking. It's not conscious, the listening and asking. It's when you go to write something like that that you realize, “I remember this, I know this.” You're surprised at what you know. Let's put it that way.

You once said the writer was taking over the actor.
Well, I'm having a lot of fun re-writing this “Pink Panther” script and working on it, let's say. So I guess that's writing. But it's also going to result in a movie. I don't know, my career's all over the place now because I had this terrible thing happen to me. I had a hit with “Bringing Down the House.” Everything was so fine. I had time on my hands, and occasionally I'd do a movie. Then suddenly I have a hit and a lot of demands and offers, and suddenly your head is kind of reeling about what to do.

Is there another play in the works?
No, there's not another play. There's nothing sophisticated in the pipeline at this point right now.

Why did you write “Shopgirl” as a novel first?
Well, I never thought it was going to be a screenplay, that's why. I had a story to tell as a novel and I told it. I never thought it could be a screenplay. Then I started thinking about it even two years afterwards, the scenes started coming into my head. I thought the images were lovely. Then your mind starts working at night a little bit and then one day, you pick up your computer and you start typing.

What are the major differences between the film and the novel?
Well, in the book there is very little dialogue and in a movie there is only dialogue. You can't go inside a character's head like you can in a book. So, I discovered one thing. The character Ray Porter in the book is much more sympathetic than in the movie. Because in the book you can go inside his head and see what he's thinking, and why he does certain things and how he justifies certain things. How he comes to conclude certain things. In the movie, he just does them and they look a little harsh sometimes. I think I could be wrong. When the movie's over, it's a whole different animal.

Did you pick out Claire Danes for that part?
Yes, she's been fabulous. I can't believe her emotional intelligence at her age, 24. We're two weeks from finishing the movie, so it won't be ready to be seen for six months.

Do you still have time for your music?
Playing the banjo? Yes. I play almost every day, or try to. Sometimes I get together with friends. It's hard. I play with Billy Connelly. There are a few of us. We've played before. Kevin Nealon plays the banjo.

Is this how you thought your career would pan out? Are you blown away by it?
Yes, I am. When I first did my stand up act…And you think you're over. 2003 and I'm still here.

Steve Martin Gets Evil in "Looney Tunes: Back in Action"

Steve Martin plays the evil leader of Acme Corporation in Warner Bros. Pictures’ live-action/animated comedy, “Looney Tunes: Back in Action.” As Mr. Chairman, Martin goes evil - and seems to have a blast doing so.

Presented with the opportunity to create his character as he saw fit, Steve Martin took the conventional idea of a egomaniacal corporate bigwig and delivered an over-the-top transformation.

“I can’t even begin to explain the performance Steve delivered,” executive producer Chris deFaria declared. “It’s this strange sort of angry schoolboy whose development was arrested somewhere in private school back East. And now he’s going to punish the rest of the world for that. It’s a very, very funny performance.”
What was the main challenge of working with the animation in this movie?
Waking up (laughing). I thought it was going to be more difficult. I’d never done it before. Now it’s not just like these big green screens, you can actually be on the set, you can have a little character there that you’re talking to. It’s inanimate but it’s talking back to you. It’s very much like I’ve worked with actors who are as wooden so…

We were completely free to walk around and do anything we wanted. It was really like making a regular movie.

What was the most difficult sequence in this film for you?
Well, actually it was quite hard holding the posture - the actual physical poster that I hold - because when you see it, you’ll see it’s quite kind of extreme and I’m not as young as I used to be.

How would you describe your character, 'Mr. Chairman'?
I play an evil [chairman] who runs the Acme Corporation and makes all the inferior products that Wile E. Coyote tries to trap the Road Runner with. I’m trying to take over the world, naturally.

And WWF wrestler Bill Goldberg is your henchman. How was it working with Goldberg?
It was a delight. I only worked with him for one day but he was really, really nice. I could tell he was a big deal on the set. Everyone loved him.

How would the Looney Tunes characters do on the WWE?
Obviously they would win because they could have their beaks fall off and [they] would come back on.

Steve Martin: Writing Is the Real Me

Funnyman Steve Martin has found the perfect antidote to being an actor - writing novels allows him to stop feeling like he's "for hire". The Roxanne star's second novel The Pleasure Of My Company was released in its hardcover edition last month, and Martin is waxing lyrical about the joy of being a writer - because it allows him true creative freedom. He says, "I just love sentences and I love shaping paragraphs. It's a love of the ring and the rhythm and the sound of words. I like doing this. I like going inside my own head and I don't feel like I'm for hire. Whereas in movies I am. It's great to find something that you do feel artistic and uncompromising about and not cynical." Of his writing process he adds, "I don't want to use a sexual metaphor, but it's something that builds up, builds up, then it all comes out."

Funnyman Steve Martin Brings Humor to Oscar's Darkest Day

Steve Martin was playing it for laughs at Sunday night's 75th Academy Awards with a hilarious opening stand-up skit. Many felt the movie star, hosting the Oscars for the second time, would hold back on comedy so as not to upset or offend those who felt the ceremony should not have been taking place in wartime. But Martin decided it was time to cheer everyone up after a troubled week of conflict. Stepping out to a standing ovation from his peers at the dazzling Kodak Theatre, Martin joked, "I'm glad they cut back on all the glitz! You probably noticed there was no fancy red carpet tonight. That'll send them a message. The proceeds from tonight's Oscar telecast will be divvied up among huge corporations." Martin hardly mentioned the war in Iraq, but did have a passing dig at the French and Germans, who refused to support America's stance. He said, "Everyone has been so supportive of my hosting this year, except of course France and Germany." The funnyman spent the remainder of his opening salvo poking fun at his peers, suggesting Jack Nicholson was gay and that he himself had slept with Nicole Kidman, Renee Zellweger, Halle Berry, Julie Andrews and Ernest Borgnine - as part of skit on what is a movie star. But Martin's biggest laugh came when he discussed the dining order should the show become a marathon. He joked, "Writers, directors, actors. If we're stuck here tonight and we run out of food, that's the order of whom we eat."

Steve Martin's New Romance Uncovered

American funnyman Steve Martin attempts at keeping his love life secret have failed - he's now romancing a journalist. The ex-lover of actress Anne Heche is currently dating New Yorker magazine's deputy head of fact-checking, Anne Stringfield. And just this morning, when the actor had been quizzed about his very private private life on American chat show The View, he avoided the question. Instead, L.A. Story star Steve joked about his fellow star guest, "Kathy Bates and I are married - that's why you never hear about our private lives." But according to American website Page Six, Martin and the journalist have been together since December, when the Housesitter star took Stringfield with him to the Kennedy Center Honors in Washington DC. Stringfield, 31, a devotee of sport fishing, has reportedly been the object of many a crush at the Conde Nast building since she began working there.

Gay Detective Series May Air on ABC

In what is being described as a "groundbreaking" TV show, ABC is developing a detective series with Steve Martin and the Carsey-Werner-Mandabach production company that will feature a gay couple living in San Francisco, the PlanetOut.com website said Tuesday. The website observed that the planned show, titled Mr. and Mr. Nash, "will be the first to feature a committed gay couple on primetime network TV."

Steve Martin -- Once Again, a Second-Choice Oscar Host

After what today's Los Angeles Times described as his inability to persuade Billy Crystal to commit to hosting next year's Oscars telecast, the show's producer, Gil Cates, has turned to Steve Martin. In a statement, Martin said that he accepted the hosting job "because fear and nausea always make me lose weight." Martin received much critical applause when he hosted the 2001 awards show. The Times, which cited unnamed sources, said that when Cates last approached Crystal, the comedian told him that he wanted more time to think about the offer. Faced with a deadline, Cates reportedly turned to Martin. Cates declined to comment on the report.

Steve Martin Tapped to Host 75th Academy Awards

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has decided it wants a second helping of Steve Martin, and has tapped the actor/writer/comedian to host the 75th Anniversary Academy Awards broadcast on Sunday, March 23, 2003. Martin previously hosted the 73rd Academy Awards broadcast (aka the year Gladiator won), and has served as presenter on six previous shows. Show producer Gilbert Cates gushed, "The 75th Anniversary show is a meaningful one for the Academy, and it is wonderful to work with a host who's done it before. A host who's witty, clever, sharp, intelligent, quick on his feet and always on top of the unfolding action. Wait, I've forgotten something. Oh yeah, and outrageously funny. He's also a gentleman, a gentle man and a delight to work with." Martin himself put it more succinctly and humorously: "I'm very pleased to be hosting the Oscars again, because fear and nausea always make me lose weight." Martin will next be seen in Burning Down the House and the film adaptation of his play Picasso at the Lapin Agile, both releasing in 2003. He begins shooting Shopgirl, which he adapted from his acclaimed novella, in January with Claire Danes and Jimmy Fallon.

Caan And Martin Clash On Novocaine Set

Hollywood hunk Scott Caan upset co-star Steve Martin when he got carried away performing a stunt on the set of new movie Novocaine. The 25-year-old son of film legend James Caan appears alongside Martin in the crime comedy. But Martin didn't see the funny side when Caan deviated from the script during a fight scene and smashed a bottle over a stuntman's head - instead of breaking it over the bar. Even though the bottle was a prop and the stuntman walked away unhurt, Martin was furious that the young star had tried to ad-lib a stunt and refused to speak to him for days.

Steve Martin: Heche Is A "Dim, Dim Memory"

Comedian Steve Martin has no revelations about wacky ex-girlfriend Anne Heche - he says he can barely remember their relationship. The silver-haired Texan refused to watch his former flame's intimate interview with Barbara Walters on 20/20 last week because he has no interest in her life. He says, "The whole thing with me and her happened eight years ago. It's like a dim, dim memory." After the ex-lover of Ellen DeGeneres confessed to hearing voices in her head during the time she dated the Bowfinger actor, Steve pleads ignorance. He continues, "No, I didn't have any experience with that at all, sorry."

Steve Martin Shows His Underpants

Wild and crazy guy Steve Martin is returning to the Broadway stage with an adaptation of Carl Sternheim's 1911 dark comedy The Underpants. The actor-writer's previous stage works include Picasso At The Lapin Agile in 1993 and 1997's Wasp And Other Plays. Originally staged by Max Reinhardt, Underpants was the first in a Sternheim trilogy that charts a bourgeois family's decline. In the play, a civil servant's wife accidentally drops her underwear during the Kaiser's parade. Subsequently, a series of men proposition her under the guise of renting a room in the apartment she shares with her husband.

Steve Martin Returns To TV Roots

Steve Martin, who spent the first half of the 1970s writing and/or performing on TV comedy shows, is returning to his TV roots, albeit behind the scenes. According to Variety, Martin is one of the driving forces behind The Downer Channel, a new half-hour comedy premiering on NBC in July. The show will combine sketch comedy with reality-based segments to explore the funny side behind life's set-backs. Though Martin is not slated as a regular cast member, he will serve as an executive producer. (This story was compiled by IMDb staff.)

Anne Heche To Marry... A Man

E! is reporting that Anne Heche has accepted a proposal of marriage from her boyfriend Coley Laffoon. Following tabloid reports about her shopping for a wedding gown, Heche's manager confirmed to E! News Daily that Heche and Laffoon were indeed engaged. Though Heche spent three and a half years in a highly-publicized lesbian relationship with Ellen Degeneres, her more public relationships, before and after Ellen, have been with men. Prior to dating DeGeneres, she was romantically linked with Steve Martin for a time. As Heche comes off of a guest-stint on Ally McBeal and prepares for the release of her upcoming film, John Q, DeGeneres is preparing a new sitcom to premiere later this year, about a lesbian Internet executive who returns to her Midwestern hometown, echoing the premise of John Goodman's failed sitcom entry, Normal, Ohio. (This story was compiled by IMDb staff, based on wire service reports.)

Steve Martin In New Comedy Romp

British actress Helena Bonham Carter is to star with Steve Martin in a new comedy about a dentist. In the film Novocaine, funnyman Martin will play a successful dentist whose life is thrown into turmoil by the arrival of his wayward brother. The $26 million movie will also star Laura Dern as Martin's fiancee, and Elias Koteas as his brother. Planet Of The Apes star Bonham Carter plays a patient who seduces Martin, causing further chaos. The film, due for release later this year, has been written and directed by David Atkins. A movie source says, "Helena is hysterical. She has been waiting for a good comedy venture for some time."

Steve Martin: Art Connoisseur

Comedian, actor, author and recent Academy Awards host Steve Martin has added another credit to his growing list of jobs - art exhibitor. Martin kicked off the first show of his private collection of modern and contemporary art Friday at the Bellagio hotel and casino on the Las Vegas Strip. The star's 28-piece show includes works by Roy Lichtenstein, Pablo Picasso, David Hockney and Edward Hopper. The oldest piece, by French painter Georges Seurat, dates back to 1883. Martin, has collected paintings, drawings, prints and photographs for over 30 years, says, "I'm having so much fun. It's nice to see the pieces in a different venue."

Steve Martin Hands Out Personal Encounters

Fans of funnyman Steve Martin don't just get an autograph when they meet him - they get a "personal encounter". Steve Says he often doesn't have much time with fans when he's signing autographs, so he used to design business cards which he hands out to them instead. Martin says, "I sign autographs, but when you're rushing somewhere, like you're going to catch a plane, you don't really have time. So I made these little cards that said 'This certifies that you've had a personal encounter with me and that you found me warm, polite and colorful.' The reason I did that was because people come up to you for one second, and people are like, what was he like? You just never know so you can produce your card, then you'll know!"

Steve Martin Dumped By Helena Bonham Carter

Steve Martin is devastated after a short fling with gorgeous British actress Helena Bonham Carter came to an end. The split came while they shot their upcoming film Novocaine (2000) in California - and sources say the 21 year age gap between the pair was the telling factor. A source says, "Helena told him, 'It's just not going to work for us'. She thinks he's a great guy and they had some good times but now it's over." A pal adds, "Steve was already thinking marriage but Helena told Steve she wasn't up for a serious relationship - let alone marriage."

Martin: "I Didn't Like What I Was Doing"

Steve Martin says he experienced a collapse in confidence after his 1996 film Sergeant Bilko (1996) tanked and decided to take an extended time-out to recharge. "I thought I shouldn't be doing this. Something was missing and I felt lost with what I was doing, " he told today's (Tuesday) London Daily Telegraph. "And I thought, I don't feel funny. And that's when I stopped. ... I didn't like what I was doing, didn't understand it any more." He said he soon began writing his first play, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, after seeing a comedy performed at a New York theater. "I was hearing the audience laugh and I thought, 'I wonder if I could do that? That'd be a real challenge, to make the audience laugh in the theater with just my words, not me on stage.'"

 

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